Vitamin D Quick Facts:
What is it? Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins that comes in two major forms; these are vitamin D2 (or ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (or cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is produced in skin exposed to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet B radiation.
What does it do? It is involved in calcium metabolism, muscle metabolism, bone health and new evidence shows it plays an important role in the health vis a vis cardiovascular health and the prevention of cancer.
How much sun? According to a study from Australia, 2–14 minutes of sun three to four times per week at 12:00 noon is sufficient to ensure recommended vitamin D production in fair-skinned people with 15% of the body exposed.(5)
Vitamin D Overview:
If you think Vitamin D is just for kids who drink milk, think again! Of course we are all familiar with the need for vitamin C, as a potent anti-oxidant, the B vitamins for energy support, and even folic acid, for pregnant moms. But vitamin D may be the king of all vitamins. Truly! There is growing evidence to show that this vitamin has several very amazing properties.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin problems, inflammatory diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease. For instance, a recent study looked at the association between vitamin D and calcium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes. In the Nurses' Health Study, scientists followed 83,779 women who had no history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline for the development of type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D and calcium intake from diet and supplements was assessed every 2-4 years. During 20 years of follow-up, they documented 4,843 incident cases of type 2 diabetes. They discovered that a combined daily intake of >1,200 mg calcium and >800 IU vitamin D was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with an intake of
Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with anxiety and depression in individuals with fibromyalgia.(2) Also, in two U.S. cohorts, higher intakes of vitamin D were associated with lower risks for pancreatic cancer. So there is a potential role for vitamin D in the pathogenesis and prevention of pancreatic cancer.(3) Thus, it is becoming clear that vitamin D protects against other chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers, all of which are as prevalent or more prevalent among blacks than whites. Clinicians and educators should be encouraged to promote vitamin D supplementation and its potentially broad health benefits.