The Importance of Vitamin D-3

old message The Importance of Vitamin D-3 Darrell Miller 09/28/22

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Date: September 28, 2022 01:10 PM
Subject: The Importance of Vitamin D-3

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals essential for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also supports the health of the immune system, heart, and lungs. Despite its many benefits, vitamin D is not found in many foods. As a result, many people rely on supplements to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D.

There are two ways to get vitamin D: through food and supplements, or through exposure to sunlight. Foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; beef liver; cheese; egg yolks; and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, and cereals. You can also get vitamin D through supplements. Supplements come in two forms: vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).

Vitamin D from Sunlight

The body can also produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. However, exposure to UVB rays is limited by the use of sunscreen, clothing, glass windows, and time spent indoors. In addition, UVB rays do not penetrate clouds, so weather can also affect vitamin D production. The latitude of a location also affects the amount of UVB radiation that reaches the earth's surface—the closer a person lives to the equator, the more UVB radiation is available. For example, people living in Boston (latitude 42°N) have access to about one-half the amount of UVB radiation that is available to people living in Miami (latitude 25°N). As a result, people who live in northern locations are at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency because they have less access to UVB radiation year-round.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Although sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, many people do not get enough sunlight exposure to generate sufficient amounts of this important nutrient. In addition, older adults cannot convert as much 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 as younger adults because their skin contains less 7-dehydrocholesterol and their kidneys are less efficient at converting 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D. As a result, older adults are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency. African Americans are also at increased risk because melanin reduces skin penetration by UVB radiation. People with darkly pigmented skin may need up to 10 times more sun exposure than people with lightly pigmented skin to generate an equivalent amount of vitamin D3.

In Summary:

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps support bone health and immunity. While most people get some amount of vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, many do not get enough. This can put them at risk for deficiency, which can lead to health problems such as osteoporosis and Rickets. Luckily, there are many ways to increase your intake of vitamin D through diet and supplementation so you can experience all the benefits this nutrient has to offer!

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