The sun - biggest source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Deficiency - Early Death
On 18 November 2014, the British Medical Journal shocked the world with an article stating that vitamin D deficiency can result in early death!
Dr. Shoaib Afzal and colleagues studied 95,766 white Danish people between 7.9 to 19.1 years and found that 10,349 of these subjects died from various causes linked to vitamin D deficiency.
They are not sure yet why this link between vitamin D deficiency and early death, including cancer.
Vitamin D Deficiency - Other Medical Conditions
Centuries ago, vitamin D deficiency was linked to rickets.
And today with the power of scientific research, we now have seen strong links between vitamin D deficiency and the following:
5. Increased risks for colorectal, prostate and breast cancers
6. Higher risk of getting colds, influenza and respiratory infectious diseases
Vitamin D Deficiency - Who's At Risk
You can do a blood test to determine if you have sufficient amounts of vitamin D or you don't have enough.
But if you belong to one of these groups, you're at high risk of having low vitamin D levels in your blood:
- dark skin
- low mood levels
- overweight or obese
- your bones ache
- sweaty head
- gut problems
Boosting Vitamin D Levels
The most powerful way to swell your vitamin D levels is to get enough sunshine. It's recommended that you spend between 5 to 15 minutes a day in the sun. If you have dark skin, you would a longer exposure.
The ideal time for sun exposure is close to noon, rather than the popular old wives' tale of early morning or late evening. This is because close to noon UVB rays are at the maximum and your skin utilizes this wavelength to produce vitamin D.
Studies have shown that greater exposure to sunlight reduces melanoma. Furthermore, a study published in the European Journal of Cancer showed that people who get melanoma are those who spend more time indoors and melanoma appears in areas that are not exposed to the sun!
If you are able to achieve this everyday, you'll be fine.
But the problem is that your work may prevent you from getting this amount of sunlight. Or maybe you live in a country with 4 seasons and so about 6 months of the year the sun vanishes or is weak.
Vitamin D Rich Food
Another great source of natural vitamin D, is from certain foods. These foods below are considered vitamin D rich:
- wild salmon
- wild mackeral
- egg yolk
- milk or yogurt
- beef or calf liver
Vitamin D Supplement
Ok, let's get real. You may not be able to get enough sunshine because of your work. Will your boss allow you to stand in the sun around noon everyday?
Doubt it. Unless you go for an early lunch everyday.
Even if she allows you this perk, you may be living in a country with 4 seasons and so about 6 months a year, the sun disappears or is so weak. If you're in Malaysia, lately it seems to even rain very frequently at noon.
Will you also be able to eat enough of the above superfoods?
So you're only rescue is to take vitamin D supplements.
But beware - not all vitamin D supplements are alike.
You need to take vitamin D3 supplement. Your skin transforms sunlight into vitamin D3.
So make sure you check the label before buying.