Getting to Know: Vitamin D

by Matthew Hall

In the world of supplements and vitamins, there are some that are beneficial to a select few and others that anyone could use to take care of their bodies. Vitamin D is one of those “everybody supplements.”  The benefits have been researched and studied by health professionals for several years, and there have been attempts made from several angles to try and increase the vitamin D intake of people in the U.S., especially children. One of the most well-known examples of this is the addition of vitamin D to milk, and there are various other foods that are fortified with vitamins and minerals that do not naturally occur in those foods. Although vitamin D does not naturally occur in a wide variety of foods,  many species of fish are good sources, as well as egg yolks.

The benefits of vitamin D cover a large spectrum, from protecting the body from cancer, reducing risk of certain types of arthritis, and even maintaining a healthy body weight. It also helps to regulate the immune system and keeps bones healthy by helping them to absorb calcium and phosphorus.

There are some people who probably do not need to take additional supplements for vitamin D, such as those who live nearer the equator. This is because our bodies naturally absorb vitamin D from sun exposure. The growing trend in America, however, is that people are spending less and less time outdoors due to work restrictions and recreation choices (e.g., watching TV). And so in order to keep a healthy level of vitamin D in the body, people need to use supplements.

So if you feel a vitamin D supplement could be beneficial for you, go to any local pharmacy or supplement shop and have a look at their selection. It would also always be a good idea to get outside now that spring is upon us and summer is approaching, perhaps through the Get Active program, and refuel your vitamin D supply the old fashioned way!

 

Matthew Hall is currently an Operations Specialist for Howard County Library System and a student at Liberty University.

He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and kids. His interests include religious studies, psychology, and fitness.

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