Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To "D" or not to "D", that is the question....

Do you love the sun as much as I do? Because I live in DC, I don’t get to the beach as often as I would like (growing up in Miami has ruined me).

I am sure that you are aware that the sun provides our bodies with Vitamin D. But are you aware that most people are Vitamin D deficient? While being out in the sun is a great way to get Vitamin D, it is not the only way (you can supplement by taking it in pill form or by the foods you eat). And with reports of skin cancer and sun damage on the rise, we are not getting the adequate sun exposure needed to benefit us (well, those of us who live in the southeastern States usually do a little better).

Vitamin D is actually one of the more important vitamins that we don’t get enough of in our systems. But what does it do exactly?

  • The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for the growth and development of bones and teeth.
  • It is essential for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus in the body; both are important to the health of the skeleton.
  • Vitamin D promotes bone mineralization with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones.

(Reference)

Vitamin D also helps control glucose levels, which are directly tied to diabetes. Diabetics found with low Vitamin D levels also had little control of their diabetes. More and more doctors are recommending that their diabetic patients use a Vitamin D supplement to help their diabetes.

I can’t tell you how much Vitamin D you need (only your doctor can do that), but I can recommend that you go see your doctor and get tested if you need a Vitamin D supplement. Its a simple blood test that should be done at least one a year, during your yearly checkup (ask your doctor to specifically look at your Vitamin D levels).

Good luck!

For more information:

What is Vitamin D?

The Sun!

Vitamin D and Diabetes

Are You Deficient?

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting. I need to read more about Vitamin D.

    ReplyDelete