The Benefits of Vitamin D
Updated: Nov 11
Its springtime and the sun is shining! As you are out catching some much needed rays after winter, keep in mind you are also reaping the benefits of absorbing some wonderful Vitamin D. Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ vitamin D has many important functions. It is essential for normal growth and bone development (including our teeth) through promoting the absorption of calcium, strengthening our neuromuscular (muscles need vitamin D to move) and immune (fighting off bacteria and viruses) functions, preventing disease and research indicates that it may also help in lowering blood pressure and be an important piece of the puzzle in combating depression and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and if our body is lacking vitamin D, it can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis (thin/brittle/fragile bones) and rickets or osteomalacia (bone softening). Vitamin D is acquired through exposure to sunlight, certain food sources and vitamin supplements.
The amount of exposure to direct sunlight that you require depends on where you live in the world, the season (you need more sun in winter compared to summer) and the time of day you are in the sun. It can be hard to get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sunshine alone due to factors such as working long hours in an office, being indoors all day or from the application of sunscreen and use of protective clothing (although both essential) may ultimately lead to a decrease your absorption of the ‘sunshine vitamin.’ Great food sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, swordfish, sardines, eggs and foods that have been fortified with vitamin D including yogurt, milk, orange juice and some cereals. It can be challenging to get adequate amounts of vitamin D daily from sun and food sources alone, so taking vitamin D supplements may be beneficial.
Although the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for healthy functioning is somewhat controversial, the importance of vitamin D in our daily life is not. Excess vitamin D consumption can be harmful and may include symptoms like nausea, vomiting, weakness, confusion, disorientation and damage to the kidneys. Excess sun exposure alone doesn’t cause these harmful symptoms as the body limits the amount of vitamin D it produces. It is best to check with your qualified healthcare practitioner before commencing any supplementation program.
Have a Fantastic Day!!