Every superhero needs a sidekick. Calcium builds strong bones-but it doesn’t act alone. Vitamin D always travels along, helping your body to make use of the calcium you consume. That’s not the only role vitamin D plays in the story of your anatomy. It also strengthens our immune system, helps move your muscles, and adds nerve impulses in zipping through your brain and body. What’s more, resent research suggests that more vitamin D may lead to:
• Less weight gain
• Fewer troubles with daily activities
• Lower blood pressure
• A reduced risk of immune disorders and some cancers
• A longer life, when combined with calcium
Health experts say more studies will help understand effects and benefits.
Get Your Daily Dose
The U.S. Government recommends adults get 600 IU of Vitamin D per day until age 70. After that you need 800 IU daily. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Sometimes it added to cereal, orange juice and other products. To up you intake, try:
• Cod Liver Oil 1,360 IU in one tablespoon
• Swordfish 566 IU in 3 ounces
• Salmon 447 IU in 3 ounces
• Canned tuna in 3 ounces
• Fortified orange juice or milk; check the label; usually 100 IU in 8 ounces
In addition, your skin makes vitamin D when the suns ray’s shine on it. That’s why it is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin.” However, too much sun exposure increases your skin cancer risk. If you’ll be out for more than few minutes, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade.
Accessing Your Risk
Your skin makes less vitamin D as you age. So, older adults run the risk of low levels. You may be even more prone to D-deficiency if you:
• Are obese
• Have Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
• Have dark skin
Some people with deficiency have subtle signs, such as bone pain and muscle weakness. Others may develop fractures, and many have no symptoms. If you fall into high-risk group, talk with your doctor about your vitamin D levels.
Always consult your doctor before starting a vitamin regiment.