With the cold weather coming upon us, so will the lack of sunshine. Our bodies produce Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight. In the winter, getting even 20 minutes of sun can be difficult. Because of this, most of us in the Midwest suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D boosts our immune system and helps with the reduction of inflammation. It also keeps our teeth and bones strong. This vitamin has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth and neuromuscular. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle. This vitamin deficiency is found in approximately 80% of those who have hip fractures.
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating your mood and depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms. You may want to consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease. A study has shown that people who took a daily vitamin supplement didn’t lose a significant amount of weight, but were able to improve their heart disease risk markers.
We can get vitamin D from supplements. Very few foods in nature contain this vitamin. Fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Fortified foods and milk contain vitamin D. Other dairy products made from milk, such as cheese and ice cream, are generally not fortified. Some breakfast cereals often contain added vitamins, as do some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine and other food products.
Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, cancer, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.
Let’s be preventative in taking care of our bodies, not reactive. Make sure you are eating properly, getting out in the sun or taking the proper amount of supplements.
Tests for Vitamin D Deficiency
LaGrange Medical Center and Urgent Care can measure the level of Vitamin D in your body. Make an appointment for a Wellness physical and let our providers make a recommendation for you. Call our office at 708.352.0330. We are conveniently located at 6170 Joliet Road in Countryside, Illinois.