Vitamin D, Your Daily Dose of Sunshine
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins you can get directly from nature. It helps you to absorb calcium properly and to promote bone growth.
It’s a standard practice that newborns should be exposed to early morning sun every single day. This is so the vitamin D production in their bodies is stimulated. This is important for proper growth and healthy bones. Young children are also encouraged to go out and play in the morning and get their daily dose of sunshine.
Vitamin D to Combat Melancholy
Some studies show that vitamin D travels to your brain, specifically to the receptors linked to the area of depression. This part explains the effect we get from the sun, which boosts our mood. This makes us more active on sunny days than rainy days.
There is a direct link between the amount of this vitamin in one’s body and one’s mood.
Vitamin D alleviates depression as it boosts the level of monoamines in your body. These monoamines are mostly present in antidepressants.
Although there is no full explanation why this vitamin has such an effect on the brain, some researchers conclude that sun energizes beta-endorphins, making you happier and more energized.
Vitamin D Benefits
The Calcium Sidekick
Aside from being the vitamin of happiness, vitamin D plays a vital role in the body’s calcium absorption. Primarily, its role is to keep your bones, teeth, and nails strong and healthy. It also works on regulating the amount of calcium in your body. When there’s enough of it, vitamin D ensures that the calcium is properly assimilated by the body.
The Knight that Shields Our Body
This vitamin protects your body against diseases, making sure that all cells are functioning well. It nourishes all the cells in your body, enhancing your immune system too.
Because of vitamin D, there is a lesser risk of cancer. Other than cancer, this vitamin also protects you against diseases, such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people who spend most of their time indoors say that they have a low risk of being vitamin D deficient because they take it as part of their diets. That means consuming food that contains this vitamin.
But what you should know is that vitamin D is not an ordinary vitamin. In a research done by Dr. Michael Holick, he mentioned that this vitamin is a steroid hormone, which one should naturally obtain through sun exposure.
D deficiency can affect adults of all ages, especially those who are fond of applying sunscreen lotions. About 95 percent of US senior citizens are actually D deficient because they don’t spend so much time outdoors.
The best way to know you are D deficient or not is to see a doctor and have a blood test. Also, watch out for these symptoms.
So you’ve been feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the whole world on your shoulders for days. You want to break down and cry, and you don’t even know the reason behind this sadness.
Lesser exposure to the sun poses a higher risk of D deficiency.
Remember that there is a direct connection between the sun and your mood. Now, think about how much sun you got this week. Have you been out lately? If not, then maybe your body is crying for some sunlight.
- Darker Skin
People with darker skin have increased pigmentation. This pigmentation actually acts as a natural sunscreen. This means that people with darker skin must spend more time under the sun to get enough of the vitamin D needed by their bodies.
- Getting Older
Older people are more prone to being D deficient because they are less likely to go outdoors. Apart from that, their kidneys don’t work as they did before. The kidneys are responsible for the conversion of vitamin D into what your body needs.
If you just celebrated your fiftieth birthday, it would be best to have regular monitoring of your vitamin D level.
- Muscle Pains
If your muscles weaken and you feel unexplained pains in your body, this is because your muscles are not contracting as smoothly they did before. Your muscles are where vitamin D enters to be metabolized. This vitamin is the one responsible for enhancing muscle contraction.
Without it, your body is unable to go through its usual exercises.
- Head Sweating
Head sweating is one of the most visible signs of D deficiency. For adults, excessive sweating is not a good sign, especially if one is in a room with moderate temperature and not physically exerting themselves.
Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency?
People should always watch their vitamin D levels because D deficiency is not a joke. There are a lot of alarming complications caused by it.
- Heart Attack
Vitamin D is vital for the prevention of hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases, which can often have a fatal outcome.
- Prostate Cancer
One of the most common cancers in men and the second most common cause of death in America is prostate cancer.
A study published in the Clinical Cancer Research concluded that biopsies show that D deficiency is greatly associated with prostate cancer. This type of cancer is said to be most common in African American men.
- Weaker Bones
Knowing that vitamin D is one of the calcium sidekicks, its deficiency will weaken your bones.
Your bones may become thin and brittle, which will soon result to osteoporosis. The bones of babies soften, which result in a condition called rickets.
Furthermore, because of D deficiency, you are at risk to more bone fractures.
Forgetfulness, disturbed thinking, and behavior. Experts remain unsure about the connection between this vitamin and dementia. Supposedly, vitamin D may help in clearing plaques in one’s brain, thus enhancing its function.
Studies say that people with D deficiency are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Get Vitamin D?
Get out. Soak up the sun. It’s the best source of vitamin D that you can get for free.
Don’t worry about not having sunscreen to protect you. Getting this vitamin does not require you to stay under the sun’s heat for more than an hour.
Eat smart. There are a lot of foods that naturally contain this nutrient. It’s about time for you to know all these and make them part of your daily diet.
Some examples are hard-boiled eggs, tofu, sardines, salmon, and tuna.
Ultraviolet Lamps. Ultraviolet lamps and bulbs also help. Make sure to use old-fashioned low-pressure UV sunbeds though.