Most of us can go much of our existence and not think about Vitamin D, but it’s a micronutrient we need daily for good health. We may have heard that our sugary kiddie cereals or our school lunch cartons of milk had it -but that’s about it. It's a vitamin reminiscent of childhood meals, but what value does it have now? The answer? More than we may think. It's still an essential vitamin in the adult years. This article will offer a few insights that may make you revisit this old friend.
It's not new to many that Vitamin D is associated with growing bones and teeth in children. This vitamin improves the utilization of calcium to prevent diseases such as rickets, a disease that causes weakening of the bone. These days research suggests that it is also a strong ally in the fight against osteoporosis and osteomalacia, a similar to rickets but in adults, and many other ailments.
Immune system health
As the seasons change and more people find themselves indoors, the likelihood of cold and flu increases. Vitamin C is often associated with immune health but Vitamin D can help, too. Therapeutic doses of Vitamin D have been proven to strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of respiratory tract infections like the flu.
Many studies suggest that increasing Vitamin D can prevent colon and breast cancer. The researchers state that what makes vitamin D effective is that it can actually be used to control the replication of some human cancer cells. However, as people age, cancer risks increase as many experience a decline in the vitamin often due to a change in diet.
Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with depression symptoms, especially those associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Depression symptoms may include feelings of irritability, feeling tearful for no reason, or fatigue may be symptoms that can be elevated by increased time outdoors or altering our diet.
Increasing this vitamin may reduce the intensity of some of these symptoms.
A challenge with Vitamin D is that many tend to consume less with age. However, there are more and more discoveries of foods with naturally occurring vitamin D. Tuna, salmon, beef liver, mushrooms, and egg yolks are natural sources. There are fortified items such as milk, and other breakfast items such as orange juice, and yogurt which offer a few more choices for the menu. For those more resistant to dietary changes can get the vitamin from the sun. There are also supplements, where D3 is optimal over D2.
So, the reasons to maintain optimal Vitamin D levels are quite significant. It has prevention and restorative functions that may be worth a second look.
Erica is a psychotherapist and humanitarian aid coordinator who has a background in health psychology, global health, and addictions. She has over 16 years of counseling, teaching, and coaching experience. Erica has several masters degrees, is a licensed counselor, and has an addiction certification. She has worked with all ages in the US and abroad. Follow Erica on Twitter. Se habla español.
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