The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in a few foods, added to others, and available in supplement form. It is also produced in the body when the skin is exposed to UV rays from sunlight. It is considered a major player in keeping the body healthy and strong. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is one of the main building blocks of bones. It also plays an important role in the immune, nervous, and muscle systems.
Vitamin D deficiency can be the result of not getting enough vitamin D through diet, not enough sun exposure, the liver or kidney not being able to convert vitamin D to its active form in the body, and some medications that interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several illnesses that affect people in record
numbers. They include:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
Vitamin D - Important from the Womb
Vitamin D is particularly important for pregnant women and small children. Scientists have found that it controls brain development in fetuses and that children who are born to mothers who are vitamin D deficient have decreased bone mass. There is a resurgence of rickets in the United States due to vitamin D deficiency. In infants, vitamin D ensures healthy immune system development.
Hispanics and Low Levels of Vitamin D
Research has found that the highest prevalence of low vitamin D levels is among Hispanics and African Americans. This may be due to melanin acting as a natural sunscreen. Studies performed by the University of Texas Health Science Center found that older Mexican Americans take fewer vitamin D supplements than other ethnic groups. There is also a large Hispanic population affected by diabetes and evidence supports an association between diabetes and low levels of vitamin D. For these reasons it is important to acknowledge the importance of this nutrient more so in certain minority groups.
Here are some tips for increasing your vitamin D levels:
- Soak up some sunlight by spending time outdoors. Remember to be
mindful of too much sun exposure since too much sun can be harmful.
- Eat fortified foods such as cereal or oatmeal
- Include seafood in your diet
- Eat more mushrooms (mushrooms are the only non-fortified
vegetarian source of vitamin D)
- Take a vitamin D supplement
Natura-Genics® manufactures maximum strength Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU). Vitamin D3 comes from animals while D2 comes from plants. Research suggests that D3 is more effective at raising vitamin D levels in the blood.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of rest, vitamin D supplements support healthy levels of vitamin D in your body and promote overall wellness.
Sunshine in a bottle! Shop Vitamin D Supplements.
Your Hispanic American Health Store
Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.