Get the Facts on Vitamin-D
ust fifteen minutes in the sun can give you a daily dose of vitamin-D. But what’s so special about it? Medical researchers have found that vitamin-D protects against heart disease, M.S., stroke, diabetes, depression and more. This essential nutrient can even help you shed a few pounds. Besides sunlight exposure, there are supplements and a few foods that contain vitamin-D. But will you benefit from adding these to your daily routine? Get the facts on vitamin-D and see if you are at risk for becoming vitamin-D deficient. Whether you are an infant, elderly or something in between, vitamin-D is critical for bone health. This nutrient allows the bones to absorb calcium. In the 1930’s scientists added this bone building vitamin to milk to help people avoid getting rickets, bowed legs and more. For M.S. scientists have long noticed that those who get the autoimmune disorder are more than likely to grow up away from the equator. Though it may help prevent it there is no way scientists can use the vitamin to help treat M.S. patients today, at least not with the techniques that are available currently. Research has shown a link between type-2 diabetes and a low vitamin-D level. There is no proof that the supplement can help prevent diabetes. Scientists believe the link between this form of diabetes and a vitamin-D deficiency is obesity.
The obese often have low vitamin-D levels studies have shown. The fat in the body traps this key nutrient. But scientists still don’t know which comes first, the fat or the vitamin deficiency and what role one plays on the other. One small study does seem to suggest that adding more vitamin-D to a calorie restricted diet could help dieters lose weight. Vitamin-D is essential for brain function. What’s more, a lack of it may cause depression. One study showed taking vitamin-D could decrease one’s depression-related symptoms. Other studies however haven’t shown a clear link. Sun exposure is a good way to get vitamin-D. For fair skinned people, 5-10 minutes of bright sunlight a day three times per week is sufficient. For most other skin types, 15 minutes a day is recommended. Low light in winter, cloudy days and sunblock which is important can impede this process. Better to get vitamin-D through your diet or perhaps supplements. Egg yolks, oily fish like salmon and sardines, beef liver, sunflower seeds and peanuts have natural vitamin-D. Milk, soy milk, bread and cereals are fortified with it. Cheese and ice cream don’t often have vitamin-D. Check your labels and start your day with a diet including vitamin-D. Perhaps some cereal with milk? Certain yogurts contain vitamin-D. Yogurt and fruit is good. Or how about some eggs? Talk to your doctor to see if you are vitamin D deficient and if you should take a supplement. Most experts agree that normally, it’s best to get nutrients from your diet.