Winter is coming and it may be the best time of the year to talk about vitamin D. An estimated 85 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient and over 95 percent of senior citizens in the US may possibly be deficient. These numbers may be even higher during the winter months as sun exposure is reduced and vitamin D synthesis is very unlikely across the country.
Vitamin D is extremely important as it plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal health and preventing diseases. Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of several health conditions including type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as cancer. Plus, vitamin D exhibits its infection-fighting abilities in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds, and flu.
Cases of vitamin D deficiency are more frequently in the winter months from early December to late February as people tend to spend more time indoors than outdoors. On top of that, the sunlight exposure may not be enough to produce D, depending on where you live in the US. People living in Northern states are unlike to produce D as there is very little sun exposure and the sun rays aren’t strong enough to produce vitamin D. Exposing your skin to the sun is not likely to produce vitamin D when the temperature is lower than 50F. This occurs in most regions in the US during the winter months.
Aside from sun exposure, vitamin D is obtained from food sources and supplementation. Common types of vitamin D are vitamin D2 and D3. Compared to D2, vitamin D3 is 87 percent more effective, and is the preferred form for addressing insufficient levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements may be an excellent addition for the winter months, keeping your D levels healthy at least until you get the chance to get outdoors and product it naturally.
Image credit: www.epa.gov
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