Vitamin D: the "wonder drug"
Men and women over the age of 50 may not be aware of the myriad benefits associated with vitamin D. Usually dubbed “the sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is incredibly important for our bodies in ways that many of us don’t even realize.
Let’s take a look at just why this essential vitamin is so important, and how you can make sure you are getting enough.
How many kinds of vitamin D are there, exactly?
Good question. There are actually FIVE different "kinds" or formulations of what is called vitamin D. They are ergocalciferol (D2), cholecalciferol (D3), vitamin D4, vitamin D5, and calcitriol.
Of these, the most important ones are Vitamins D2 and D3.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
Vitamin D plays an essential role in helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorous from food, which helps to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Furthermore, studies have linked a lack of vitamin D to higher risks of developing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and dementia.
There are also evidence-based links between vitamin D deficiency and depression, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it’s clear that maintaining adequate levels of this essential nutrient is vital for overall health and well-being.
How Can I Get Enough Vitamin D?
The easiest way to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. But if you live in a place where sunshine is limited or non-existent (like Canada during the winter months) then supplementing with foods rich in vitamin D or taking supplements may be necessary.
Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon and tuna as well as egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified dairy products like milk or yogurt.
Supplements are available online or at most pharmacies or health food stores. Just make sure to discuss any supplements you take with your doctor or healthcare practicioner before starting them.
And honestly, for the most part, it's probably not necessary to take great amounts of vitamin D supplements separately. Usually, you'll get enough of what your body needs from a decent multivitamin supplement.
But as many researchers are pointing out, it might be good to supplement with extra C, D and zinc (as well as some quercetin) if you're battling a cold or flu (or coronavirus).
Getting enough vitamin D is essential for both men and women over the age of 50—especially those who live in northern climates where sunshine can be limited year round!
Making sure that you get enough sun exposure (when possible) can help increase your levels naturally; however, for times when that isn’t feasible (or sufficient), make sure to consume foods high in this essential nutrient. This can help bridge the gap until the sun returns again!
Be sure to talk to your doctor about what amount might work best for you based on your lifestyle and needs. By doing so, you can ensure that you will benefit from all the amazing advantages that come along with having optimal amounts of this powerful “sunshine” nutrient!