(NaturalNews) A lack of vitamin D might be linked to early death. Vitamin D is common in milk, cheese and other dairy products. It is known by most to come from the sun, and getting sunlight is a part of many exercise regimens. The lack of this vitamin may be more detrimental than first noted by scientists. Without it, staying healthy and surviving disease may be more difficult.
In today's marketplace, foods are fortified with vitamin D. Scientists have known that the body needs this vitamin to live but have now confirmed that lacking this nutrient may cause death. Vitamin D is one of the key components to keeping healthy. The sun is a primary source of this vitamin. There are two main forms that are important for humans, D3 (cholecalciferol) formed by sun exposure and D2 (ergocalciferol) manufactured by fungi. These compounds need transformation by the liver and kidneys before they are useful to the body.
Vitamin D is important to protect the body from colds, heart disease, cancer and a host of other ailments. It is believed that, when the body's vitamin D level is low, it is easier for disease to attack the body. The flu can become a serious problem for people with weakened immune systems. Thousands die from cancer each year, but people with low vitamin D levels are more susceptible to such life-threatening illnesses. Some feel that vitamin D levels affects a person's ability to lose weight, but studies have shown no significant evidence. This nutrient is especially helpful when combating colon cancer.
How the body uses vitamin D
The body uses vitamin D to transmit nerve messages throughout the body. It aids in keeping the bones strong and fights off viruses. The strongest foods for vitamin D are mackerel, salmon and other fish with high fat content. Getting enough of this nutrient may slow the progress of many diseases. Although vitamin D is manufactured when skin is exposed to sunlight, having darker skin or sitting indoors reduces the absorption level.
Research studies of over 500,000 people from around the world have shown that people lacking vitamin D in their blood are subject to more life-threatening illness than groups with higher concentrations of this vitamin in the body. It has been discovered that the body requires 1,000 to 2,000 IU of this nutrient, yet the daily dose listed by the National Institutes of Health is 600 IU. This is a diverse range for what is considered optimal.
Since many foods have this vitamin included in their makeup, getting the amount needed is possible if a proper diet is a part of the daily routine. Each person has a different level of vitamin D. This makes it important to seek medical advice before seeking to increase vitamin D intake. More people are taking supplements, working tirelessly to fight off illness, but an overuse of supplements can create other problems.