Did you know that over 60% of people are Vitamin D deficient and they don’t even know it? I was very surprised to find out last month that I fit right into that category. The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight and it was one of those things I never worried about as I live in one of the sunniest places on the planet!
In the past, Vitamin D was thought to be mainly responsible for bone health, research in this field has been growing rapidly over the years and the consensus is that Vitamin D is important for just about every organ in our bodies. Nutrition experts like Harvard's Walter Willet say adequate vitamin D may help prevent disease. A daily dose of vitamin D could cut the risk of cancers of the breast, colon and ovary by up to a half, a 40-year review of research has found. The evidence for the protective effect of the "sunshine vitamin" is so overwhelming that urgent action must be taken by public health authorities to boost blood levels, say cancer specialists.
Growing evidence in recent years has also shown that lack of vitamin D is linked to Heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, depression and the list is rapidly growing. The vitamin is also essential for bone health and protects against osteoporosis.
Symptoms of deficiency are many and range from bone fractures in extreme cases to depression or low mood, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, unexplained aches and pains in the body and breathing problems ranging from mild (feelings of not being able to take in a deep breath at times) to asthma.
I recommend getting yourself tested at your Dr’s clinic as Vitamin D deficiency is a lot more common then you think and can affect your health if left untreated. You may finally find an explanation for all those niggly little health issues that you just live with! Treatment for deficiencies is very simple and done with supplements. People start to feel much better after just a few weeks of treatment. The recommendation is also that you expose yourself to the sun for 15 minutes mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the sun is still high up and emitting the most UVB’s (avoid midday sun), with face and arms exposed without sunblock. Do not put sunblock on your children before they go out to play. Let them round around outdoors and at the beach for about 30 minutes before you apply sunblock, assuming there is a need for it. It’s all about creating the right balance between allowing your body to receive what it needs from the sun, and protecting it from the potential harmful effects.
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