Vitamin D deficiency is the latest of many abnormalities that are being implicated in numerous common maladies from heart disease and strokes to depression and diabetes. There are so many references and speculation about the prevalence of deficiency that the only thing that is clear is that nothing is clear.
Vitamin D is vital to your body's function especially during the winter months when it is extremely hard to get enough. And if you live in a rainy place like I do in Portland or Seattle you’re even more strapped for solutions to acquire more Vitamin D. The question then becomes how do you and I go about getting a good dose of Vitamin D daily to stay healthy?
While Vitamin D (VD) deficiency affects about 75% of the population in the US it has even bigger impact on communities of color citing claims that Vitamin D deficiency effect some staggering 97% of African Americans and 90% of Hispanics. The importance of Vitamin D to the body is that it helps keep you healthy. Although most people don't recognize the huge importance it can have it can be potentially dangerous to your health if it goes unchecked.
Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential element in the absorption of calcium, which is important for strong, healthy bones. A vitamin D deficiency in the body can contribute to the development of osteoporosis because a lack of vitamin D means less calcium absorption
Vitamin D is important to the modulation of neuromuscular and immune function, and helps to reduce inflammation. The interaction of Vitamin D and the endocrine system helps to balance the production of hormones.
There is now evidence that vitamin D is important for preventing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other degenerative diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, problems tolerating glucose, and multiple sclerosis. Specifically, vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing colon, prostate, cervical, lung, or breast cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma and even skin cancer.
Sources of vitamin D
Another cause of vitamin D deficiency is that dietary means to increase your intake of vitamin D are low because very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The best sources are cold water fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolk and some mushrooms contain small amounts of Vitamin D. The vitamin D in these foods is in the form of vitamin D3.
Many foods are fortified with vitamin D in the American diet. Most of the milk supply in the United States vitamin D fortified. Other vitamin D fortified foods are cereal flours and related products, other dairy products, and calcium-fortified fruit juices and drinks.
Cure for This Deficiency
The answer is pretty simple: get more Vitamin D. First, go outdoors and let the sun work its magic on you. You don't have to expose your face or arms if you want to avoid wrinkles and blemishes. Expose your legs instead. Don't go overboard. Just get a few minutes of direct sunlight on you and you should be fine.
If you can't seem to get enough sun you should eat foods that do contain Vitamin D. These include various cereals, eggs, liver, and several fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and more. You can also take Vitamin D supplements, but ask your doctor before you do and try the more natural ways first.
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