September 20, 2016

Why is Vitamin D Important for Nursing Babies?

pill-316601_960_720Vitamin D is an essential vitamin and an important part of everyone’s diet. Getting a good amount of vitamin D in the early stages of life can help prevent autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Most importantly, Vitamin D increases calcium metabolism and reduces risk of current infections. Sometime this can be tricky because the main source of our vitamin D comes from food and the sun.  Proper diets have a huge influence in determining our levels of this crucial vitamin.

It is vital that a baby consume enough vitamin D during the first year of life. This is particularly hard to do because breast milk and baby food may contain very little amounts of vitamin D.  However, “new research has found that giving breastfeeding mothers monthly high-dose vitamin D supplements may be a possible way to improve their babies’ vitamin D status”[1].

[1] University of Otago. “Increasing nursing mothers’ vitamin D levels may benefit babies.” Science Daily. Science Daily, 30 August 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160830101350.htm>.

March 27, 2014

Low Vitamin D Levels Can Damage the Brain

Filed under: brain injury,vitamin D,vitamins — Tags: , — drwatson @ 6:59 pm

vitamin_d_and_brainVitamin D plays a crucial role in helping you maintain bone health. However, a new study at the University of Kentucky is suggesting that a lack of Vitamin D can actually cause damage to your brain as well as other vital organs.

Vitamin D and The Brain: Results from A Study

The results were published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine, and were astonishing: middle-aged rats were provided with a low Vitamin D diet for several months. During this time, drastic damage began to occur within the brain. More specifically, they weren’t able to retain information or learn.

Researchers believe that many brain proteins were discovered to have been much higher than normal, which could have lead to the massive amount of cognitive decline. The researchers also claim that the lack of vitamin D will increase in the U.S., and its effect on brain health is something that should not be overlooked.

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Given the fact that Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more widespread, especially amongst older individuals, it is even more imperative to make it a priority. Middle-aged to old-aged individuals tend to be the major targets for cognitive decline, and a lack of Vitamin D certainly doesn’t help the situation. So, what’s a great way to increase Vitamin D levels in a way that is effective and safe?

Well, you could always catch some rays. Commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, sunlight is a primary source of Vitamin D. In fact, it may even be a better source of Vitamin D than most food source. If you’re stuck between having to choose between walking and taking a car, going somewhere on foot will almost always be the better option for catching more rays.

Among the elderly population, low levels of vitamin D is common. But if you couple this with the fact that long-sleeved clothing and sunscreen is becoming equally as common, you’ll see the reason why Vitamin D deficiencies are increasing. Moreover, low Vitamin D levels have also been linked to Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as certain cancers and heart disease.

You should spend at least ten to fifteen minutes each day in the sun. While more time in the sun would be better, this should be enough to provide you with a sufficient amount of Vitamin D for the day.

You may also consider consuming more food that contains this vitamin D, including fortified milk, eggs, and oily fish. A last option is to take a vitamin D supplement.

Conclusion

If you are unsure whether you are low in Vitamin D, consider getting a blood test done. Although, if you live in a climate where there is less sunlight, chances are you require Vitamin D. Always consult your primary healthcare professional before thinking of making any chances to your diet, starting supplementation, or regarding any health questions you may have.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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