As far as our general health and fitness is concerned, you obviously won’t need anybody to tell you that your diet and general daily nutrition, can play huge roles in determining your overall health and well-being. In order to be healthy, we need to put healthy ingredients into our bodies, and sometimes that is simply not happening with most of us. Obesity levels are higher than ever, life expectancies are decreasing, and the number of people suffering from diet-related chronic illness and disease is also higher than ever. Yes, our population's health is in a pretty bad way, and what’s most frustrating is the fact that it could so easily be avoided by cleaning up our diets and eating healthier.
Vitamins play a huge role when it comes to our health, yet as there are so many different vitamins out there, knowing the differences between each one is incredibly important.
Vitamin D is one of the least understood vitamins in the world and it is one that creates a great deal of confusion. To help clear things up, here is a detailed look at vitamin D.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a key role in a whole host of various health and wellness processes within the human body. For great overall health and well-being, and for healthy bones, vitamin D is essential. Our bodies can actually naturally synthesize vitamin D, although in order for them to do so, they do require sunlight, as the UV rays make it possible. Once the body has vitamin D, it actually converts it into a hormone, known as ‘Calcitriol’ or ‘activated vitamin D’. Taking a vitamin D supplement alone however, won’t increase the amount in your body, as in order to synthesize it, you need to be exposed to sunlight. This is why a lot of people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies during the colder winter months.
What is the RDI for vitamin D?
According to health experts, the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for vitamin D for adults up to 70 years of age, is 600 IU/Day, and for over 70s, it is 800 IU/Day.
What happens if we don’t get enough?
Vitamin D deficiencies are very common, and can present a number of health risks and complications, these include: weakened immune system, bone problems, rickets, osteoporosis, depression, increased risk of heart disease, and cognitive impairment as you grow older.
What happens if we get too much?
Although hugely beneficial, if you are exposed to too much vitamin D on a daily basis, your health will also be placed at risk. Complications associated with too much vitamin D include: vitamin D toxicity, calcium build ups in your blood, renal trouble and failure, and nausea.
Best sources of vitamin D
Here are some of the best sources of vitamin D, include foods such as:
- Fortified foods and cereals
- Oily fish
- Dairy produce
- Lean pork
Interesting vitamin D fact
Although it is essential for healthy bones, it isn’t actually the vitamin D that strengthens our bones at all. In actual fact, vitamin D strengthens our bones by enabling our bodies to absorb and process the mineral Calcium. Without vitamin D, it wouldn’t matter how much calcium we consumed, our bodies would not be able to process it and use it to strengthen our bones.