The Importance of Vitamin D
Many of us know that vitamin D is an important vitamin that we get from the sun and from fortified foods, but not as many of us know what it actually does for our bodies, and what happens to us if there’s a deficiency of it in our bodies. For example, your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, which means that vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. For seniors, who have the highest incidence rates of bone deterioration and tooth decay, this makes maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D of critical importance.
One of the easiest ways, if not the easiest, way to get vitamin D is from the sun. When exposed to sunlight, the skin will naturally produce vitamin D. As little as ten minutes of sun exposure each week is surprisingly enough to make a big difference. Vitamin D also supports a whole host of other functions, such as strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of cancer, and boosting your mental health and reducing depression.
One of the effects of aging is the body will have a harder time producing and absorbing vitamin D, meaning that older adults need to take extra steps to ensure that an adequate supply is maintained. Deficiencies can leave you feeling tired, pained, and increase your risk of fractures.
Vitamin D only naturally occurs in a few foods, but many foods like milk, cereals, yogurt, and more are fortified with it. Naturally occurring sources include mushrooms, some fish and shellfish, and egg yolks.