How important is Vitamin D?

The Benefits of Vitamin D
Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on May 20, 2013 healthline.com

Called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is vital to strong bones and teeth and a healthy immune system. Learn how to get the dose you need….”

How Do You Get It?

Your body produces vitamin D naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. A little can go a long way: just 10 minutes a day of mid-day sun exposure is plenty, especially if you’re fair-skinned.

Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that you obtain vitamin D from all three of these sources in order to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.”

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Top 5 Benefits Of Vitamin D | Best Health and Beauty Tips | Lifestyle

Sun Exposure: Vitamin D And Other Health Benefits Of Sunlight
Jun 4, 2013 01:50 PM By Lizette Borreli
What are other benefits you know and what ways do you get it daily? medicaldaily.com
“A Better Night’s Sleep

Your amount of daylight exposure is vital in maintaining a normal circadian rhythm. These rhythms include physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle and respond to light and darkness in the body’s environment, says the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The sleep-wake cycle is contingent on morning sunlight to help you sleep at night. Natural daylight helps your body clock restart to its active daytime phase. To ensure that your body clock is in sync, be sure to go outside and get some sunlight when you wake up or turn on the lights in your room. This will give your body the signal that it is daytime and not nighttime. To avoid confusing your circadian rhythm, try not to sit in dim settings during the day because your body will associate the bright light with night. The less morning light you expose yourself to, the more difficult it will be for you to fall asleep and wake up at your set time, says Discovery.com.

Enhances Your Mood

Regular sunlight exposure can naturally increase the serotonin levels in your body, making you more active and alert. In an article published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exposure to bright light is seen as an approach to increase serotonin without the use of drugs. The positive correlation between the development of serotonin and the hours of sunlight during the day was seen in healthy volunteers. In a sample size of 101 healthy men, researchers found that turnover of serotonin in the brain was lowest during the winter whereas the production rate of serotonin was highest when the subjects stayed in the sunlight longer.

The article therefore suggests that spending time in the summer sun can help you avoid the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), seasonal depression, and mood variation has been linked to sunlight exposure. Dr. Timo Partonen from the University of Helsinki’s National Public Health Institute in Finland and researchers found that blood levels of cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, are relatively low in the winter months. Sunlight exposure in the summer can equip your body to stock up on vitamin D3 that can last throughout the fall and yield for the production of more vitamin D, which leads to higher serotonin levels.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Skin that is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays release a compound, nitric oxide, that lowers blood pressure. In a recent study conducted at Edinburgh University, dermatologists studied the blood pressure of 34 volunteers under UV and heat lamps. In one session, the volunteers were exposed to both light sources and in the other session, the UV rays were blocked so only the heat affected the skin. The results of the study showed a significant drop in blood pressure after exposure to UV rays for an hour but not after the heat-only sessions. It is important to note that the volunteers’ vitamin D levels were unaffected in both sessions.

Actually Protects From Melanoma

Yes, safe sun exposure can actually protect you from melanoma. The skin’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation of short wavelegnths (UVB) has been linked to a decreased risk of melanoma in outdoor workers compared to their indoor counterparts, which suggests chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect, says The Lancet Journal….”

-Foods
*see Health: Nutrition-Micronutrients Pt. 2~Vitamins=Fat Soluble goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

Foods highest in Vitamin D
(based on levels per 200-Calorie serving)
nutritiondata.self.com

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