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5 Surprising Reasons You Need Vitamin D
Author : Carolyn Eagle, Senior Editor, Health Media Today Category : Health and Wellness
Vitamin D is so important to the human body that we actually produce it ourselves as our skin’s response to sunlight. Now that we are mid-winter, with all the dreary days that come with it, you may not be getting enough of this critical sunshine vitamin, so don’t wait for the sun to reappear. Here are 7 reasons why you may want to consider vitamin D supplements not just in winter, but year round:
It’s not that easy to get enough D through diet alone.
Vitamin D is found in fatty fishes like salmon and sardines, or in shrimp and egg yolk. Manufacturers are now commonly fortifying some products like milk, cereal, yogurt, and orange juice but your main source is still through your skin’s exposure to mid-day sunlight.
Lack of sunlight isn’t the only thing that depletes our Vitamin D levels
We tend to think of the short days and lack of sunlight in winter as being the biggest culprit in reducing our Vitamin D intake but lifestyle all year round can play a huge part. Pollution that blocks the sun’s rays, use of sunscreen, and spending too much time indoors play a big part. Working long hours in offices or working and living in areas where big buildings block the sunlight also hinder your exposure to Vitamin D you could be absorbing through the sun’s rays.
D helps your body absorb the big C – Calcium
We all know calcium’s importance in the maintenance of healthy bones but it is Vitamin D that plays a crucial role in our intestines’ ability to absorb and reclaim calcium that our bodies would otherwise excrete. In children Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, which is a softening of the bones. In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia or osteoporosis which is the most common bone disease for post-menopausal women and older men.
It helps your muscles too
If you suffer from chronic pain or are filled with aches and pains in the winter, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. It plays a part in normal muscle contraction and relaxation, which may be a reason why a deficiency seems to lead to physical fatigue. It can also help in your recovery from exercise and daily activities. Osteomalacia, which is also caused by calcium and Vitamin D deficiency, causes not only bone density loss but also muscular weakness.
Vitamin D may help boost your mood
Vitamin D helps to activate the genes that release serotonin, which boosts your mood. Scientists are also starting to find links between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. Some studies have shown that the lower the Vitamin D levels in an individual, the higher the chance of depression. It is not yet known whether Vitamin D deficiency causes depression or depression causes Vitamin D deficiency but finding this link is a promising step forward.