The Sunshine Vitamin (D3)
Combat the seasonal blues and reap the benefits by supplementing with Vitamin D! (The Sunshine Vitamin)
It’s nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because it is naturally produced in our skin in response to sunlight. Though with the waning daylight, it can be tough to get enough sun exposure to provide our bodies the vitamin D we need.
Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that you obtain vitamin D from all three of these sources in order to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones) and over time research has linked low levels of vitamin D with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
According to the CDC, in 2006 a whopping one fourth of the population was deficient in vitamin D.
Why you need to get some D! […Innuendo not intended]
5 Awesome Benefits of Vitamin D3:
1) Improved Muscle Function – New research shows, for the first time, a link between vitamin D and muscle function — including recovery from exercise and daily activities. It also explains why lower levels can lead to physical fatigue.
2) Appetite Suppression – vitamin D is also known to activate the production of leptin, which helps us slim down by signalling our brain and our stomach that we’re not as hungry. A study from Aberdeen University found that adequate levels of sunlight can significantly reduce obesity.
3) Protect Lung Function – The sunshine vitamin will not only help you feel better, you’ll breathe easier too. According to a new study from researchers in Boston, vitamin D deficiency is associated with worse lung function and more rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers.
4) Fight the Holiday Party Pounds – Vitamin D has been proven to lower insulin, improve serotonin levels, enhance the immune system, control appetite and even improve fat-loss efforts. Research from the University of Minnesota found that higher vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet improved weight-loss success. Scientists determined that as vitamin D increased in the blood, subjects ended up losing almost a half-pound more on their calorie-restricted diet.
5) Lower Blood Pressure – A 2012 study, presented at the European Society of Hypertension meeting in London, shows that vitamin D supplementation can help lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
[So maybe some extra D3 will work for those hot heads that need a chill pill?]
How Much D Do I Need?
The exact amount of Vitamin D to supplement with is widely questioned and ranges anywhere from 600IU (International Units) per day up to 5000IU per day. The NIH emphasizes that people over age 50 generally need higher amounts of vitamin D than younger people do. Recent research is also indicating that we need more vitamin D than we once thought. Personally I take 5000IU per day but talk to your doctor for guidance on how to ensure you get the right amount for your needs.
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That’s all for now! Time to go catch some Rays!