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Vitamin D: Your Daily Sunshine

September 18, 2018

 Sunshine everyday may keep the doctor away. Vitamin D, A.K.A the Sunshine vitamin, is a literally a vitamin you get from sunlight.  It is one of the most essential vitamins that humans need, and yet it is not recognized enough in health circles. While many of the benefits of Vitamin have been known in the scientific community for a longtime, new and emerging benefits are beginning to surface. It is important for patients and health enthusiasts to know the benefits of Vitamin D and if they are at risk for not getting enough Vitamin D.  This article will discuss the health benefits of Vitamin D, who may not be getting enough Vitamin D, and how to increase your Vitamin D levels.

            Like many vitamins, Vitamin D has array of health benefits and is essential at the cellular level for proper function and growth. Without Vitamin D, your body cannot absorb Calcium. Principally, Vitamin D is essential to calcium absorption, regulation, therefore, bone health in children and adults. Lack of Vitamin D can cause many bone disorders in patients.  Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rickets (children) and osteoporosis (adults). These diseases result in lower bone density and weaker bones that nearly cripple patients. In many cases cause softer looking muscles. Like most diseases, a disease once its manifests can increase the risk for other diseases and alter a patient's lifestyle. Patients with osteoporosis are more likely to be obese and have sedentary lifestyles than patients without osteoporosis. Most recently, high Vitamin D levels have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes in patients, and/or shown to further reduce symptoms associated with heart disease and diabetes. These diseases have also been connected to cancer and other immune diseases in patients.

Those that are rarely outside are not getting much sunlight may be at risk for not getting enough Vitamin D. Additionally, food remains a good source of Vitamin D to complement your sunlight exposure. High protein foods such as fish, eggs, and cheese remain good sources of Vitamin D. As you age, and your bones become more brittle, you need more and more Vitamin D.   Moreover, women require more Vitamin D than men to support bone health.

            People that are obese are surprisingly at a higher risk for developing Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and the more fat someone has, the more Vitamin D is sequestered from their diet. Moreover, high plant and low protein diets are typically low in Vitamin D and other essential vitamins. And people with low Vitamin D have softer muscle and worsening bone health, creating a perpetual cycle that can further lower Vitamin D. Losing weight and eating a diet high in protein would help build strong bones by increased Vitamin D consumption and absorption. However, because Vitamin D is fat soluble, there is a general risk for over consumption. Vitamin D once produced or consumed, remains stored in the body for long periods of time. 


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