Vitamin D: Making Sure You Get Enough
Not too long ago, vitamin D was all the rage. Claims about the benefits of this vitamin abounded, with declarations about its ability to help fight conditions ranging from cancer to depression to multiple sclerosis. While some of these claims have been shown to be unfounded, it is still a necessary â€” and essential â€” nutrient that all of us need, and many of us fall short. Hereâ€™s how to make sure youâ€™re getting enough of this important vitamin.
What does vitamin D do for us?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Bone health: We need this vitamin to absorb calcium and to build strong bones (this is especially important to keep in mind, as people who have diabetes are at higher risk for bone fractures). A lack of calcium raises the risk of osteomalacia (bone softening) and osteoporosis (porous, fragile bones). Besides helping the body to absorb calcium, vitamin D regulates levels of calcium and phosphorous, which is necessary for bone health and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany, a condition involving spasms related to not enough calcium in the blood.
Immune function: A strong, healthy immune system is vital for helping us to ward off diseases and infections such as the flu and the common cold. In particular, vitamin D allows T cells, the â€śkiller cellsâ€ť of our immune system, to react and fight off infection.
Inflammation: Inflammation is the bodyâ€™s immune response to a negative stimulus, such as bacteria or viruses. While acute inflammation is helpful â€” fighting an infection, for example â€” chronic inflammation can occur due to the immune system attacking the body, Continue reading