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The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D -- the “sunshine vitamin” -- has long been valued for its ability to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, which are vital nutrients for strong bones and teeth. A fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D is produced in your skin as a response to sunlight.  In recent years, ongoing research has discovered vitamin D is important in a number of other health areas:
  • It reduces your risk of multiple sclerosis - Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006
  • It reduces your chance of developing heart disease - Circulation, 2008
  • It helps protect you against the possibility of developing the flu - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010
Now new research indicates that vitamin D may be able to add protection against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two of the most common causes of poor health and death in the United States! The research, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published March 19 in the journal Cell Reports. The study not only suggests that vitamin D plays an important part in preventing the inflammation that leads to type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis, it found that the behavior of cells lacking adequate vitamin D may offer new therapeutic targets for patients with those disorders. Researchers studied mice that were not able to process vitamin D and found that these mice made excessive glucose, became resistant to insulin and accumulated plaque in their blood vessels. Additionally,  inadequate vitamin D turned immune cells into transporters of fat, which may offer a better understanding of the link between diabetes and atherosclerosis. The findings also suggested that risks of inflammation and the onset of heart disease and diabetes may be reduced by getting enough vitamin D! So how can you be sure you're getting your daily dose?
  • Sunshine is the most natural way to get vitamin D, this another great reason to add a daily walk to your fitness regimen! It doesn't take long ... just a few minutes! You don't want your skin to turn pink and begin to burn.
  • Eat your fish. Fish, meat, eggs and dairy products are the only foods that contain natural vitamin D. Oily fish is the best source.
  • Mushrooms are the only non-animal-source for vitamin D in food, so if you’re veggie or vegan, mushrooms are an important food for you.
Be sure you get enough vitamin D ... it's another step toward a sunny future!

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