Sunday Supplement - Vitamin D

Welcome to the new edition of 'Sunday Supplement' - today its Vitamin D! This vitamin is very important to the body, but so many people do not get enough.

Vitamin D is not like other vitamins, as our bodies can actually produce it with sunlight exposure. Sunlight is THE best form of vitamin D, and if you're like me and live in a country that doesn't have that high levels of sunlight, then you will most likely need a supplement. You can get it from food, but you get such small amounts that its extremely hard to get enough. Vitamin D is needed by the body to help absorb calcium and phosphate, which help bones to stay healthy and strong.

Food sources include:

- Oily fish (salmon)
- Mackerel
- Powdered milk
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Eggs
- Fortified fat spreads
- Mushrooms
- Tuna canned in water
- Cheese

By not obtaining enough vitamin D, problems can occur - Bone pain and weakening of the bones. Young children definitely need to get enough vitamin D, otherwise their bones may not grow and mature correctly, which could lead to Rickets - which has risen 4 fold over the last 15 years, and is still on the rise. In a way I can see why, as there is so much information and warnings about skin cancer, that parents are afraid of their children being out in the sun, but the flip side to that is being in the sun is the best way of getting this oh so vital vitamin.

Risk factors of vitamin D deficiency:

- Unsurprisingly, a lack of sun exposure
- Overuse of sun block
- Being 5 years or younger
- Breast feeding
- Spending most of your time indoors
- Covering up nearly all of your body (applies mostly to people with certain religious beliefs)

If you think you may be deficient, go to your GP and get a test done. That way you can know for sure, and you can take the necessary steps to sort your deficiency out - get more sun exposure, eating foods that contain vitamin D, and taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

I hope this post has given you an insight to vitamin D and just how important it is.

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