An introduction to Vitamin D benefits
The sole vitamin that is not taken in from the foods we eat, is the D vitamin. Sunlight that is on the skin is where we get vitamin D from. Although the media has long touted the harm that the sun can cause to the skin, we do need some sunlight every day to be certain that we are getting enough vitamin D in our bodies. This is one of the greatest sources of vitamin D. To be honest, it only takes a few minutes each day, which is a tiny amount for a person to be in the sunlight, to receive enough vitamin D that the body needs. By doing this, you will not get any damage from the sun, since you will not be in UV light for a long time period.
To aid in the absorption of calcium from the food we eat, vitamin D is needed. Most of the calcium that we consume is used to create strong teeth and bones, but it also has used for the nerves to be able to send messages. And it is an aid to muscles, such as allowing heart muscles to contract. For these things to be carried out in the body, vitamin D is the one responsible for making sure that there is enough calcium in the blood. The immune system is another bodily function that needs vitamin D to thrive and it is as well believed, that by consuming vitamin D, the risk of cancer is lowered, and colon cancer in particular.
The type of vitamin D that is made underneath the skin is called cholecalciferol, or D3. When the ultraviolet light from the sun reacts with the type of cholesterol that is naturally found in skin, vitamin D3 is made. D3 is then changed into a form of vitamin D that is more active, and found in the liver, where it is then sent to the places in the body it is most needed. To be able to reabsorb the calcium from the blood, a portion of the vitamin D stays in the kidneys and liver. The remaining vitamin D is spread out to the bones, so that they can keep the calcium they have, and also to the intestines, to help in the absorption of calcium from food.
There exist a few foods that have naturally occurring vitamin D, although most of the vitamin D is made from being exposed to sunlight on the skin. Ergocalciferol, also known as vitamin D2, is this form of the D vitamin. This kind is what is mostly used to make vitamin D supplements, and it is generally used the same way as the other forms of the vitamin. This is another of the many vitamin D benefits.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
As opposed to all other vitamins, most of our intake of vitamin d is not obtained from food. Your body actually produces vitamin d when it is exposed to the sun. Although there certainly are risks involved with too much sun exposure, such as skin cancer and sun poisoning, you need to make sure you allow your skin to see the sun enough to obtain your intake of vitamin d. Generally, very little time actually must be spent in the sun to produce an ample amount of vitamin d. For most people, just a few minutes in a day will be plenty. This will allow you to get your daily allotment of vitamin d without harming your skin.
Vitamin d helps to control how much calcium is absorbed from the food you consume. Most people are well aware that calcium is required to build strong bones, but it has other uses. It is required for your body to send messages across nerves. Vitamin d makes sure that there is always enough calcium in the bloodstream for these tasks to be successfully performed. Vitamin d is also important for your immune system. Recent studies have shown that it helps reduce the risk of contracting colon cancer, as well as several over dangerous ailments.
Vitamin d3 is formed under the skin. It is known as cholecalciferol. When ultraviolet light, found in sunlight, reacts with cholesterol that naturally exists under the skin, this d vitamin is created. Then, the liver converts d3 into a much more active form of the vitamin. It is then sent off to wherever the body needs it most. A small part of the vitamin d remains in the kidneys and liver, to help reabsorb calcium in the blood. Any other vitamin d present is either sent to the bones, to help them retain enough calcium or to the intestines, to aid in the absorption of calcium.
Although you will get most of your vitamin d from sunlight, it is present in some foods. The type of vitamin d, found in foods, is vitamin d2, or ergocalciferol. Ergocalciferol works identically to cholecalciferol, causing it to be often used in supplements.
Sources of vitamin d can be found in a few varieties of foods. The best natural food sources for this vitamin would be oily types of fish such as Salmon, eggs, beef liver, and fortified food products such as breakfast cereals, milk, flour, and margarine. Other than exposure to sunlight, mushrooms are the only natural source of this vitamin for vegans.