How does vitamin D help you?
Our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when we’re exposed to sunlight—just 10 minutes a day of sun exposure provides great benefits. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through supplements and certain foods like fish, cheese and egg yolks.
Why is vitamin D so important? Getting enough of it is critical for healthy bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance to certain diseases.
Improve bone health
Although bone-weakening osteoporosis is common among older people, it’s not an inevitable part of aging. There's a lot you can do to protect your bones from this disease. Vitamin D plays an important role in the health of your bones. That’s because it increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from your diet, two nutrients vital to bone health.
Encourage heart health
Diet and activity are linked to both the risk of heart disease and also vitamin D deficiency. A growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, advanced heart failure, strokes and the conditions associated with heart diseases, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers are now discovering that vitamin D may help improve the symptoms of depression. Research also suggests that vitamin D deficiency might contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons.
Fight the common cold
Vitamin D may help reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia by boosting your immune system. Recommended vitamin D levels are typically 2,000 IU a day but check with your physician first.
It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of the U.S. population is not getting adequate Vitamin D, and deficiency in this vitamin has now been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and more.
Have questions about vitamins? Learn more about how nutrition and food choices affect your health by scheduling a visit with a physician at Community Health Network.