ALL ABOUT VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin and it fights a host of diseases.
Get the lowdown here:
If you’re darker skinned, older, overweight or cover up when you go outside in the sun, you may not be getting enough vitamin D. Worldwide, inadequate vitamin D is common, and deficiencies can be found on all continents, in all ethnic groups, and across all ages.
Scientific studies show that being “D-ficient” could increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, some cancers and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and even seasonal flu.
However, it’s easy enough to bolster your vitamin D intake through diet, or with supplements.
When it comes to diet, vitamin D is found in dairy products, breakfast cereals and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. So, eat up!
Most multivitamins have at least 400IU of vitamin D so if you’re taking a multivitamin supplement you are doing your body good by bolstering your daily dose of “sunshine”. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommended daily intake of vitamin D, however, is 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70, and 800 IU after age 70.
The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) argues for even higher doses of vitamin D for everyone across the board – and consequently recommends supplements that contain at least 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
For those at risk of low vitamin D levels, HSPH go so far as to suggest a vitamin D supplement of 2,000 IU. (Be warned, though, that extremely high doses can be toxic and can even cause death)
Why the hubbub about getting enough vitamin D?
Quite simply it’s because vitamin D is a disease –fighting warrior that goes way beyond simply building strong bones and preventing nasty fractures and falls in old age. Consider the role of this hormone in the fight against:
- Heart disease – Studies have found that those low in vitamin D are twice as likely to have a heart attack
- Cancer – Low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increase in colon cancer risk
- Immune function – Studies suggest that vitamin D supplements protect against type 1 diabetes, while high vitamin D levels appear to lower the risk of multiple sclerosis.
- The flu and common cold – Studies show that vitamin D protects against the flu.
- Mortality – Yes, taking vitamin D supplements has even been shown to reduce overall mortality rates.
It’s easy enough to bolster your vitamin D intake through diet, or with supplements
Talk to your GP today about whether you need a sunshine boost!