I have noticed a lot of talk about vitamin D recently. It’s like all of the sudden this is the vitamin getting all of the attention! So I asked myself, what’s so great about vitamin D anyway? I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, I was wondering the same thing!” So, I did some research, and here are five things you should know about vitamin D:
1. Vitamin D controls normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, it is needed for bone growth, and it promotes the normal mineralization of bone.
2. Deficiencies in vitamin D can cause Rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults, and low levels can result in weak bones, bone pain and muscle weakness.
3. Vitamin D helps protect our bodies from developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
4. Muscles need vitamin D to move, the immune system needs it to fight off bacteria, and nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and the body.
5. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods (found in some fish, eggs and milk). However, vitamin D is produced endogenously when our skin is exposed to ultra-violet rays from the sun.
So, how can we get more vitamin D you ask? The good news is we can get a wonderful dose of vitamin D from just ten minutes of exposure to sunlight a day, or fifteen minutes of exposure three to four times a week. Simply enjoy a little time outside in the fresh air and sunshine! There are also many vitamin D supplements readily available. If getting a little sunshine is not going to work for you, consult with your physician to get a recommendation for the right supplement and dosage for you. Either way, let’s take care of ourselves and get some of that vitamin D today!