What Does Vitamin D Do For You? by Gerald Fitz
What is vitamin D? It is fat-soluble (it is stored in fatty tissues and stays in your body longer) vitamin that we need to keep normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in our blood. The main thing we know about vitamin D is that it helps to keep our bones strong. A recent study showed that getting enough vitamin D may prevent diabetes. Further studies have shown that most Americans don’t get enough vitamin D.
How can we make sure we get enough vitamin D? The sun is a good source of vitamin D. When you are out in the sun, your body naturally produces vitamin D. While you are out in the sun, make sure you use a good sunscreen to prevent burns. Get as much exposure to the sun as you possibly can. Why? Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun. If you have limited exposure with the sun, whether it is because you work indoors or live somewhere that does not get a lot of sun, you should make sure to eat foods that are good sources of vitamin D. It is also in many of our foods. Some of our foods milk, yogurt, breakfast cereal, and breads are fortified with vitamin D. It also occurs naturally in salmon, tuna, and eggs. It is recommended that you should get at least 1,000 IUs of vitamin D daily in addition to getting exposure to the sun. Your body will not over produce vitamin D.
If you don’t get enough vitamin D due to limited sun exposure or not eating enough foods with vitamin D in them, you can take a multivitamin. Multivitamins are a good way of getting enough vitamins and minerals that we may be lacking in our diets. What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin D in your diet? There are three common bone softening disease that can happen because of not getting enough vitamin D: Rickets, Osteomalacia, and Osteoporosis. Rickets is a disease mostly seen in children. It causes the bones in the body to not grow and become deformed. Osteomalacia is a disorder that occurs in adults. It is caused by muscle weakness and fragile bones. Osteoporosis is when the bones become less dense and more fragile. However, recent studies are showing that vitamin D can also protect us from high blood pressure, cancer, chronic pain, and depression.
Studies are showing that men may not be getting the amounts of vitamin D like they did in the past. Men who have low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have a heart attack. Women who can become pregnant or are pregnant should make sure they are getting enough vitamin D. Women who take a multivitamin with proper amounts of vitamin D in it are more likely to have children with stronger bones. Vitamin D helps improve the outcomes of pregnancy. Women who get proper amounts of vitamin D while pregnant decrease the risk of health problems later on in life for the child.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin, so important that our body naturally produces it when we are in the sun. Make sure you are getting proper amounts of vitamin D each day by taking a good multivitamin supplement.
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