Many people now probably know how getting enough vitamin D helps to lower the risk of cancer, depression, heart disease, and earlier death. However, there are other amazing things vitamin D does for the health that you are likely yet to know. To reap the biggest benefits of vitamin D, you have to be taking it in the right proportion, but it is quite unfortunate that recent research shows 42% of Americans to be deficient in this vitamin. As a result of this, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) lists 4,000 IU a day as the highest amount of vitamin D to take to stay safe, but it is still possible to take as much as 7,000 IU in a day to get more benefits.
Below are some benefits of vitamin D that you should know about.
1. It may ward off vision damage.
Age-related macular degenerartion, a slow slow-progressing blurriness that starts near the center of the eye and impedes the ability to see clearly, is a condition common in people older than 50 that causes the vision to slip. The risk of ending up with this condition is increased by age, race, genes and a deficiency in vitamin D. Getting enough vitamin D can help, regardless of what your genes say.
2. It can slow weight gain
Having enough vitamin D in the body can help slow the process of weight gain. A study of over 4,600 women who were 65 years and above, found that those with insufficient vitamin D levels gained more pounds over 4.5 years compared to those with enough vitamin D. It ends up not being about how much you eat, but how clean you eat.
3. It can keep your cholesterol in check after menopause
With enough vitamin D, you are at a lower risk of heart disease, which is actually more beneficial in post-menopausal women. A study on 600 women in 2014 found that some women dropped 4.5 mg/dL in their LDL cholesterol after taking 1000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily for two years, compared to those given a placebo.
4. Vitamin D makes you less likely to fall at home
Vitamin D has been shown to help reduce the risk of falling at home, especially at old age. A study was carried out on homebound adults between 65 and 102 years. Half of them were given a vitamin D supplement monthly of about 3,300 IU daily, while the other half were given a placebo. At the end of 5 months, those who got the supplements had their vitamin D levels increased.
You can get vitamin D from sunlight, fortified milk, orange juice, supplements, egg yolks, beef liver, cod liver oil, fortified cereal and ultraviolet lamps and bulbs.
Image courtesy of: health.com.