Vitamin D is an important Vitamin.
It’s the sunshine vitamin you absorb through your skin when you’re outdoors.
- It helps stabilize our mood. That’s why people in northern climates with less sunlight get SAD, Seasonal Depressive Syndrome, those winter blues.
- It works with other chemicals in your body to help keep your immune system healthy.
- Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and important element in building and maintaining bone mass.
- And preliminary scientific evidence points to Vitamin D as a sports performance aid.
A 2009 study with adolescent girls at the University of Manchester, England found that the girls with higher levels of vitamin D had better muscle performance and speed than those with lower Vitamin D levels. It’s also thought that exercise may increase your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D.
Anecdotal evidence shows sports performance appears to improve in the summer when people are exercising in the sun and Vitamin D levels would be highest.
There are 2 types of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D2 –the kind that’s found in fortified food and supplements and Vitamin D3 the kind you absorb from sunlight.
Conventional wisdom was that Vitamin D3 was more effective, particularly when it came to your bones, than D2. But recent research at Boston University School of Medicine showed that effectiveness is about the same for both types
Because of our lifestyles, most people don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight.
Even those who are outdoors a lot use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and therefore don’t absorb enough Vitamin D.
So, most of us need to eat Vitamin D rich foods like Eggs (particularly yolks), Liver, Mackerel, Tuna and Salmon or fortified foods, like milk, or orange juice, and Cereal, or take Vitamin D supplements to get the daily recommended adult dose of 400 – 800 international units (IU) per day.
Adults over 50 should get 800 – 1000 IU daily.
These are just general recommendations. Actual requirements vary from person to person. Check with your doctor.
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