You are here: Vitamins-
Vitamin D and Your Health FAQs
01st August, 2016
Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ has always been considered to be important for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium. Lately research has suggested it has a much more important role in overall immunity, cancer prevention and even heart disease.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D comes in several different forms – but the active form is known as vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is found in very few foods – the majority comes from natural production in the skin in the presence of UV light.Research has shown that although vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide pandemic, it is particularly a problem in Southern Africa.
How Does Vitamin D Work?
Vitamin D3 is produced from fat in the diet. Fat is metabolized in the body to become vitamin D3 precursors. Vitamin D has a direct effect on cells by binding to vitamin D receptors. So much so, that medical professionals think of vitamin D more as a hormone than a nutrient.
How Do I Naturally Increase My Vitamin D Levels?
Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D3. The flesh of fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Foods like milk and cereal are fortified with vitamin D.In South Africa, vitamin D is not mandatory. Very few brands contain added vitamin D. (However, other vitamins like A, B1, B2, B6, niacin and folic acid are added.)
How Do I Optimize My Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is very important to your health.Only recently is it being routinely measured by health professionals. The only way to know whether you are deficient is to have your vitamin D level checked. Fortunately, deficiency is reversible through supplementation and lifestyle changes.
Is Vitamin D Just A Fad?
Ask any endocrinologist what supplement they take and most likely it’s vitamin D. The beneficial effects of this vitamin are so widespread and pervasive that it’s astonishing the medical community has, until recently, only considered it for bone health. You need to actively pursue a vitamin D rich diet to reach your daily requirement. The bottom line is – if you’re not thinking about it, you’re not treating it.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The simple answer is – you need as much vitamin D as necessary to reach the correct blood level.