Nutrition & Lifestyle – August 2009

Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

Are you getting enough?

New disclosure of multiple benefits of Vitamin D…

As we age, the question of getting enough Vitamin D becomes serious. Our skin, as well as our kidneys’, ability to produce Vitamin D, declines. Vitamin D is good for establishing good bone mass density, but the question is how much should you take, what foods should you eat, and what else does Vitamin D do to improve your health?

According to an article from September’s AARP magazine, a study by a team of Harvard scientists suggests that Vitamin D may help “ward off a whole host of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.”

This study suggested that men with the highest levels of Vitamin D in their bloodstream, were least like to have heart attacks. Other studies suggested that high levels of Vitamin D decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, hip fractures and tooth loss, while possibly increasing muscle strength, while some suggest that illnesses such as depression, birth defects, skin cancer, and multiple sclerosis may be instigated by low levels of Vitamin D in the blood.

Currently, researchers are discovering a decrease in “blood level” Vitamin D within their patients, mainly due to our awareness of the sun and skin cancer. Doctors are recommending 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine, a few times weekly as a way to increase Vitamin-D levels.

According to July’s Women’s Health, some doctors are recommending 1,000 IU daily of Vitamin D supplements, along with 2 glasses of skim milk. While it is difficult to get all the Vitamin D needed from food only, the following food sources are the best:

  • 3.5 oz of Salmon
  • 3 oz of Tuna
  • 1 cup of Orange Juice
  • 1 Egg

 

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