So vital is the vitamin for normal cell function, a lack of it can result has been linked to cancer, heart disease, and immune system abnormalities. Chronic insufficiency of vitamin D in your diet also results in feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Increase your vitamin D intake and reduce the risk of cancer by 60 to 77% - is a compelling reason to be vitamin D–sufficient.
The main natural sources of vitamin D are oily fish and sun. Salmon contains the highest amount, among the fishes. Humans also get abundant vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. The minor sources of vitamin D are found in fortified foods such as milk and yogurt, and vitamin supplememts.
Despite these, deficiency in vitamin D is occurring more frequently than previously expected. A study showed that individuals who were drinking a glass of milk and taking a multivitamin daily and eating salmon at least once a week were still vitamin D-deficient.
What should we do to ensure that we keep our vitamin D at the health-friendly level?
Go into the sun! Yes, one of the most efficient (and free) way to ensure that you get more than your recommended daily dose. 10 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and legs can produce the equivalent amount of vitamin D found in 1 kg of salmon, or 100 egg yolks!
Wait a minute, we know that too much sun causes skin cancers and skin aging. How then can we get our vitamin D fix safely?
The key is sensible exposure to sunlight. 5 to 10 min a day is sufficient. No need to bake under the sun.
Despite this, dark skinned individuals will not be able to absorb sufficient UV because of the blocking effect of the pigments in the skin. In societies which dictate that large part of the skin be covered by clothing, vitamin D insufficiency is more common.
Unless a person eats oily fish frequently, it is very difficult to obtain that much vitamin D on a daily basis from dietary sources. Excessive exposure to sunlight, especially sunlight that causes sunburn, will increase the risk of skin cancer.
Therefore, we would still have to fall back on vitamin D supplements to meet our body’s needs.