A few years ago, vitamin D was nothing more than calcium’s wingman, a secondary nutrient that helped the bone-building mineral make its move from the belly to the bloodstream and eventually plant itself in the skeleton. Well, vitamin C may not be the super pill that you need.
In fact, new research suggests that D may be the biggest hero of all. The lab researchers have uncovered several types of genes to date and many of these are regulated by the nutrient. This means that almost everything your body does relies on it.
Vitamin D affects cell death and proliferation, insulin production, and even the immune system. Without enough of it, your body works far below its potential. And you’re probably not getting anywhere near the right amount.
What’s most remarkable about it is that it’s been linked to a sheer number of health issues. In the past few years, research has shown that a lack of the vitamin may be the primary culprit in depression, heart disease, pregnancy problems, birth defects, skin and other cancers, and multiple sclerosis.
Even if you don’t suffer from any of these conditions, getting more D may still be what the doctor ordered. Many of you may experience a dramatic improvement in the feeling of overall wellbeing after you increase your intake. Sadly, many people are vitamin D deficient. So, why come up short when this is one of the few vitamins your bodies actually can make? Sunlight converts a cholesterol-like substance naturally found in the skin to D.
Problem is, thanks to the UV rays and skin cancer, soaking up in the sun would do more harm than good. For your skin to make enough, you’d need midday direct summer sunlight on a huge portion of your body for 15 minutes a day.
If you do this now, you’re risking serious sun damage and early skin aging. Besides, it won’t really help you much now. It’s tougher for people of color to make D because the melanin in dark skin decreases production by as much as 90 percent.
To make matters worse, D is missing in the food you eat. Only certain kinds of fish and fortified dairy have enough D to brag about, and it would be hard to consume enough of both in one day to get what you need.
Well, there’s a simple way of getting your D up without baking in the sun. It’s not often that experts say it’s better to get a vitamin from a pill than from food, but D is an exception. In this case, supplements are the easiest, cheapest, and safest way to make sure you’re covered.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble, which means you won’t pee out the excess. This used to worry the experts who thought that this could easily build up to toxic levels. But now, they have realized that your bodies can handle a lot more than previously understood. It’s time to take care of yourself and your health so that you stave off diseases as you age.
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