Now that winter is here many Americans will be deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, often through foods such as milk, but those sources are rarely adequate, experts say. Most people get the bulk of this fat-soluble vitamin from the UV-B radiation in sun exposure, which naturally causes the skin to produce it. In the winter with less available sunshine, many people become deficient. Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin to overall health. It was thought for years that it just made bones strong and prevented rickets. New evidence shows that:
Low levels of circulating vitamin D are associated with increased risk and mortality from cancer.
Vitamin D plays an important role in activating the immune system, and may help control autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
It can profoundly boost the innate immune system, and could form the basis for new therapies to combat pathogenic infections.
Epidemiological studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and increased rates of respiratory infection and influenza, and it has been hypothesized that flu epidemics may be the result of vitamin D deficiency.
Higher levels of a protein linked to vitamin D have been associated with reduced infections and longer survival of dialysis patients.
Vitamin D has important roles in reducing inflammation, blood pressure and helping to protect against heart disease.
If you don’t get enough Vitamin D through your diet, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about how much you should be taking in.