Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, has  a  number of health related benefits that may surprise you.   Many of us have often associated this vitamin with strong bone health and growth, but numerous studies have shown that diets high in vitamin D can contribute to so much more than just that.

As we age, less vitamin D is converted to it’s active form and bone density decreases.   In assisting the body in absorbing calcium, this vitamin can lessen the affects of arthritis and joint pain, as well as greatly decrease your chances of osteoporosis.  Research has shown that vitamin D has several effects on your immune system function and may decrease the risk of several auto-immune diseases, decreasing your risk of high blood pressure and hypertension, as well as helping to fight off diabetes, gum disease, cancer and multiple sclerosis.     Studies have shown that individuals with the highest blood levels of vitamin D have decreased their chances of colon cancer by nearly half.

Since vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, and added to others, a supplement may be the best way to get your daily dose.   It has been recommended that adults should have 1000 IU of vitamin D daily, but newer studies are suggesting 2000 IU a day in many adults, or higher for individuals living in sunlight deprived regions, such as our beautiful Pacific Northwest.   Other ways to get your D could be as little as 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight, dairy products, fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and Cod liver oil supplements.

To get your daily dose we recommend you grab some sunshine while you can this spring and summer.