Ensuring that our bodies run optimally might prove to exist as a challenging task. Individuals often reach for that carton of ice cream or bag of fast-food during times of stress, elation, or even boredom. Where lives are usually dictated by digital access, tech-fueled devices and innumerable hours whiled away, poised directly in front of a screen, adhering to a healthy routine might become close to an impossibility.
Despite removing the quirks and facets of the digital age, individual schedules do not typically allow for one-on-one time with nature in the contemporary era. Shuttling to and from an office in public transport, and returning to homes in order to greet piles of impending work leaves next to no room for a healthy jog, or the opportunity to whip up a quick, all-organic meal.
As a consequence, bodies begin to suffer from a varying degree of deficiencies – a hefty majority of them going on to affect both physiological, and psychological functioning.
Vitamin D is one such essential nutrient which is crucial for all the bodily functions to resume smoothly. Though Vitamin D is often associated with warm, direct sunlight, this does not exist as the only source of the vitamin. In fact, even individuals that can gather the time and effort to absorb just the correct amount of sunlight daily, might still suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.
The Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D provides a plethora of benefits if filtered within the body in moderation. One might reach out for a carrot for a healthy dose of Vitamin A and maintain clear eyesight; citrusy fruits come packed with Vitamin C, which is an optimal deterrent for gum or skin related diseases.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, caters primarily to how well the body is able to regulate calcium. Alongside this, Vitamin D additionally goes on to improve phosphorous absorption within the body, thereby enabling the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones.
Any individual suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency might go on to develop specific bone abnormalities, such as osteomalacia, or osteoporosis. Both these conditions cause the bones to devolve into becoming brittle, fragile and soft, and ultimately unable to fully support human weight.
Indeed, a 2004 study found that elderly women that absorbed higher amounts of Vitamin D reduced their chances of falling by nearly 50%, as opposed to those individuals with lower levels of Vitamin D within their systems.
Vitamin D has also been proven to stand, to a degree, as a deterrent against skin cancer, and Type 1 diabetes. A study at Boston University exposed participants to UVA and UVB rays until their Vitamin D levels peaked 100%. Consequentially, these individuals experienced a normalisation of their otherwise high levels of blood pressure.
Several studies have also found Vitamin D to strengthen the immune system, as well as decrease symptoms of clinical depression amongst subjects. However, such research has primarily been focused on the benefits of Vitamin D supplements in particular and how such pills can provide the correct dose of Vitamin D to encourage optimal functioning of both the body and mind.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D can be typically found in dairy products – such as cheese, milk or yoghurt – or heavily packed in beef liver. Additionally, egg yolks and fatty fish – such as tuna or mackerel – are also reliable sources of Vitamin D. However, preparing Vitamin D laden meals and foods might become cumbersome for many individuals in the fast-paced world of today. Moreover, there can be no guarantee that the sunlight we absorb might not affect us detrimentally, as a result of harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation.
As a result, Vitamin D supplements are often consumed as viable, beneficial alternatives. In fact, research has produced evidence expounding the virtues of Vitamin D supplements in particular and exactly how they aid the immune system.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in February of 2017 called for individuals to embellish their foods and meals with Vitamin D supplements, stating that they protect individuals against respiratory tract infections – or the flu – to a notable degree. This study follows one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, which similarly concluded that Vitamin D supplementation aids in reducing the likelihood of an individual developing the flu.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine concluded that high doses of Vitamin D bettered the symptoms of clinical depression amongst case subjects.
Vitamin D supplementation, as a whole, greatly strengthens the bone and muscles. In fact, if Vitamin D supplementation is taken as seriously as researchers urge for it to be, nearly 3 million – annually – can prevent themselves from developing the flu.
Given that most often meals rich in Vitamin D – such as cereals or orange juice – must be fortified in order to generate any significant impact upon bodily function, Vitamin D supplementation might just become the future of everyday diets very soon. The National Institute of Health Research has found the results of the 2017 study to be significant or striking enough to be worthy of deeper testing.
For the long months of winter, where the sunlight is weak and the hours during which it is received are considerably short – such Vitamin D supplementation could potentially proven to be a game changer. Given that there is no cure for the common cold, a pill that could potentially prevent acute respiratory tract infections might just exist as a close alternative.
As modern medicine continues to progress and advance at startling speeds, one can only glean all the benefits that it comes to offer. So, fortify your next meal with a Vitamin D supplement and allow your body and mind the prime functioning it deserves.