Many of us know that vitamin D is important for our health and that we can obtain it from a good dosage of sunshine. But beyond that, not much else is generally known. So here are some fun facts about vitamin D to help you understand why this vitamin is important for achieving better health.
- Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it helps support the development and maintenance of bones and teeth.
- Since it can be produced by the body, it’s technically considered a pro-hormone rather than a vitamin (vitamins are usually considered nutrients that can’t be synthesized by the body).
- Up to 50% of adults and children worldwide are deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency is most common among infants, the elderly, and people living in locations that receive minimal exposure to sunlight. Like, say, Toronto in the winter! In January, the city saw less than 50 hours of sunlight.
- A sufficient intake of vitamin D can be achieved by exposing the bare skin to sun for five to ten minutes, two to three times per week.
- Vitamin D is also important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, as well as protecting the body against multiple illnesses and disease, such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
- In addition to this, it also helps to support the function of our nervous system, brain, immune system, as well as regulating insulin levels and supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
- Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis.
- In order to absorb calcium in the intestines and prevent it from being excreted through the kidneys, vitamin D must be present.
- Studies have shown that women who are pregnant and deficient in this vitamin are often at a greater risk of requiring a caesarean section. But they also showed that pregnant women with too much vitamin D in their systems can be associated with an increase in food allergies in their children within the first initial years of life.
- Vitamin D influences the development of more than 200 human genes and is extremely important for regulating cell growth. This is important for reducing growth and progression in cancer cells as well.
As you can see, vitamin D involves more than simply getting your intake of calcium and sunshine. It impacts so many aspects throughout the body, and best of all, with enough sunshine you can get all that you need to maintain a healthy amount. Make vitamin D an important part of your daily intake by getting outside, eating food with vitamin D added, or taking a supplement to ensure your body stays strong and healthy.