The Sunshine Vitamin - “Vitamin D”

Are you getting outside in the sun for at least a 20 minutes a day? If not, then odds are, you are not getting enough vitamin D in your blood. It is estimated worldwide, 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups.

Why should you be concerned about being vitamin D deficient? Well research conducted over the past few decades suggest that vitamin D plays a much broader disease-fighting role than previously thought.

Disease Prevention

A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health within the body. Research is beginning to suggest that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to other diseases, including breast and colon cancer, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even the seasonal flu.

The evidence however doesn't prove that too little vitamin D causes these conditions, but that people with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to get these diseases. People who are in low-sunlight locations or who stay indoors are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.

There are two forms of vitamin D: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that works with calcium within your body to help build and maintain strong bones. Research suggests that people who take vitamin D supplements may have a significant decrease in the risk of contracting respiratory illnesses and improve the immune system’s ability to fight infections due to bolstering the first line of defence in the body.

Sun Exposure

Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. You should strive to optimise your vitamin D levels via sensible sun exposure of at least 15 to 20 minutes daily.

Vitamin D in Food

Most foods that contain vitamin D only have small amounts, so it’s almost impossible to get what your body needs just from food. Vitamin D can be found mostly in milk and breakfast cereals that have been fortified with vitamin D. While it is difficult to maintain optimal vitamin D levels from food sources, it is found in foods like: sardines, mackerel, herring, egg yolk, beef liver, shiitake mushrooms and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.

Vitamin D Supplements

If you don't get enough sunshine for whatever reason, or are worried about exposing your skin, or find it difficult to get enough foods that naturally contain vitamin D, then taking a daily supplement of vitamin D should be considered to get your daily dosage.

Fortunately, Australia Health Warehouse has a large selection of vitamin D supplements that are ideal to help children and adults with this deficiency"

There is no optimal level of vitamin D that you should strive for in your body as each individual is different, however you should try to optimise your vitamin D levels via sun exposure, health supplements, and food to maintain a healthy blood level of around 40 to 60 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml).



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