Researchers and medical professionals continue to reinforce the importance of vitamin D intake to ensure proper bone health. But more recent headlines like “More severe heart disease found in patients with vitamin D deficiency”, “Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Asthma Exacerbation”, and “Childhood Vitamin D Levels Tied to Adult Atherosclerosis” leave little doubt that there is more significance to this vitamin than most people may realize.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that your body can not make on its own; it needs help from nature. That help comes in the form of exposure to natural sunlight. Being fat soluble means your diet must contain some fat if you are trying to get enough vitamin D through your diet alone. It also means you need to have a healthy gut, and be able to eat and digest fat effectively, in order for your body to be able to absorb the fat and the vitamin. This essential vitamin is also necessary for your body to absorb calcium from the foods you eat. Most people are familiar with calcium’s ties to good bone health, but it is also involved in muscle contraction, regulation of body cell growth, reducing and preventing inflammation, and ensuring a healthy immune system. To do all that, this mineral needs vitamin D.
Vitamin D and Your Heart
Your heart is only a part of the cardiovascular system, the system that keeps healthy blood circulating throughout your body. Veins, arteries, and the actual heart are all made up of muscle tissue, and muscle need calcium as much as bones and teeth, and sufficient amounts of vitamin D are required for your body to properly absorb calcium. Though previous studies have focused on children and bone health (and the formation of the condition known as rickets) newer research shows that low levels of the vitamin contribute to poor cardiac system health in adults. Atherosclerosis, otherwise known as hardening of the arteries, is the condition where there is a build up of plaque on artery walls. This plaque is usually made up of cholesterol. Diets poor in fat make it difficult for the body to create and absorb vitamin D.
Best Sources for Vitamin D
Even if you live in a condominium in Pebble Beach there is still plenty of opportunity for you to get out and enjoy to benefits of the California sunshine. Although health experts warn continuously warn about too much exposure to direct sunlight that is the best source for material for your body to make this essential vitamin. Exercise helps reduce your risk of heart disease also so get out and go for a walk around your neighborhood. And don’t forget the hat. There are very few naturally occurring food sources, fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, that have this vitamin so the use of supplements and getting out in to the sun are the best ways to get your daily intake. Some juices as well as milk have been fortified with vitamin D in order to help people get the daily amounts needed for optimal health. Increasing age, naturally darker skin pigmentation, and weight are some factors that can affect your ability to get enough vitamin D. With this knowledge in mind you would be wise to ensure you get regular exercise and consider supplements. Your condominium in Pebble Beach might offer roof top patios, or perhaps you even have a balcony of your own so if getting out for some exercise doesn’t always fit your lifestyle you can still fit in a few minutes of soaking up sunshine time. It’s for a good cause; your health.