People get vitamin D when being outside in the sun. Vitamin D plays important role in body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Vitamin D has got five forms D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. Our bodies require D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) the most.
Recently scientists discovered that vitamin D can help you lose weight.
Researches also showed that about 9% of American children suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Further on, about 61 % of children have vitamin D insufficiency. If we are exposed to enough sunlight we do not need vitamin D supplements. However, since it was found out that many people suffer from small quantities of this vitamin, supplements started being used worldwide. At the beginning vitamin D is not active in body. Its active form is Calcitriol. It is the one that helps having enough calcium in blood and thus promote bone health. If we have enough of calcitriol we can prevent hypocalcemic tetany (illness that results from calcium deficiency). Calcitrol is important in keeping all organs healthy.
Dietary supplements usually contain vitamins D2 and D3 and they are both very important for our bodies.
Vitamin D has beneficial influence on our immunity system. Researches show that it can help us combating common cold.
Having enough of vitamin D lowers the probability of getting multiple sclerosis. Therefore, people who live in parts of the world that has enough sun suffer less from this serious disease. Vitamin D influences our brain. If we do not have enough vitamin D our brain is more prone to damaging.
Another illness that vitamin D can prevent and treat is asthma.
Vitamin D eases rheumatoid arthritis in women.
Vitamin D protects body from low levels of radiation.
If our bodies have sufficient quantity of vitamin D, there are less chances that we will be suffering from cancer.
If you spend about 15 minutes in sunlight two times each week you will have enough of vitamin D that your body naturally makes.
However, if you live far from the equator you will not have enough of sun during winter months. If you live in cloudy and polluted areas you will have even less amount of sun and thus you need to take vitamin D supplements.
People who are not exposed to sufficient amount of sunlight need to consume 25 μg (1000 IU) of vitamin D daily in order to compensate this. Older people and dark skinned people need extra vitamin D too.
Nowadays people spend too much time indoors which leads to lack of vitamin D in blood. Very important is the choice of food. Food that is rich in vitamin D is fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. You can also take supplements such as fish liver oils. Another good source of vitamin D is beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms etc. Recently people artificially add vitamin D to milk.