VITAMIN D IS ESSENTIAL TO BONE HEALTH
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is best known as the sunshine vitamin. What is surprising is that many people are unaware as to how critical this vitamin is in order to have healthy bones.
First of all, an important strategy to keep your bones healthy is to eat the right kinds of food. Countless studies have shown that individuals who eat a lot of processed foods and fast foods produce biochemical and metabolic conditions that decrease bone density.
Yes, calcium and magnesium are essential to bone health; but for maintaining healthy mineralized bones so is vitamin D. In fact, vitamin K2 and boron are also required in maintaining healthy bones.
Sunlight causes the photoproduction of vitamin D3 in our skin. Once formed, vitamin D3 is metabolized sequentially in the liver and kidneys to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Yes this does sound somewhat foreign however 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D it critical for our bodies to maintain essential cellular functions as well as promoting bone mineralization.
The bad news is that many foods do not contain any vitamin D. According to the USDA, the only natural food sources of vitamin D (known as D2) are:
- Wild salmon (1,448 iu)
- Pacific rockfish (459 iu)
- Canned tuna (68-229 iu, with light tuna in oil having the most)
- Sardines (164 iu)
- Flatfish, like sole or flounder (154 iu)
- Fortified milk (115-124 iu, with whole milk having more than skim)
- Fortified cereals (34-104 iu, varying by type and brand)
- Pickled herring (96 iu)
- Pork (6-88 iu, with variation by cut)
- Mushrooms (5-45 iu, with shitake having much more than white mushrooms)
- Beef liver (42 iu)
- Atlantic cod (40 iu)
- Eggs (25-29 iu)
- Ricotta cheese (25 iu, whereas most cheese have 4-6 iu)
Exposure to sunlight provides most of us with vitamin D (known as D3) but this ability is very limited. Aging, sunscreen use, and the change in the zenith angle of the sun dramatically affects the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a major cause of bone disease in the elderly. Some studies indicate that those of us in the southern latitudes of Canada can only get vitamin D from the sun between May and July. Even then, many people saturate their skin with sunscreen so they are getting very little. Bottom line, it is critical to eat lots of the foods that have vitamin D2 or take a trusted supplement.
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Without a sufficient amount of this vitamin on a daily basis, bones can become thin and brittle. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is also critical to our immune system. Without sufficient levels of vitamin D, the immune system is compromised making the individual more susceptible to many illnesses from the common cold to heart disease.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen discovered that Vitamin D is essential to activating our immune defenses. Without sufficient intake of the sunshine vitamin, T cells (the killer cells of the immune system) will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.
Other possible health issues that have been linked to vitamin D deficiency include muscle weakness, psoriasis, kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, periodontal disease, schizophrenia, depression and cancer. For more information on this Natural News is the best resource.
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Getting a blood test can determine if you are deficient. Better still, prevention is truly the best medicine. For help on implementing simple solutions please contact Chiro Med Rehab Centre. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre in Richmond Hill has professionals on staff that can help you maintain strong muscles and a healthy skeletal system. Our walk-in clinic is conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 for more information.