According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood.” (1)
So why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, one of the most important minerals for bone health (2). Deficiency can cause diseases such as osteoporosis or rickets. It can also negatively impact your nerves, muscles and your immune system.
In fact, a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency is joint and back pain. Left untreated, this can lead to the development of arthritis and weaken bones.
Other Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Most signs of vitamin D deficiency can easily be confounded with other conditions. Here’s a list of symptoms to watch out for:
- Burning sensation on feet
- Poor balance
- Low-quality sleep
- Leg pain
- Bering prone to infections
Natural Vitamin D Sources
The best source of vitamin D is sunshine. Just 15 minutes a day of natural sunlight is all you need.
However, if you have dark skin, are overweight, older or simply don’t spend much time in the sun, try eating foods rich in vitamin D. Great sources include eggs, mushrooms and salmon.
Other Benefits of Vitamin D
Prevents Chronic Conditions
Vitamin D can protect against diabetic retinopathy (3), Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease (4), and even manage epilepsy (5).
This vitamin helps prevent cancer by slowing down the progression of cells from premalignant to malignant states (6). It also helps slow down tumour growth.
In fact, according to Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., cancer prevention specialist at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), estimates that 250,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 350,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented worldwide by increasing intake of vitamin D3 (7).
Boosts Immune System
Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining your immune system. In fact, not receiving enough vitamin D can leave you more prone to infections. So much so that hospitals are seeing positive results through vitamin D treatment for critical care patients (8).
Maintains Heart Health
This vitamin can also boost your cardiovascular health.
The American Journal Of Medical Sciences write: “Cross-sectional studies have reported that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of CVD, including hypertension, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease” (9).
So there you have it: a great reason to enjoy a nice walk under the sun or grab a breath of fresh air. Your body will thank you for it!