The Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps our bodies regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate that’s present in our blood. This, in turn, helps to keep our bones and muscles healthy and strong. Since vitamin D plays an essential role in improving and maintaining bone density over time, it can help lower your risk for developing serious bone deformities such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Getting an adequate amount of vitamin D improves your immune system, reduces your risk for infection, and helps to fend off chronic disease, mental health disorders, diabetes, and even cancer. To better understand recommendations for daily intake, here’s some information on the importance of getting enough vitamin D.

Benefits of Vitamin D

There are a number of benefits to increasing your vitamin D levels, all of which have been shown to help contribute to an overall healthy body and mind. Vitamin D helps to strengthen bones, improves your mood, leads to better immune function, and even causes healthier gene expression.

Stronger Bones

One of the main effects of adequate vitamin D intake is building and maintaining stronger bones. This is especially important in professionals who need to be on their feet all day with physically demanding jobs. Vitamin D helps to reduce your chances of developing rickets, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and osteoarthritis.

Improved Mood

Serotonin is a hormone that helps stabilize your moods, improves your feelings of well-being, and contributes to an overall happier lifestyle. Vitamin D is essential in activating serotonin receptors, and a deficiency can increase your risk of depression.

Better Immune Function

In recent years, it’s been found that vitamin D is interconnected to much more than bone health. In fact, vitamin D can help stabilize blood levels of calcium and phosphorous, improve cardiovascular function, and control blood pressure. It’s also been shown to improve immune functioning, especially in defense against certain types of cancers and even diabetes.

Healthier Gene Expression

Gene expression is a process that enables stronger communication between our bodily structures to enhance development and growth along with ongoing maintenance. It’s been found that vitamin D produces a metabolic product.  That product essentially unlocks binding sites to better control gene expression and suppress disease.

What is the Recommended Intake of Vitamin D?

There’s some debate as to how much vitamin D is enough, but it’s difficult to measure. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), most adults need no more than 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day to maintain optimal health. It’s recommended to pair vitamin D intake with your daily dose of calcium for the best results in bone health.

Other agencies recommend higher levels—some reaching up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily. To try and uphold the best of both worlds, aiming for IU levels between that range is recommended, as up to 4,000 IU is safe for consumption.

How You Can Get the Recommended Amount of Vitamin D

Not only is there a debate about how much vitamin D is optimal for children and adults, but there seems to be some difference in opinion as to how you should be getting your daily intake as well. You can take supplements to increase your body’s vitamin D level, or you can get it through good old fashioned sunshine and nutrition. Here, we’ll explore all three.

Supplementation

The easiest way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is to take a supplement daily. Talk to your doctor before starting a new regimen to ensure that there will be no interactions with other medications.

Sunshine

For years, people have been relying on sunshine for vitamin D. The UVB rays trigger a natural production within your body, but it requires a decent amount of skin exposure. With the rise of skin cancer, many adults and children have taken measures to cover up and be more diligent about sunscreen. While sunshine is still essential, you shouldn’t rely on it as your only form of vitamin D intake.

Food Intake

There are a few foods that contain adequate levels of vitamin D, so adding them to your diet is essential if you don’t want to take supplements or if you live somewhere that lacks year-round sun. Foods that are high in vitamin D include salmon and other fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Try adding foods that have been fortified with vitamin D, which means that it’s been added through processing. Fortified foods include milk, certain orange juices, yogurt, cereals, grains, and more.

Regardless of how you decide to get your vitamin D daily intake, doing so is important to maintaining healthy bodily functions. To reap the benefits, it’s recommended to combine supplementation, sunshine, and food every day.

The Need for Vitamin D in Massage Therapists

Massage therapists undergo physically demanding jobs that require them to perform strenuous movements while on their feet all day. Over time, the joints and bones of massage therapists can weaken; therefore, getting enough vitamin D is essential to longevity and avoiding joint pain, broken bones, fractures, and more. For uniquely designed massage programs created for your individual needs, contact Willow Massage + Spa today at 480-696-3132.

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