Archive for June, 2010
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It is also produced internally when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D production. Technically it’s not just a vitamin – it’s also a hormone.
When a substance functions like a vitamin, it participates in and regulates our metabolism, allowing it to function properly. And that is exactly what vitamin D does: it helps to regulate our bone development, our muscle function, our immune function, our insulin activity, our calcium balance, and our phosphorus balance. And its deficiency has been known to cause at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more. Decreased bone mineral density and Alzheimer’s disease was associated with a low intake of the vitamin and inadequate sunlight exposure.
As it is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a supplement is a practical way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream. Here’s a good link to my other website that has more information on vitamin d sources. Also, this vitamin is best taken with calcium and magnesium for proper balance. They all work together to form, among other things, strong bones. Many people associate calcium with strong bones but calcium alone cannot do the job properly!
It is very rare to have a vitamin D overdose, its toxicity induces high serum calcium levels (hypercalcemia), which could result in bone loss, kidney stones, and calcification of organs like the heart and kidneys if untreated over a long period of time.
With the wonders we can get from vitamin D, it can be safely stated that we need to go out and enjoy outdoors while we gain from its health benefits. Around 20 – 30 minutes under the sun is beneficial enough.
You can find more information on this vitamin at wikipedia!