The days are sunny here and even very sunny according to some. This is the time to talk about Vitamin D.
What is it?
Vitamin D is really a hormone which the body produces and stores in its fat tissue.
What does it do?
Firstly it helps the body absorb calcium which in turn is extremely important for bone development, prevention of osteoporosis especially in women, prevents bones breaking easily in a fall, especially among the elderly. According to research vitamin D also prevents cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation which is a factor in many other diseases and has a positive effect on auto-immune function of the body. It is thought to keep away various cancers and boost energy levels.
Diet or Supplements?
Research suggests we need about 2000iu of the stuff. This is very difficult to get from diet, even with fortified milk and bread. Supplements are ok but you have to ingest massive doses.
We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun. It is the most efficient way of getting the body to make adequate amounts of it. Exposure to the sun varies from person to person. Remember sun blocks take away most of the ultraviolet rays we need; dark pigments too block the sun. We have to make allowance according to our circumstances. But hey, go out and enjoy the sun. It is free. They have not found a way of taxing it yet. So go ahead and make use of it while you can. It is free preventative medicine.