So here’s the scoop. Your body makes Vitamin D3 from the sun. Simple enough right? Well, guess what it turns out that vitamin D is actually a superstar -to your body that is.. Here`s what you need to know about this vitally important nutrient, including how to make certain you`re getting enough vitamin D to protect your health.
According to conventional wisdom, we should be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. But vitamin D is shaping up as an exception to that rule. Although it was discovered nearly 100 years ago, vitamin D was long believed to have only one important role, maintaining healthy bones. As a result, it was added to milk in the 1930s, as a way to combat the high incidence of rickets in children and then pretty much forgotten.
How things change! During the past decade, a steady stream of news from researchers all over the world is proving that vitamin D helps protect us against such serious health concerns as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, several types of cancer (including breast, colon and prostate), diabetes, emotional difficulties, such as depression and bipolar disorder, muscle function and gum health.
And there`s more! Just consider this small sampling of good news from the vitamin D front:
*Vitamin D supports better brain function in older individuals, according to the findings of a recent clinical trial. Researchers at Tufts University found the best cognitive test scores among subjects with high blood levels of the nutrient. Those with high levels of vitamin D were better at “executive functions,” such as organizing, planning and abstract thinking.
*Vitamin D`s role in how well our muscles operate was underscored by a new study showing that low levels of the nutrient during pregnancy makes a woman four times more likely to have a C-section. The same researchers were also struck by separate findings showing that fully three-fourths of the women in the study and their babies had low vitamin D levels, even though they had been taking prenatal vitamins and drinking vitamin D-fortified milk while pregnant. Coincidentally, a new study from Turkey found that infants with low vitamin D levels are more vulnerable to developing respiratory infections.
*And you can add prostate cancer to the list of cancers vitamin D may help protect against. Findings reported in the British Journal of Cancer show that the disease resulted in six times fewer fatalities for men with the most vitamin D in their bodies when compared to men with lower levels.
*There`s more news on the cancer front, too. A recent review of research involving vitamin D, cancer and sunlight (ultraviolet B or UVB) concluded that sun-associated vitamin D was linked to lower levels of colon and breast cancers, as well as kidney and ovarian cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
What`s the sunlight connection? Our bodies can produce vitamin D on their own when exposed to sunlight. Sounds simple, right? Even though making that happen only takes about 20 minutes of dailysun exposure (and please work up to that amount gradually, to avoid burning), there are actually a few factors that may interfere. Be sure you aren’t wearing sunscreen though – it interfere with the process.
Second, the sunlight-vitamin D conversion process is not nearly as effective for people of color. Third, age plays a role; individuals over age 50 are not efficient converters, so even with proper sun exposure, they`re likely to be deficient in the nutrient. Finally, there`s geography. Sunlight during winter months is not intense enough in areas north of Los Angeles, so no amount of sun exposure will help. But if you live north of Atlanta, after September and before June, you should definitely add Vitamin D3 to your diet! I take 3,000 – 4,000 IU a day and would suggest you consider similar amounts – based on your diet and your daily needs. You can always check with your doc too….although since he may even know about the importance of getting sun- these days he might even be on a beach somewhere too! Race you to the beach! By the way if you also want to keep your bod healthy and “beach ready” start adding SKINNYbits algae tabs to your diet. They are over 60% protein and have just ONE CALORIE per tab and a handful TOTALLY fills you up (way better for you and 99% fewer calories than a handful of nuts). To learn more or to purchase yours, I hope you’ll visit us at www.skinnybits.com.