Healthy Articles Archive

Nutrient Focus: Vitamin D Part 1

Words: Angela Dowden
Angela Dowden studied food science at Nottingham University and worked as a nutritionist before becoming a freelance writer. She's been writing about health, food and nutrition for magazines and national newspapers for 10 years.

Make the most of the sunshine with this essential vitamin.

Known for helping to keep bones strong and healthy, Vitamin D plays a vital role in our early years by supporting healthy growth, and also during old age when our bones grow weaker.

Vitamin D is unique from other vitamins in that it can be produced in the body through the process of sunlight on skin. This is particularly useful as this vital vitamin plays an important role in stabilising the levels of blood calcium needed for the normal function of nerves and muscle. Should levels of blood calcium deplete, Vitamin D is passed into the bloodstream. This triggers a series of processes that are able to get blood calcium levels back to a healthy amount.

Protect Your Body
Vitamin D is particularly effective at absorbing calcium from food and as such, helps to prevent bone conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis. Studies in Europe and America have found that the risk of hip fractures in the elderly can be reduced with the use of this vitamin. So, if you're concerned about thinning bones, Vitamin D may be able to help.

But the wonders of this powerful vitamin don't stop there. It has recently been suggested that the vitamin is able to influence cell division.

The most important thing with Vitamin D is ensuring that we manufacture enough of it. Most people are able to receive enough through healthy exposure to sun and by maintaining a balanced diet. Whilst no daily intake is recommended by The Food Standards Agency, the EU suggests 5mcg a day for adults.
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