Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Get Enough Sunshine Vitamin

sunAbout 80%- 90% of Vitamin D is gained from sunlight exposure. Most of us know this; but do you also know how important is this ‘D’ factor for our good physical and mental health?

My Health Guardian interviews Geetu Amarnani, the expert nutritionist to understand why getting enough vitamin D is absolutely essential to maintain good health. She also informs about the food and supplement that helps to achieve optimal vitamin D levels. Keep reading…

‘D’ is unique among vitamins; because it’s basically a hormone that our body creates naturally from sunshine informs Amarnani. After the skin converts sunlight into vitamin D, or when it is ingested, the kidney and liver convert it into a hormone; this hormone promotes calcium absorption to help the body build strong bones and teeth, and also helps maintain muscle strength. Therefore, at least 10-15 minutes of sunshine 3-times a week is must.

‘D’ is crucial for healthy living, because it:

Relieves backaches. Recent research shows that of among 360 chronic back pain patients, symptoms improved in 95% of those who took a high dose of vitamin D daily for 3 months tells Geetu Amarnani.

• Wards off cancer. Higher levels may cut in half your risk of getting breast, colon, or rectal cancer; consuming 300 IU or more daily reduced pancreatic cancer risk up to 44%, compared with those who consumed less than 150 IU daily.

• Deters diabetes. In a study of more than 83,000 women, those with the highest combined intakes of calcium and vitamin D had the lowest risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

• Controls High BP When vitamin D is ingested, it improves the blood flow, thereby lowering the blood pressure to appropriate level and in turn prevents heart disease. However if you go deficient then it increases the risk of peripheral artery disease by 80%.

• It helps the body absorb calcium and plays a role in the development of bones and teeth. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to soft bones or rickets. Researches prove that low vitamin D status is involved in the onset of osteoporosis.

• Decreases the blues. Blood levels of D were 14% lower in depressed individuals, a recent study discovered. Added to this, another study showed that a deficiency of D boosted premature death risk by 26%. So adequate amount of vitamin is must to release stress.

Children who lack Vitamin D develops the condition called rickets, which causes bone weakness, bowed legs, and other skeletal deformities, such as stooped posture. So for healthy bones, a child must spend outdoors for at least 35 to 60 minutes each day.

Food and supplements with optimal vitamin D levels – Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, catfish and sardines pack plenty of vitamin D. Egg yolks and cod liver oil is also excellent sources. But don’t take cod liver oil if it contains vitamin A, because too much vitamin A can be toxic, weaken bones and cause birth defects in young women. Fortified dairy products are another source, but keep in mind a cup of milk only delivers 100 IU of vitamin D.

So now knowing the above facts, try becoming a devotee of ‘D’, as it is a bright idea for healthy living.

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Category: Vitamins
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