Saturday, March 01, 2008

Vitamin D Is Essential For Bone Health And More

Vitamin D is always associated with sunlight. Sun exposure is perhaps the most important source of vitamin D because exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their vitamin D requirement and yet we have to be careful not to overexpose ourselves too much in the sun. Moderation is the key here.

The other source of vitamin D is from our diet. There are only a few food sources of vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D are fortified foods and beverages like milk, soy drinks, and margarine. Check the labels on these foods. Fish, liver, and egg yolk are the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D.

Can we have an overdose of vitamin D? From Wikipedia, "...normal food and pill vitamin D concentration levels are too low to be toxic in adults, because of the high vitamin A content in codliver oil, it is possible to reach toxic levels of vitamin A (but not vitamin D) via this route, if taken in multiples of the normal dose in an attempt to increase the intake of vitamin D. Most historical cases of vitamin D overdose have occurred due to manufacturing and industrial accidents."

The Wikipedia further mentioned, "exposure to sunlight for extended periods of time does not cause vitamin D toxicity.This is because within about 20 minutes of ultraviolet exposure in light skinned individuals (3–6 times longer for pigmented skin) the concentration of vitamin D precursors produced in the skin reach an equilibrium, and any further vitamin D that is produced is degraded. Maximum endogenous production with full body exposure to sunlight is 250 µg (10,000 IU) per day."

So we have to watch our intake of vitamin D which is essential to our bodies for bone formation and mineralization and for the delevelopment of an intact and strong skeleton. Have a fun and healthy sunshine day and great health to all!

Vitamins D is a fat-soluble seco-sterol hormone precursor that is responsible for sustaining optimal levels of calcium and phosphorus in our blood stream. To some extent, Vitamin D is manufactured by our skin though exposure to sunlight. The best time for sunlight exposure is during the spring and fall seasons. Winter sunlight is too weak for the production of Vitamin D. Many of us do not get enough exposure to sunlight during the year. We have been convinced that the sun is not good for our skin, so when we are exposed to sun we have come to use clothing and sun screen to "protect" ourselves from the sun. Most of us spend most of our time indoors. These factors have resulted in making Vitamin D deficiency a common if not major health problem. It has also been found that older people and many younger women, especially African-American women, and those who live in Northern climates with less time exposure to sunlight are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is essential in reducing bone fractures and increasing bone strength and density. It has been found that higher quantities of calcium alone in our diets does not reduce the risk of bone fracture or significantly increase bone density and strength. The reason for this is that calcium needs to be absorbed in order to be beneficial. Vitamin D is essential in increasing the absorption of calcium. This is especially important for women in producing and maintaining healthy, strong bone structure and prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Children need Vitamin D to help their bones mineralize during rapid bone growth. Of course, we all know the importance of the absorption of calcium enhanced by Vitamin D for the development and maintenance of oral bone and tooth health. Vitamin D may very well help us keep our teeth.

In the Northern part of our world and during the winter many people suffer from SAD i.e. seasonal affective disorder. SAD is a form of depression most probably due to reduced exposure to sunlight resulting in less production of Vitamin D. It has been found that supplemental intake of Vitamin D is superior to light therapy in reducing the condition of SAD. It has also been found that blood pressure is elevated during the winter and in people with less exposure to sunlight. Research has shown that people with little exposure to sunlight, who add Vitamin D supplementation to their diets, experience lowering of high blood pressure and lower heart rate. The absorption of calcium though the use of sufficient amounts of Vitamin D has been found to prevent and reduce hypertension..

Vitamin D has been found to provide a critical function in many metabolic processes, such as our cell growth, our immune system, and our cardiovascular health. Low levels i.e. deficiency of Vitamin D has been found to be a factor in congestive heart failure for many older people. Extensive research is being conducted to determine the effect of Vitamin D deficiency in the growth of certain cancers. The lack of absorption of calcium because of Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to seizures. Because of Vitamin D's effect on the maintenance of healthy levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood stream and absorption of calcium and phosphorus, Vitamin D has been shown to be helpful in treating kidney failure.

Vitamin D has been shown to increase muscles strength, especially large muscle e.g thighs, calves, arms, and diaphragm. Vitamin D has also been found to reduce muscle pain by helping repair the damage of muscle strain. This is especially important as we age.

More and more evidence is being found confirming the vital importance of Vitamin D for our general health as well as for our bone health. Unfortunately, relying on exposure to sunlight for our skin to produce Vitamin D, has it's limitations such as winter, geographic location, indoor lifestyle, etc. It would be wise for us to insure that we are receiving enough Vitamin D by adding a Vitamin D supplement to our diets in single form or through multiple vitamin formulas containing healthy amounts of Vitamin D.


Jenny has more than twenty years experience with all natural health care products. More information about the benefits of Vitamin D and other natural vitamin supplements is available at

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