Benefits of Vitamin D - Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency

Benefits of Vitamin D - Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. It helps with calcium absorption and is essential for building and maintaining strong healthy bones, however research shows that Vitamin D also helps with immunity, brain function, blood sugar regulation, muscle pain, mood, various cancers and many other health conditions.

What’s alarming is that many of us are deficient in this important vitamin. It seems that even if we spend a lot of time outdoors, it doesn’t make us immune to deficiency. 

It is recommended that regular small amounts of sun exposure can be of benefit to help prevent Vitamin D deficiency, however taking a daily supplement guarantees that levels remain adequate when regular sun exposure is not an option. 

So who is most at risk of deficiency?

  • People who work long hours indoors, or children who spend much of their time indoors (e.g. at school)
  • Naturally dark skinned people - dark pigment reduces UV penetration.
  • People who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons.
  • The elderly and people who are housebound or in institutional care.
  • Babies and infants of vitamin D deficient mothers, especially breastfed babies.

3 Excellent reasons to take Vitamin D

  1. Cold and Flu Protection - Is it a coincidence that the vast majority of cold and flu outbreaks occur during the winter when people have less sun exposure and lower levels of vitamin D? Probably not. In 2009 researchers analysed patterns of death and disease complications (typically pneumonia) during the influenza pandemic that raged through the United States in 1918 and 1919, killing at least half a million people. The researchers reported that the fewest flu deaths and complications occurred in southern cities, where the sun shone brighter throughout the year and, presumably, people had higher vitamin D levels. In contrast, the most deaths occurred in northern cities, where there was less sun exposure. 

    Granted, this association doesn’t prove cause and effect, but it’s certainly suggestive, and other evidence does support the protective role of vitamin D. Over the 2008–2009 winter months, doctors gave 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily to Japanese school children. Compared with children getting placebos, those taking vitamin D were 42 percent less likely to contract the flu and 83 percent less likely to suffer asthma attacks.

    The underlying mechanisms are now understood. Numerous immune compounds depend on vitamin D, including PCL-gamma1, a molecule that activates immune cells so they’re capable of fighting infections. In addition, lung cells are among those that secrete 1a-hydroxylase, an enzyme that converts inactive vitamin D to its active form, helping fight respiratory infections. The vitamin D then turns on genes involved in immunity and boosts levels of cathelicidin, a powerful germ-fighting compound.

  2. Stronger Bones and Muscles - Vitamin D has long been recognized as essential for normal bone formation, largely because it is essential for calcium utilization. Numerous studies have shown that the majority of seniors hospitalized for hip fractures are deficient in vitamin D.

    But the problem might not be just weak bones. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, of University Hospital in Zurich, and others have made the case that weak muscles lead to falls and broken bones. The argument has its merits. Vitamin D is needed for normal muscle production and strength, and a lack of the vitamin leads to muscle weakness, a reduced range of motion, and increased physical frailty. With each passing year, seniors are more likely to be affected by sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle, along with osteoporosis. After analysing 20 studies, which included more than 44,000 patients, Bischoff-Ferrari wrote in Osteoporosis International that 1,800 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D could greatly reduce the risk of falls in seniors. In contrast, the IOM recommended only 600 to 800 IU daily.

  3. Lower Risk of Cancer - In 1980 epidemiologists reported that low vitamin D levels were associated with a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. Since then, researchers from around the world have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of breast, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic and aggressive prostate cancer.

    Would vitamin D supplements or greater sun exposure help protect against these cancers? The answer is yes, according to research by Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, of the University of California, San Diego. Garland and his colleagues calculated that the incidence of colon cancer in the United States and Canada could be cut in half if people took 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and that women would reduce the incidence of breast cancer by half if they took 3,500 IU of vitamin D daily.

Good Health Vitamin D3 is a delicious tropical flavoured tablet that instantly dissolves in your mouth using advanced micro-lingual technology - no need to swallow any tablets and ideal for the whole family to take.

Experience a little taste of sunshine every day!

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