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The Benefits Of Vitamin D

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The Benefits Of Vitamin D
June 12
17:52 2016

Discover How You Can Get This Essential Nutrient

A lack of sunlight and sun exposure can not only make us miserable and depressed, it can actually interfere with important processes in our body, such as vitamin D synthesization.

“Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, but we can make it when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun,” said Daphna Steinberg, a Registered Dietician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

While the sun helps our body obtain vitamin D, doctors all over the world emphasize the importance of using sunscreen, which blocks ultraviolet rays necessary for this essential vitamin synthesization. Steinberg agrees with this, as the risk of getting serious skin problems due to lack of sunscreen just isn’t worth it.

“You don’t want to end up with skin cancer, and we can get vitamin D in other ways.” The “other ways” she speaks of include adding some supplements and fortified food such as milk, rice and soy beverages, salmon, and tuna into your diet.

The lack of vitamin D can cause rickets in children, and it may result in weak bones disease (osteomalacia) in adults. Low levels of vitamin D decrease the absorption of calcium, which may contribute to osteoporosis.

According to Steinberg, Vitamin D deficiency builds up over a long period of time.

“If you miss your glass of milk today, you won’t end up vitamin D deficient in one day. It’s something that takes time,” Steinberg said.

Milk allergies and vegetarianism can increase your chances of getting vitamin D deficiency. It may also happen due to a limited exposure to sunlight or because of kidney problems. To determine whether you have this syndrome, your doctor will run a blood test. In case of a low level of vitamin D, supplements will be prescribed.

When treating this type of deficiency, it’s worth remembering: less is more. Excess vitamin D may result in a buildup of calcium in your body, which can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and kidney problems.

Although Canada doesn’t have warm, sunny weather year-round, there is a way to prevent vitamin D deficiency. By maintaining a healthy diet you will be able to keep valuable levels of this essential vitamin in your body – even when bundled up in winter.


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