Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because we get much of our vitamin D from the sun. Over the last two decades, studies have found that the level of vitamin D has dropped dramatically in Americans; this is probably because we have been told to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen.
There is new enthusiasm with vitamin D studies showing that it does boost the immune system and fight off viral infections such as the flu and at the same time tempers the immune system from overworking, which can create more mucus and fluid in the lungs, causing further problems such as pneumonia. Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, said “What vitamin D really does is play a sentinel role.” What that means is that vitamin D is used by the immune system to fight infection and it also helps to control the immune response and limits inflammation. By "tempering" the immune system in this way, it keeps the immune system from literally overworking, which can actually lead to death and is suspected in many of the deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic.
Vitamin D Keeps the Flu Away
A new study reported in the American Journal Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D3 can keep children from getting the flu. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study with 167 children found that those who took vitamin D got the flu less than those who didn’t take the vitamin D.
List of Vitamin D Health Benefits
- Boost immune system
- Prevent muscle weakness
- Maintain healthy bones
- Help prevent chronic fatigue
- Good for skin care
- Helps to lower blood pressure
- Helps to blood sugar level
- Maintain circulation.
- Prevents muscle weakness.
- Keeps proper potassium/calcium ratio in blood
- Protects against muscle weakness
- Regulates heartbeat and normal blood clotting
- Prevention and treatment of cancers, osteoporosis, and other diseases
- Helps keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy
- Regulates the growth and activity of your cells
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps with calcium absorption
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
For many years, the official recommended daily allowance for vitamin D has been set at 200-600IU per day. That now appears to be significantly too low to provide the greatest health benefits of vitamin D, such as good bone mineral density, dental health, fractures and cancer prevention. It's also nearly impossible to achieve these levels through diet alone, because very few foods contain any vitamin D.
Current Recommended Dosages of Vitamin D for Preventive Health. Most recommendations for vitamin D now call for at least 1,000-2,000IU per day. 5,000IU per day is better, especially if you get little or no sun exposure, live in northern latitudes, or are dark-skinned or overweight. Even more may be necessary if you're chronically deficient.
Vitamin D3 Supplements
It is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a vitamin D supplement is a practical way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream.
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Watch this video from Dr. John Cannel talking about the Importance of Vitamin D