Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” and is the only vitamin we can produce by exposure to the sun. New research has shown this essential vitamin is good for a host of different health benefits from your bones to your brain. When you know the facts about Vitamin D, it will help you understand why your body needs it, and just how much of this vitamin is needed for optimal health.
Vitamin D is essential for musculoskeletal health. It helps bones by increasing calcium in the blood stream and increases your body’s ability to absorb calcium in the body. In order to strengthen bones with vitamin D, it is important to couple this with the right amount of calcium.
People with low levels of vitamin D are at a greater risk of developing high blood sugar levels and diabetes. New research has shown that bringing levels of this vitamin back to normal can help reduce some of this risk.
Our first line of defence against most infections is our white blood cells. Vitamin D is helpful in the maturation of white blood cells and will help to ward off infection when we have the right amounts in our system. There is a relatively stable link between low levels of vitamin D and increased issues with respiratory health.
Increased research on vitamin D has shown that it is excellent for cardiovascular health. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to an increase of heart disease. Although studies have been conducted and research is still underway, there has been no real conclusive evidence to this connection.
While vitamin D is essential, it is not readily available in most foods. The foods that contain this vitamin is actually quite short. Sardines, salmon, and tuna all hold ample amounts of vitamin D, but if you don’t want to eat fish every day or happen to be a vegetarian, adding a vitamin D supplement is probably in your best interest. There are many processed foods that are fortified with vitamin D such as cow’s milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals, but if you are trying to maintain a diet based on natural health, these foods are not suggested to be the way you receive your intake of vitamin D.
The daily recommended value (DRV) of vitamin D was updated in 2010. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended dietary allowances (DRA) are as follows:
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