Vitamin D - The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D is frequently referred to as The Sunshine Vitamin, as it is manufactured by human skin exposed to the sun.

For this to take place, people need sufficient levels of cholesterol in the body. Vitamin D3 is the form our bodies produce naturally.

The major biological function of Vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium helping to form and maintain strong bones. It also plays a key role in boosting the immune system. In particular it triggers and arms the body’s T-cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy invading bacteria and viruses. Recently, research suggests Vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis.

Summer sunlight increases brain serotonin levels more than twice as much as winter sunlight, impacting mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD ) is prevalent when Vitamin D stores are typically low. Many people with SAD find the mood elevating effects of Vitamin D beneficial. Vitamin D is widely involved in brain function, with nuclear receptors for Vitamin D localised in neurons.

Common food sources of Vitamin D include fish oil, eggs, butter and cheese. It is well recognised that people living in Ireland do not get enough vitamin D as the main source is sunlight. Vitamin D is available in supplemental form from birth upwards, in measurements from 200IU (international units ) up to 2500IU.

To convert international units to milligrams for Vitamin D, divide IU potency by 40. Therefore, 1000IU equates to 25 micrograms.

For more information contact Susan in Au Naturel, Irishtown, Athlone on (090 ) 6487993.

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