For overall health, Vitamin D is one of the most vital vitamins. However, there are lots of people around the world who are not getting enough of this vitamin. The only way to know if you’re getting enough of this vitamin is by doing an expensive test. Every day it seems, new studies show new reasons why this vitamin is so important to our health. Even though vitamin D could be stored in your body fat until it is needed, the problem is that it’s not so easy to get enough vitamin D into your body.
Until recently, experts believed that the main role of vitamin D was to keep our bones healthy and prevent them from breaking up. On the other hand, new research has shown several other reasons why this vitamin is so important for our health.
The Reasons Why Vitamin D Is So Important
It helps to:
- Prevent falls in older people, osteoporosis, and bone fractures
- Lessen the risk of cancer and diabetes especially in young people and in those living in high altitude
- Protect against heart disease including heart failure and high blood pressure
- Decrease your risk for multiple sclerosis
- Improve your lung function and mood as well
If You Don’t Get Sufficient Vitamin D
- Older adults could get osteoporosis which doesn’t cause pain and makes the easy to fracture and bones thin
- Your bones can break and can become weak
- Adults can develop an illness that weakens the bones and makes them hurt
The best way to know if you are getting adequate vitamin D is to have a specific blood test. Otherwise, you may not know that you’re not getting enough vitamin D until you start having symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Amount of Vitamin D You Need
The amount of vitamin D depends on different age-groups. Most experts say that people must take plentiful of this vitamin per day is now recommended. Experts believe that if you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, all adults and children need about 800 to 1000 units of vitamin D every day.
People who are older than 65 need even more than 1000 IU. They typically don’t spend much time in the sun and their bodies don’t absorb vitamins the way they used to. A person who is at risk for lack of vitamin D and those who are already vitamin D deficient need even higher levels of the vitamin.
Best Sources of Vitamin D
Sunlight is known as the best source of vitamin D. Only a few foods supply vitamin D in significant amounts. The best source for this vitamin for humans is the sun, not supplements. The problem is that too much exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, but too little sun exposure is the reason that many people today don’t get enough vitamin D. It’s hard to get all the vitamin D you need from food, and since you don’t want to be exposed to too much sunlight. Most people need daily vitamin D supplements and short-time sun exposures. Spending a short time in the sun each day, without sunblock, may not be a bad idea unless you have a special sensitivity to sun exposure. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure.