|Share on Facebook||Share on Twitter||Share on Google+|
Technically a hormone, the benefits of vitamin D include promoting the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by your body, which is important to the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Among the other benefits of vitamin D are strengthening your immune system and preventing some types of cancer.
Your body does need one key ingredient to manufacture its own vitamin D - sunlight. Scientists say that as little as ten to fifteen minutes of summer sun provides
enough of the essential UVB rays to trigger your body's production of vitamin D.
They caution, though, that those living in northern temperate climates (which include most of the U.S.) need supplements to get enough sunlight to derive the benefits of vitamin D. Others may need a vitamin D supplement during winter months in order to reap the benefits of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include the development of osteoporosis in adults, and rickets in children. Other vitamin D deficiencies include insomnia, nervousness, muscle twitches and diarrhea.
The FDA has recently revised its guidelines of Recommended Daily Amount of vitamin D to an "adequate intake" to provide enough vitamin D for your body to get all the benefits of vitamin D.
For men and women up to age 50, the FDA recommends 200 IU (international units) a day. Because the body's need for vitamin D supplements increases as you age, the RDA recommends that those between 51 and 70 years of age get at least 400 IU of vitamin D a day, and those over 71 should be getting at least 600 IU per day.
Vitamin D food sources include dairy products like butter, cheese and cream. Because Vitamin D is so important to your body, all milk sold in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D. Other vitamin D food sources include fish, oysters and breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamin D.
With vitamin D so seemingly easy for your body to get, it may come as a surprise that nearly 60% of those tested in a recent study showed inadequate supplies of vitamin D in their bodies. Nearly 1/3 of those that showed a deficiency reported diets that provided what the FDA has determined to be "adequate intake" of vitamin D through diet and supplements.
Part of the reason for this is that much of the vitamin D that's available in "fortified foods" may not be used by your body. It's very important when you take a supplement to take it in a form that is "bioavailable" - easy for your body to access and assimilate. It's especially important with a nutrient that plays the major role that vitamin D does in your body.
Because your body needs vitamin D to make use of other important nutrients, it's also important to take it in tandem with those nutrients. Specifically, your body can only use calcium and phosphorus if it has enough vitamin D to metabolize those minerals properly. Taking vitamin D supplements increases the health benefits of other nutrients by making them available to your body.
Doctors also believe that vitamin D benefits include:
While vitamin D is vital, there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. Doctors and alternative health practitioners do not recommend doses greater than 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Taking vitamin D in large amounts regularly can cause vitamin D toxicity. The symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst and urination.
As with any other health supplement, it is important to choose a vitamin D supplement that is engineered to be bioavailable and to work synergistically with other nutrients and supplements.
total health supplement that includes Vitamin D and other important nutrients in the right proportions and balance should be part of your daily health regimen.
One of the best health supplements that we've found is Total Balance, a fully balanced formula that includes the full daily dose of vitamin D that your body needs to get all the
benefits of vitamin D, as well as calcium and a full complement of vitamins, minerals and other trace elements that vitamin D helps your body to use.