Vitamin D is an important vitamin our body needs for protecting health and overall well-being, yet up to 80% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is produced when sunlight touches your skin. Some symptoms of low vitamin D levels are, high blood pressure, depression, fatigue and weakness, rickets (the softening of bones mostly in children), bone pain or muscle cramps.

Here are some reasons levels are low when it comes to this crucial vitamin. In our world today we work and play mostly indoors and when we do get outside we wear sunscreen. Even a weak sunscreen, such as SPF 8, can inhibit vitamin D production by up to 95%. Those who live farther from the equator get less sun exposure therefore have a greater risk of having insufficient levels of this vitamin than those who live near it.

The older you are, the more D you need because your body becomes less able to convert it to a form it can use. People with darker skin have more protection from the suns rays and are more susceptible to low levels. People who are overweight or have had gastric bypass surgery, with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 typically have a low plasma concentrate of 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D.

Why is does this matter? Recent research studies show that vitamin D offers many important benefits including supporting healthy heart function, immune health, healthy cell development, along with supporting colon, breast and prostate health, and maintains strong bones and teeth by increasing calcium absorption. This is why children and adolescents need this vitamin as they grow.

Adults need it to maintain bone mass and it is recommended breastfed infants be supplemented with 400 IU/d by the American Academy of Pediatrics. A recent study found positive associations between 25(OH)D (aka vitamin D) levels in adolescents, vigorous physical activity, and maximal oxygen consumption; also showing a possible  link with asthma.

Obtaining enough vitamin D from your diet alone is difficult. It is present in certain fish such as Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Herring, and Sardines among a few others, as well as fortified foods such as cow’s milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. Depending on where you live, 10 minutes of daily summer sunshine may be enough to help your body produce the amount of D it needs; but those in the northern climates won’t be helped much through the winter months.

The best way to get enough of this vitamin is to take supplements. Because of all the reasons we do not get enough vitamin D, talk to your doctor about how much you should be getting. Shaklee Vita-D3 is the culmination of recent scientific research, including two Shaklee industry-leading vitamin D studies. Made with the preferred form of D, cholecalciferol or D3, the more potent form, it contains high potency vitamin D3 and has been tested for purity and potency. Vita-D3 provides 1,000 IU of high potency vitamin D3. Put some sunshine into your life today!

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