sunbathVitamin D is absolutely essential for good health. The human body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and encourage bone growth to promote a healthy mind and body. Your skin can actually produce its own source of vitamin D by absorbing sunlight. But, because of a majority of time spent indoors along with the extensive use of sunscreen, most people are unable to make enough on their own. Soft, fragile bones are often a result of vitamin D deficiency. Also, it is necessary for other key body functions as well.

Why Is Vitamin D Important For The Body

  • Strengthens the immune system,
  • Builds strong bones by improving calcium absorption,
  • Enables muscle strength, and
  • Helps regulate phosphorous and calcium mineral concentrations in the body

Vitamin D Helps Reduce Illnesses and Lifestyle Diseases
Vitamin D is considered as a prohormone that works to activate hundreds of genes in order to promote overall good health and it also brings down your risk of developing chronic diseases like depression and fatigue.

It plays a key role in enhancing the internal environment of the body to prevent various illnesses and is also used in a therapeutic manner to support the healing of literally hundreds of diseases, some of which may include:

  • Cancer
  • Endocrine diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Skin disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Blood diseases
  • Neurological disorders
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Autoimmune disorders

Fights Depression And Fatigue
There are a number of things that may cause depression. Vitamin D influences the parts of your brain that are linked to clinical depression and overall mental health.

  • Studies illustrate there’s a strong link between symptoms of depression and chronic fatigue and lower levels of vitamin D. However, it’s still not quite clear whether low levels of vitamin D develop due to depression, or if they actually cause depression.

Essential For Stronger Bones and Teeth
Vitamin D helps your body absorb enough calcium, which is crucial for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Studies show that because vitamin D acts like a hormone; it plays a significant role in adequately regulating blood pressure, mood, and weight.

Sources of Vitamin D
Ideally, vitamin D needs to come from a variety of sources, such as sunlight, diet, and supplements (if necessary).

Sunlight – Since the body is unable to produce vitamin D on its own, it needs ultraviolet B found in sunlight.

  • For most individuals, spending just 10 – 30 minutes out in the sun, two or three times a week is adequate for their body to start synthesizing healthy vitamin D levels.
  • However, for those individuals who never get outside, have darker skin, live a great distance from the equator, or bathe themselves in sunscreen whenever they venture outdoors, they may not produce enough vitamin D on their own.

Fortified Foods – Even though the majority of vitamin D comes from sunlight, there’s evidence that;

  • A great deal can also come from fatty fish, including tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring.
  • Eggs are also known for containing a good amount of vitamin D as well as other dairy products, fortified cereals, and several kinds of juices.

Supplements – Researchers have found that;

  • Adults who regularly took vitamin D pills in order to prevent osteoporosis did not actually benefit in terms of bone support.
  • On the other hand, people who reside in northern regions, are over the age of 50, have darker skin, are overweight, and are vegan, may benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement. The reason is that people in this category may have a deficiency of vitamin D.

Talk to your doctor about this and he or she may ask for a simple blood test to see if your vitamin D levels are low and suggest measures to recoup that. After all, a little proactiveness on the health front can save you from a range of health problems that have become a part of today’s modern lifestyle.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michele Holincheck, FNP