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Why Vitamin D is essential for good healthy ageing...

Author: Janie Smith
Copyright: Janie Smith
If you would like to reproduce any part of this article please contact Janie Smith

The weather in the UK is superb at the moment, or at least it is here in London. Millions of us are baring our skin for the first time in months but not everyone is doing it safely. It is so easy to burn and that's not good!

The sun however can have a positive effect on us human beings. A little sunshine is very beneficial. It is a source of the much discussed Vitamin D which is in fact a pre-hormone that can reduce the risk of certain cancers, absorb calcium, protect bones, help prevent type 2 diabetes by 80% and help prevent multiple sclerosis. We get 95% of our Vitamin D from the sun and it can be found in food like margarine and fortified cereals.

Vitamin D has many other benefits to our health and well being, amongst them it:
* reduces the chance of heart disease,
* boosts serotonin levels,
* helps prevent SAD,
* warms muscles and reduces stiffness, reducing pain from inflammatory conditions,
* increases fertility in men,
* helps IBS and Crohns disease as it can be difficult to absorb non sunlight sources of Vitamin D,
* can relieve acne, psoriasis and eczema,
* protects teeth from cavities as more calcium and phosphates are absorbed,
*reduces risk of womb, bladder, oesophagus and stomach cancers. (Be aware that it can increase skin cancer risk),
* encourages growth of white blood cells to strengthen immunity, and
* aids weight loss as serotonin production rises and suppresses appetite.

How much sunlight do we need to get our healthy Vitamin D?
Caucasian Skin = 10-15 minutes as Caucasians have thinner skin
Asian/African Skin = 60 -90 minutes as these skin types are thicker and take longer to absorb the light. some interesting research in Africa recently noticed that people with African skin who wear sunglasses all day are frequently Vitamin D deficient.

In the UK we do not have exact figures of how many people are Vit. D deficient but the number is thought to be very high. Only 10% of the recommended intake of Vitamin D is found in foods and medical experts are calling for more of our foods to be fortified because we live in a country that has many short dark days. Incidents of rickets have, according the NHS, increased four fold over the last ten years. This may be caused by using too much SPF, lack of quality sunlight and poor diets.

How much Vitamin D do we need?
Based on international units, (IU), we need the following:
* adults up to 70 = 600 IU.
* Adults over 70 = 800 IU.
During the autumn and winter months I supplement with Vitamin D. It is not the perfect solution but does help.

What happens if we are vitamin D deficient?
* makes your body more vulnerable to certain diseases,
* makes your brain more vulnerable to depression,
* greater risk of osteoporosis, (fragile bones), and
* greater risk of osteomalacia (soft bones).

Environmental and lifestyle factors that can cause Vitamin D deficiency
* staying indoors,
* pollution. The more pollution the less Vitamin D gets through to your body,
* too much SPF. Whilst essential we often overdo it and don't get any D in to our skin which is very unhealthy, and
* living in a city where buildings are too close together and little sunlight gets through.

Always remember that vitamin D is essential for good health and well being - too much sunlight is not so be careful.

If you want to know about how to have fun in the sun and remain safe click here.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog article and found it useful. Please feel free to like and subscribe to the Savvy 'n' Sassy blog  and You Tube for tutorials.
If you have any questions please do leave a comment below.
Take care, and refuse to be invisible!
Janie S xxx Savvy 'n' Sassy


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