Vitamin D also known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” plays an important role in our body’s health!
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce vitamin when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase, studies suggest this is related to increasing awareness to sunlight dangers and use of sunscreen.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Vitamin D is one of the fat soluble vitamins. Meaning it is absorbed and stored in fat of the body. Vitamin D helps increase Calcium absorption in the intestines and helps maintain levels for proper bone mineralization (the body putting calcium & phosphorus into the bones) for bone growth. Sufficient levels of Vitamin D prevent a disease called Rickets. Rickets is a disease of thin, brittle bones in children, osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis in adults
Vitamin D has many other just as important functions such as:
- Keeping cell proliferation/growth in “check” – cell proliferation is responsible for wound healing and growth. If cells grow uncontrollably, this may lead to cancer.
- Helps with your immune system.
- Helps regulate your blood pressure.
- Help with diabetes.
Research is showing Vitamin D has an important role in:
- Cognitive health- studies have shown in study participants over 60 with dementia, who take a vitamin d supplement have an improve cognitive function.
- Multiple Sclerosis – research has shown a reduced risk for multiple sclerosis with a vitamin d supplement.
- Psoriasis – studies have shown with a vitamin d supplement cream (called calcipotriene)
Vitamin D isn’t found in many foods, but you can get it from fortified milk, fortified cereal, fortified juices, yogurt and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
If food choices aren’t up your alley, some calcium supplements do come with vitamin d contained within them or you can utilize a vitamin d supplement.
Some of the body’s needs can be met from sun exposure, this does vary by season, time of day, skin color, pollution in the area.
Since Vitamin D is a Fat Soluble vitamin, it is possible to get too much vitamin d. It is noted research has shown, it is very unlikely to get too much sunshine self manufactured vitamin d.
Vitamin D toxicity can cause non-specific symptoms such as nausea & vomiting, constipation, weakness, weight loss, frequent urination (polyuria), and heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart beats). It can also raise blood levels of calcium which leads to vascular and tissue calcification (calcium depositing in the blood vessels and tissues), which can lead to damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys.
*********Vitamin D can interact with certain medications, if you feel the need to take a vitamin d supplement, please discuss this with your physician or practitioner.******
**********THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE INFORMATIONAL AND NOT TO BE DEEMED AS MEDICAL ADVICE***********