6 Reasons You Need Vitamin D

6 Reasons You Need Vitamin D

Increase your chances of accomplishing your short and long-term health and fitness goals through the simple addition of the sunshine vitamin.

6 Reasons You Need Vitamin D

With summer long gone, are you finding it increasing difficult to get out and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine? If so, chances are you’re like most Americans who find themselves deficient in what’s commonly referred to as the sunshine vitamin – vitamin D. But, while seasons may change, our basic needs do not. And, regardless of whether we’re blessed with the beautiful, scorching days of summer, or the dreary, often chilly days of fall, it’s extremely important to get vitamin D. Why? We’ve compiled a list of six of the most important reasons.

Improve Mental Sharpness

Are you becoming progressively more forgetful or even mentally sluggish? According to recent British research, there may be a way to curb this. Researchers performed blood tests on more than 3,000 European men and discovered that participants with higher levels of vitamin D displayed superior memory function and information processing capabilities than those with lower levels of the sunshine vitamin. If you’re unsure of your vitamin D levels, ask your doctor to set up a blood test.

Feed A Cold or A Fever

You’ve probably heard your friends say “starve a cold and feed a fever.” Colorado and Massachusetts researchers recently discovered that the opposite might be better advice. The study found that participants with lesser amounts of vitamin D in their bloodstream were over 30% more likely to have had a recent infection than those whose blood tests indicated higher levels of vitamin D. In other words, forget your friends’ advice. Instead, listen to statistical evidence and include vitamin D in your diet.

Leaner Abs

Are your pants getting tighter? Hit the gym and leave the yo-yo diets to the celebrities. You might also want to try some vitamin D fortified orange juice. A recent 16-week study indicated that participants who consumed orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D had a significant reduction in abdominal fat over those who consumed the same orange juice without vitamin D. So the next time you’re in the grocery store, read the nutrition labels and choose an orange juice high in vitamin D.

Healthier Heart

Do heart problems run in your family? If so, you might be interested to know about a recent Copenhagen University Hospital study. Research revealed that participants who had the lowest levels of vitamin D were found to have had an 81% increased potential to die from heart disease, 64% greater risk of heart attacks, and 57% higher chance of early death than those with the highest vitamin D levels. Add vitamin D rich foods and beverages such as salmon and milk to your grocery list and better your odds.

Care For Your Hair

Everyone knows to attract the ladies you have to take care of your hair. What you may not have considered is the role of vitamin D. Researchers recently revealed that vitamin D has the ability to revive receptors in hair follicles that seemingly die and consequently leads many men to developing male pattern baldness. While more research will be conducted, these findings might be enough to prompt many to ditch their favorite stone cold beer in favor of a warm glass of milk.

Deficiency Common in Cancer Patients

Cancer. The mere word sends shivers down your spine. Recently, researchers discovered that regardless of the form of cancer or even the nutritional status of the patient, the one thing most cancer patients have in common is a vitamin D deficiency. Early detection is always your best chance of successfully battling it, so if cancer runs in your family, get screened. And, considering that vitamin D deficiency is considered common amongst cancer patients, don’t knowingly allow yourself to become vitamin D deficient.

Source: mensfitness.com, by: James DeMedeiros

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Study Questions Benefits of Vitamin D Supplements

Study Questions Benefits of Vitamin D Supplements

A new study challenges vitamin D’s effectiveness to prevent colds or the flu. What does this mean for you?

Vitamin D is a vital vitamin/hormone that can come from sunlight, diet, and some supplements. It bestows many health benefits including an improved ability to prevent some types of cancer.

However, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association questions vitamin D’s ability to prevent colds, the flu and other similar upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), which include symptoms like runny nose, cough, sore throat, or nasal stuffiness.

Researchers followed 294 New Zealanders for 18 months. One-half of the participants received oral vitamin D3 supplements at specialized monthly dosages. The control group received a similar-looking placebo pill. All participants had normal vitamin D levels at the start of the study.

