Vitamin D Targets the Three D’s

Vitamin D Targets the Three D’s
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About the Author

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey

Eryl McCaffrey is a yoga teacher from Oakville, Ontario and a passionate health and wellness writer. When she’s not reminding students of how powerful they are on their mats, she’s writing about ways to find happiness, peace and freedom in this life. Eryl also loves hiking, singing and jumping out of her comfort zone whenever she gets the chance! Check out her blog.

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Vitamin D is powerful beyond belief in terms of what it can do for your health. Research shows this super vitamin has the ability to improve brain disorders like dementia, forms of mental illness like depression, and it’s also been shown to treat diabetes. Many of us have heard about the importance of getting enough vitamin D in the winter months when we’re lacking sunshine, but forget about it the rest of the year.  Do your very best to make vitamin D intake a priority all year round to benefit your brain and body.

Depression

Research shows that people with lower than average levels of vitamin D have an 85 percent increased risk of depression, compared to those with average levels. It’s commonly known that vitamin D deficiency is also linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which usually plagues people in the fall and winter when the sun starts to fade. Vitamin D is made by your body as you are exposed to sunlight and plays a big role in protecting your bones.  If you suffer from depression, talk to your doctor about potentially taking high doses of vitamin D to see if it improves your mental health.

Dementia

A recent study involving seniors showed that those with low vitamin D levels have almost double the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those with average vitamin D levels. Specifically, those with low levels had more than a 50 percent increased risk for dementia, and a 70 percent higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers have also found links between depression and dementia, suggesting high levels of depression could lead to developing dementia later on in life.  So, if you increase your vitamin D intake, you’re taking steps to tackle depression and its potential future partner, dementia.

Diabetes

Vitamin D may also play a role in type 2 diabetes. One study based in India found that vitamin D and calcium supplementation, in addition to regular exercise, can prevent those with prediabetes from developing full blown diabetes. In fact, researchers believe that vitamin D may reduce your risk of developing diabetes by as much as 25 percent! This is great news for people with prediabetes, who are estimated to be five to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Sources of Vitamin D

Medical professionals say we should be shooting for optimal levels of vitamin D, and not normal ones. The ideal range is somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 units a day.  Some of the best sources of this vitamin are found in common foods. Salmon has the most vitamin D of any food, with just half a fillet of sockeye salmon containing more than twice as much as most people need each day.  Fortified whole milk has one-fifth the amount of vitamin D you need each day, and if you scramble up two eggs on the side, you’re adding in another one-tenth of your daily vitamin D.  If you want to receive all the benefits vitamin D has to offer, make sure you not only include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet, but you consider adding in an all-natural supplement as well.

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