Vitamin D: What is all the fuss about?
The media has been raving about vitamin D in light of recent events, but what’s all the fuss about?
Vitamin D has a wide range of benefits and is an essential vitamin to keep your body in check and working as well as it possibly can. But what exactly does it do? And, why are so many of us lacking vitamin D?
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning that it is absorbed by fat. It is an essential micronutrient as it is necessary for our body to absorb calcium and maintain good bone health. However, unfortunately for us, vitamin D is not naturally present in many foods.
How do we get vitamin D?
Well, we don’t get much vitamin D from natural foods, then how do we get it? Well, because vitamin D is so important for the regular function of the body, we make it ourselves, with a little help from the sun. When your body is exposed to enough sunlight, it can produce vitamin D, But you can see how this might be a problem if you live in colder and darker climates.
Fortunately there are some natural food sources that can offer vitamin D:
- Egg Yolk
- Oily Fish
Fortified milk and cereals often have added vitamin D too, so it is possible to increase your intake through food sources, as well as with natural sunlight. If you are deficient in vitamin D, a medical professional might also prescribe you with vitamin D supplements to boost your daily intake.
What are the benefits of vitamin D?
The most important reason we need vitamin D is to absorb calcium, without vitamin D, it cannot be absorbed and therefore cannot be used to maintain strong and healthy bones. If your body cannot absorb enough calcium, this can lead to soft bones and increase your chances of osteoporosis. This means you will have more chance of fractures and bone breakage.
On top of this, studies have also shown that vitamin D could help reduce depression. During research, people suffering with depression found that their symptoms were improved after taking a certain dosage of vitamin D supplements.
A deficiency in vitamin D has also been linked to various forms of cancer, weight gain, heart disease and depression. Therefore it is essential that you get enough in-order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So, what’s the verdict? Well vitamin D is not useful, but crucial for strong bones, and maintaining regular and healthy functions in the body. Make sure you’re getting enough of this ‘sunshine vitamin’ through regular exposure to sunlight and eating foods and fortified foods packed with vitamins and minerals.