Vitamin D is the 'sunshine vitamin' because it is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. It can be also acquired from certain foods and supplementation. It is a very important fat-soluble vitamin which affects 2000 genes in the body, and it helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It also has several additional health benefits that we will explore in this article.
We all know that vitamins and minerals are important to stay healthy. This is especially crucial for athletes who are fighting their bodies from breaking down from over training. Vitamin D has several health benefits that are glaring.
- Healthy bones: One of the biggest myths out there is that only calcium is important for bones. The fact is without Vitamin D, you have no way of absorbing calcium in the intestines and reclaim lost calcium from being excreted through the kidneys. The end result is even with all the calcium you can get, you still need Vitamin D or else your bones are in trouble. Children and older adults are vulnerable to this and doctors fail to understand this concept where their patients are getting enough calcium, but no Vitamin D.
- Immune system: Everyone always talks about Vitamin C for the immune system but neglect Vitamin D. In my experience, there isn't a better way of helping and preventing the flu than getting sun exposure, which has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of the flu 40%.
- Cancer: We all know that people who have cancer are usually deficient in many vitamins and minerals, but Vitamin D plays a huge role in regulating cell growth, and for cell to cell communication. This means that it can help slow down cancer growth and help kill cancer cell death.
- Diabetes: Studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels negatively affects insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. One study showed that babies who were given Vitamin D had a 90% less chance of developing type 1 diabetes as an adult.
Due to the modern lifestyle, it is easy to become deficient in all your vitamins, especially Vitamin D. Factors such as pollution, too much sunscreen use, indoor jobs, and having darker skin will make it hard to get enough of it from the sun. People who are deficient will have symptoms like lack of energy, aches, pains, bone weakness, and suffer from too many fractures.
Those living in places in the world that do not get enough sunlight like Canada or Northern Europe, are more likely to be deficient. Blood-work can determine if you are deficient. Luckily with some simple common sense, you can fix the issue.
Where to get Vitamin D
Even if you did not get any sun for 2 months straight, you can make up for that by going outside and getting sun exposure for 5 days; this is another good reason to do more outdoor activities. The body will store Vitamin D in fat and release it when we need it, similar to a solar-powered device with a battery. The hands, arms, legs, and face are the best places to grab sunlight, and it only takes 1/4 of the time to get sunburned to acquire necessary Vitamin D a few times per week. As a result, you don't have to go to the beach and burn yourself to get it.
The next place to get Vitamin D is through food. Once again the American diet fails most people. Egg yolks, beef liver, and fatty fish are the best sources of this vitamin. Many Americans get none of these.
Finally, it is a good idea to supplement with Vitamin D to make sure you are getting enough. This is especially good if you have an indoor lifestyle and/or you live in a location that doesn't get very much sunlight.
In rare situations, Vitamin C can cause calcium levels to rise too much, leading to complications with existing diseases. Otherwise, it is perfectly safe.
Adults should be getting in 1000IU's-2000IU's per day total from sun, foods, and vitamin supplementation. To make sure you are getting enough, a daily supplement that contains Vitamin D is a smart idea.
Where to find
N2joint RX contains 2000IU's of Vitamin D per serving, plus dozens of additional ingredients, it's a very potent joint supplement. I use it daily for my mineral intake.
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