Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin since is produced in response to sunlight in your skin, this fat-soluble vitamin is part of a family of vitamin that includes D-3, D-2 and D-1. Vitamin D is not only produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but adequate levels can also be obtained via foods such as sardines, salmon, tuna, shrimp, mushrooms, milk, egg yolks, and oysters.
Vitamin D is extremely important when it comes to individual’s well-being and is most vital in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium as well as facilitation a normal healthy immune system. Sufficient amounts of vitamin D plays a major role in the development of strong teeth and bones as is vital in promoting normal growth and improving resistance against several diseases.
Benefits of Making Vitamin D Your Friend
Vitamin D reduces depression, fights disease and boosts weight loss. On the other side, a deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to weight gaining, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, depression, and colon cancer. A scientist-led group called the Vitamin D Council that promotes the awareness of vitamin D deficiency suggest that the sunshine vitamin is helpful in the treatment of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, preventing autism, chronic pain, and autoimmune disease.
Symptoms and Signs Indicating a Deficiency in Vitamin D
The symptoms associated with a deficiency of vitamin D include impaired healing of wounds, muscle pain, hair loss, depressed moods, getting infected or sick often as well as fatigue. A long period of vitamin D deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis, depression, obesity, hypertension, some neurodegenerating diseases including Alzheimer’s, or fibromyalgia.
Increasing Vitamin D Levels in Winter
There is nothing that beats a balanced and healthy diet when it comes to nutrients, supplements can assist especially in winter when additional vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 are needed. Vitamin D3 is to replace the lesser exposure to sunlight during the cold months. When it comes to vitamin D rich food, eggs are a fun way to ensure your diet includes a sufficient amount of vitamin D, and it is important to consume both the white and yolk. Oily fish, dairy products such as cheese and milk, meat such as kidney and livers are rich in vitamin D.
Getting Your Vitamin D Dosage from Sunlight
According to the BDA, Association of UK Dietitians Food Fact Sheet, sunshine is where the most vitamin D comes from. The fact sheet also reveals that the amount of vitamin D obtainable from the sun differs depending on the sun’s strength. Individuals gain more during mid-day when the sun is at its brightest and strongest.
On cloudy days, or those days in the shade, you get less vitamin D than from direct sunlight as the ultraviolet rays from the sun is what enables your body to produce vitamin D. During winter the BDA suggests taking vitamin D supplements that contain l10 micrograms of the vitamin to meet the recommended levels, any supplement with a higher content of the sunshine vitamin could be harmful after long period use since it offers unnecessary higher levels than what is needed.