Vitamin D ~ The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is called the Sunshine Vitamin because it’s produced in your skin when your naked skin (no sunscreen) is exposed to sunlight. It is a fat soluble vitamin and includes D1, D2, & D3. It can affect as many as 2000 genes in your body. There are many benefits to taking Vitamin D; regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, and it strengthens your immune system which helps fight disease. Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces stress and tension, relieves body aches and pains by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps decrease inflammation, aids in insulin secretion, supports cognitive function, helps fight depression, improves overall skin health by reducing wrinkles, makes skin soft, strong, and smooth, helps prevent chronic fatigue and improves cardiovascular strength by providing a protective lining for the blood vessels. It also helps prevent the following types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, ovarian, prostate and rectal. If you don’t get enough Vitamin D you are at risk for developing bone abnormalities including osteoporosis. It is also considered to be effective against the flu bug. Think about it, most flu outbreaks are during the winter months when exposure to natural Vitamin D (Sunshine) is low. Your need for Vitamin D increases as you get older.
All you need is a little as 10 minutes a day of sunshine for fair skinned but being outside is not always ideal especially during the chilly winter months. In addition, other factors such as sunscreen, pollution, spending lots of time indoors, the altitude you’re at, your age, stress and working long hours can inhibit the absorption of Vitamin D.
Food alone can NOT give you the amount of Vitamin D needed. The benefits of vitamin D can be obtained by increasing exposure to sunlight, taking a good quality supplement and adding vitamin D rich foods into your diet including fish, sardines, salmon, shrimp, caviar, oysters, cod liver oil, beef liver, milk, egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms, goat cheese & grass-fed cow’s milk. Fresh oranges and vegetables such as spinach are also good sources of vitamin D. The guidelines for the recommended amount of Vitamin D varies, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor & be tested for your particular needs.