Vitamin D is another extremely important vitamin playing a vital role in growing and maintaining strong bones. It also helps the body to regulate the immune system and is a key player in the body's ability to fight cancer.
Being fat soluble vitamin D can be stored by the body, and is in fact made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. There are two main types of vitamin D, ergocalciferol often referred to as vitamin D2 and cholecalciferol also known as vitamin D3.
Recent studies are beginning to reveal that low levels of vitamin D can be a contributing factor in the development of many types of cancer, in particualr cancers of the breast, colon and prostate. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to obesity, high blood pressure and depression.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause a disease called Rickets in children, resulting in weakened and soft bones. It used to be a common disease in inner city areas, where poor diet combined with smog blocking sunlight would see children receiving well below the necessary levels of vitamin D for optimal health. Today people who have dark skin or live in the far north where winter days are very short also tend to have a lack of vitamin D in their bodies.
Research also shows that people with low levels of vitamin D are more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D: Recommended Daily Allowance*:
|*All measurements expressed in mcg.|