Vitamin D is essential for the proper formation of the skeleton. It is vital for bone growth and renewal as it helps our bodies absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is also required for nerve and muscle activity and can help combat chronic inflammation. Research is also determining that vitamin D may help keep cancer cells from growing and dividing.
If we have too little of this valuable nutrient, our bones best Ashwagandha Gummies for sale online near me are not able to mineralize properly. This can lead to a condition called rickets in children, which is characterized by bowed legs, knock-knees, swollen joints, and malformed skeletons. In adults, vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia, a condition in which there is inadequate mineralization of the bone. Deficiency may also result in osteoporosis due to decreased calcum abosrption, and vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with muscle weakness.
Vitamin D is produced naturally in our body by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and is also available in certain foods as well as supplements. Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because we can make vitamin D out of a cholesterol compound that is naturally present in the skin when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. However, if we are not receiving the sunlight we need to manufacture vitamin D, we need to consume vitamin D fortified foods or take a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin D production in our skin is greatly affected by the seasons and by the latitude at which we live. Here in Canada, we experience “vitamin D winter” between October and March because of the lack of sunshine and our ability to stay outdoors in the cold weather. ” Vitamin D winter” is also extended for those who live closer to the poles.
Although our bodies do have the ability to store vitamin D to a certain extent, it is wise to supplement in addition to the sun exposure we are able to obtain during the winter. In North America, on average, light skinned people need about ten to fifteen minutes of sun daily on our face and hands while darker skinned people need more, as vitamin D synthesis is poorer in dark skin. It is also important that we take care not to overexpose ourselves, which may increase the risk of skin cancer.
We know the best way to obtain vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight, but when we aren’t getting the sun we need to manufacture vitamin D there are a few foods that can help increase vitamin D intake, and there are also vitamin D supplements. Fortified dairy products, fortified orange juice, and fortified soy-milk are good sources of vitamin D. Margarine, eggs, chicken livers, salmon, sardines, herring, fish oils (halibut and cod-liver oils), and mushrooms all contain small amounts. Because dietary intake may not always provide enough vitamin D that our body requires, supplementation is necessary to obtain adequate levels.