Cases of Vitamin D deficiency are increasingly common within the population of the developed nations of the world. Our required daily amount of Vitamin D is manufactured within our own bodies. The human body is stimulated to generate Vitamin D when by sunlight shining on our skin. Direct sunlight exposure every day can give you your required daily amount of Vitamin D.
But with the advent of a more sedentary lifestyle, jobs that require us to remain indoors during daylight hours, time inside watching television and on browsing the Internet have considerably limited the amount of time we spend outdoors. People who reside in cooler locations that receive less sunlight overall are at an increased risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency over those living in sunnier areas.
In recent times, concern over the connection between certain types of skin cancer and prolonged exposure to sunlight have prompted many people to avoid the sun and apply sunscreen when outdoors. Laying outside covered in oil is a thing of the past.
In Short, our modern lifestyle is a major factor in the rise of Vitamin D deficiency cases in addition to the conditions which occur as a result of a shortage of this substance within the body.
Vitamin D is used in the body to help with the proper absorption of calcium into the bones which improves bone strength and prevents fractures and osteoporosis. A lack of adequate Vitamin D in the body can result in weak bones which are more prone to breaking. The most common result of Vitamin D deficiency is Osteoporosis, or “brittle bones”, which is identified by reduced bone density especially in people who are over fifty years of age.
Other, somewhat less common, side effects that have been linked to a deficiency of Vitamin D in the body include such things as memory loss, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Though lack of Vitamin D has not been shown to be the major factor in developing some of these conditions, there is evidence to suggest that it does contribute to them.
What can be done to increase Vitamin D levels in the body?
Luckily, Vitamin D deficiency is relatively easy to treat. The first, and most common, treatment is simply to allow your skin to come into contact with sunlight. Vitamin D is generated when sunlight hits any skin on the body so those who are concerned about the effects of photo-aging and wrinkles on the face need not expose the face to the sun. Your body will create sufficient Vitamin D even if you only expose the skin of your legs or arms. You do not need to have prolonged exposure to get the benefits. Approximately ten minutes of direct sun exposure daily is enough to provide a good dose of Vitamin D.
Certain foods are also known to be good sources of Vitamin D. Eggs, liver, certain cereals and oily fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon are all known to deliver Vitamin D to the body. Vitamin D supplements are widely available on the market but consumers are advised to consult with their physicians first before taking any over the counter medications.
Vitamin D plays an important role in the health of the human body. But it requires very little effort to achieve the proper levels. Make sure you get enough of it.
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