It helps the intestine absorb nutrients such as phosphorus and calcium, thus ensuring a strong immune system and strong bones.
A deficiency in vitamin D can result in a softening of the bones called osteomalacia or a bone abnormality called rickets.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms now have been linked to numerous health problems, including cardiovascular (high blood pressure and/or heart attack) disease, depression, and even cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include muscle cramps, inability to concentrate, restless sleep, headaches, joint pain, general fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, bladder problems, and muscle pain or weakness.
Michael F. Holick is a leading vitamin D experts and he claims that the deficiency of vitamin D is related to muscle weakness as well as congestive heart failure.
However, the benefits of this vitamin are not only physical. Vitamin D has been associated with a reduction in depression and cognitive impairment in older adults.
Vitamin D and Sunlight Exposure
Vitamin D is extremely important for our bodies because our body is not able to produce it on its own. Those sunscreen choices that we put are packed with chemicals.
They are the reason why our body is not able to get this precious vitamin. Vitamin D boosts the immune system, promotes strong bones, prevents cancer, and even prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Moreover, the sunscreens that we use are designed to block UVB rays (involved in the production of vitamin D3) by our body and allow UVA rays (responsible for DNA damage and skin cancers).
UVB rays from the sun can penetrate the outer layers of our skin then absorb this UV light in order to produce vitamin D3. This process can’t occur without sunlight.
Vitamin D3 is first formed on the skin surface and can’t get into the bloodstream immediately. It takes some time for the vitamin D3 to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
This means that after sun exposure, you need to delay washing your body with soap because the soap can eliminate the oils of the skin that have started the process of vitamin D.
For the last 30 years, the so-called science has been teaching us to avoid the very sun that can protect us from skin cancer, and instead use harmful sunscreens full of cancer-causing compounds.
How To Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin D
UVB rays are strongest during summer, especially during midday. Keep in mind that skin color affects the ability of a person to create D3 in the skin.
In other words, the darker your skin, the more you should be exposed to sunlight for production of vitamin D3. People with light skin are recommended to be exposed to sun from 10 to 45 minutes while dark skinned people from 2 to 2.5 hours.
You can also obtain small amounts of vitamin D from your diet through animal based sources such as:
- Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
- Egg yolk
- Raw milk ( Cow’s milk)
- Beef liver
There are numerous plant sources of vitamin D and thus there are sample ways of including this particular vitamin in a vegetarian’s diet:
- Orange Juice
- Soy Products