At the end of the observation period, the researchers noted a similar number of URTIs in both groups and concluded that monthly administration of vitamin D3 “did not reduce the incidence or severity of URTIs in healthy, predominantly European adults with near-normal vitamin D levels.”

Despite the results of this most recent study, don’t throw away your vitamin D supplements just yet. This study is one of several that has shown conflicting evidence of vitamin D’s cold-fighting effects. Another study on Mongolian schoolchildren in winter found that taking vitamin D supplements led to a 50% reduction in acute respiratory infections. It’s quite possible that the URTI-fighting effects of vitamin D supplements can vary between different populations or at different geographic locations, where sunlight exposure varies.

Furthermore, keep in mind that past epidemiological studies have shown an association between low vitamin D levels and various respiratory illnesses, including an increased risk of getting tuberculosis. Other researchers have touted vitamin D’s bug-fighting properties. It has been shown to reduce the body’s risk of infection by altering its “modulation of anti-microbial peptides (AMP)” and by “enhancing [the] clearance of invading organisms” in the respiratory tract, preventing infections.

These results may also suggest that taking vitamin D supplements, though helpful, may not entirely replace making a strong effort to increase levels of vitamin D in the diet or through sun exposure. The best dietary sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna and mackerel (especially the flesh) and fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese and egg yolks also contain small amounts.

Also, remember that vitamin D also plays a number of other beneficial roles in our bodies, including:
Promoting absorption of calcium and bone health
Boosting immune function
Reducing inflammation
Healthy neuromuscular function
Protecting against some forms of cancer

Source: doctoroz.com

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Vitamin D Benefits: Weigh Less, Smile More!

Vitamin D Benefits: Weigh Less, Smile More! Why getting your fill of vitamin D can help you lose weight and improve your mood?

Vitamin D Benefits Weigh Less, Smile More

As the moment of truth with your bathing suit inches closer, you might be cursing your sweet tooth for the belly bulge you can’t seem to shed. But it could be what you’re not eating that’s actually responsible.

A 2000 study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that 77 percent of Americans are vitamin-D deficient. Numerous studies have shown D’s crucial role in strengthening bones, fighting depression, and boosting immunity, but now, after decades of research and thousands of studies, experts may have finally proven that missing out on that one little letter could be a major factor in pushing the number on your scale higher and higher.

Heavy D, Slimmer You
Unlike most vitamins, D can be manufactured by your body, provided you’re exposed to sunlight. But sunscreen—a must for preventing wrinkles and, of course, cancer—reduces your skin’s ability to make D by 90 to 99 percent, depending on the level of SPF thoroughness of application. And even if you don’t use sun protection (bad girl!), it’s tough to catch the right rays. The sunlight you’re most likely to get on a daily basis—in the early morning and late afternoon—is too weak to generate enough D. Not to mention that air pollution can filter out some of the UVB rays, so less of them are able to reach your skin at any time of day.

A far safer, saner, and more satisfying way to up your D level is to get more of the vitamin from your diet. A doctor can administer a simple blood test called 25-hydroxy vitamin D, or 25-OH D, which is the most reliable way to tell not only whether you are deficient but also how severe your deficiency is. And as you increase your consumption of D, your waistband could start to feel a whole lot looser. Every cell in your body needs D to function properly—including hated fat cells. Special receptors for D signal whether you should burn fat or simply store it; when D plugs into these receptors, it’s like a key that revs your body’s flab-melting mechanism.

Meanwhile, receptors in your brain need D to keep hunger and cravings in check, as well as to pump up levels of the mood-elevating chemical serotonin. (Good thing, since dieting often comes with a heaping side of crankiness.) D even optimizes your body’s ability to absorb other important weight-loss nutrients, especially calcium. When your body lacks calcium, it can experience up to a fivefold increase in the fatty acid synthase, an enzyme that converts calories into fat. In a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, obese women who were put on a 15-week diet and took 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day lost six times more weight than women who followed the diet alone. The end result: By fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to get out of a fat-storage state and into a fat-burning one, you could potentially speed weight loss by up to 70 percent.

Source: womenshealthmag.com, by Alisa Bowman and the editors of Women’s Health.

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