Have you heard about vitamin D? The so-called sunshine vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in numerous body functions. It affects more than 2000 genes in the body, and assists in the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is important for our bones and immune system and can fight a variety of diseases and conditions.
Here are some of the vitamin’s main health benefits:
Fights various ailments
According to a 2006 study, vitamin D can lower the risk of heart disease, multiple sclerosis and infections such as the flu and colds. It will strengthen your immune system and help the body fight these ailments.
Scientific studies have been able to conclude that vitamin D can regulate your mood and prevent depression. People who take vitamin D supplements experience a significant improvement in their condition, and those who lack the vitamin in their bodies have been associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depression.
Promotes weight loss
According to one study, proper vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problem and has an appetite-suppressing effect, which will almost certainly result in weight loss.
Vitamin D deficiency
Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency without even being aware of it. Lack of vitamin D can cause muscle cramps, nausea, bladder problems, fatigue, sleeping problems, headaches, loss of focus and joint pain. The muscle and bone loss and pain occur as the vitamin is required by our skeletomuscular system in order to function properly.
Vitamin D and sunlight exposure
Our bodies can synthesize vitamin D best when we’re exposed to the sun. However, as we wear sunscreen, the lotion can block the absorption of the nutrient in our body. Plus, we often take a shower immediately after getting back home from the beach, which removes the oil that has already started the absorption process. This are the two main problems with vitamin D absorption which leaves most of the population lacking the nutrient.
Furthermore, the lack of sunlight in some countries is another problem. If you’re living in a region with not much sunlight during the year, we recommend including some vitamin D-rich foods in your diet.
How much of the vitamin we need?
In general, experts consider 8000-10000 IU of vitamin D as optimal. Our ability to absorb vitamin D properly also depends on our skin color. Light-skinned people need 10-45 minutes of sun exposure, while dark-skinned people need more than 2 hours. Additionally, we strongly recommend consuming foods rich in the vitamin such as cheese, beef liver, egg yolks, salmon, mackerel and tuna as well as fortified cereal and fresh orange juice.