Do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin D? Well, even if you think you are, it’s always best to make sure you’re getting enough of this super important vitamin because it can possibly be the cause of some common (and not so common) health issues. The Winter months are harsh and it seems as though most of us aren’t getting enough from nutrition alone – seeing how sunlight is almost non-existant at this time of year.
“The two main ways to get vitamin D are by exposing your bare skin to sunlight and by taking vitamin D supplements. You can’t get the right amount of vitamin D your body needs from food.”says the Vitamin D Council. ”Vitamin D3 is the best kind of supplement to take. It comes in a number of different forms, such as tablets and capsules, but it doesn’t matter what form you take, or what time of the day you take it.”
For us Canadians, this pretty much means that we should all be supplementing. Unless you’re exposing your bare skin while skiing down the hill at -30, you’re probably not getting the amount that your body needs. Make sure you eat well, get outside and try taking a regular vitamin D3 supplement (we like this one by SISU) at the recommended doses or talk to your doctor if you’re unsure. Here are a few benefits of getting enough vitamin D:
Promotes bone health:
We all know that bone health is promoted by calcium, but did you know that calcium relies on vitamin D in order to properly be absorbed in the body? This means that if you’re deficient in vitamin D, you’re most probably also deficient in calcium. They work hand in hand.
“Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.” says the NIH.
Balances immune support:
This alone is a reason to get extra sunlight!
For Amy Myers, MD, Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that she highly recommends to her patients as being in the top 4 supplements to take.
“Vitamin D works as a kind of light switch in your body, turning on or off genes and processes that your body needs to maintain health. Active Vitamin D is sent to many different areas of your body, including your bones, intestines, colon, brain, and immune cells, which all have Vitamin D receptors. The active Vitamin D binds with these receptors and promotes Vitamin D responsive genes, essentially turning them on.”
Bet you didn’t know how important it was!
Reduces your risk of cancer:
According to the Canadian Cancer Society “There is also evidence that vitamin D may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, particularly colorectal and breast cancers.” And seeing how breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in Canadian women, we should put all the chances on our side.
Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease:
According to Dr. Erin D. Michos “A growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”
So it’s safe to say that there are chances that vitamin D helps your cardiovascular health.
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