As a regular reader of The Daily Health you’ll know that we stand with square feet behind the amazing and proven health benefits of vitamin D.
Considering that most of us who are living in the Northern hemisphere are deficient in the sunshine vitamin, the importance of maintaining optimum levels of vitamin D is something we’ll continue to promote.
From infections to cancer
The list of health benefits attributed to the sunshine vitamin is almost never-ending and these range from helping to half the risk of asthma attacks, strengthening your bones, lowering the risk of developing heart disease and multiple sclerosis, and it even offers protection against the severity of certain mental health conditions, like depression.
Whereas low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes… to name but a few.
And now two new studies are adding even more benefits to this essential vitamin’s repertoire.
The results of the first study came out just in time now that summer is slowly coming to an end (even though many of us are still holding out for a hot spell in September).
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers investigated the effects of vitamin D supplements on care home patients over the course of a year. The patients who took higher doses of vitamin D (as much as 3,400 to 4,400 IUs) slashed their risk of developing acute respiratory infections by nearly HALF – faring better than patients who took just 400 to 1,000 IUs of the vitamin daily.
What’s more, the vitamin D also improved the condition of some patients suffering from more severe respiratory issues, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
So, if you want to make colds, flu and other respiratory infections a thing of the past this winter, it’s best to start boosting your levels now.
In the second study, researchers have found that the sunshine vitamin D could keep you safe from colon cancer. The results of this study, showed that patients with high levels of this amazing vitamin slashed their risk of colorectal cancer by a whopping 90 per cent.
Now that’s big news, because colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the world and the second most fatal.
Past studies have already shown how the sunshine vitamin can help you avoid certain types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer; but this study actually shows evidence that this miracle vitamin can activate an immune response against tumour cells.
According to the lead researcher, Shuji Ogino of Dana-Farber, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital: “Laboratory research suggests that vitamin D boosts immune system function by activating T cells that recognise and attack cancer cells.”
In other words, vitamin D interacts with your immune system to raise your body’s defences against cancer.
The best food sources of vitamin D include milk or eating dairy (like eggs), but the truth is there’s NO WAY that these foods can help you maintain optimum levels of vitamin D… and the same goes for fortified foods – which contains a substandard synthetic version of this vitamin anyway.
Your best bet still is to try to get at least 10 minutes of direct sunlight every day – without sunblock, big funny hats, or long sleeves. After that, you can cover up so you won’t burn.
And when the sun begins to hide the clouds, opt for a good quality vitamin D3 supplement. But don’t start supplementing too late because you want to bolster your defences before winter infections are rife.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections,
Vitamin D cuts colorectal cancer risk, foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Vitamins/vitamin_d_cuts_colorectal_cancer_risk_0307160859.html
Vitamin D protects some against colorectal cancer, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/01/vitamin-d-protects-some-against-colorectal-cancer/