It’s not uncommon for a doctor to recommend vitamin D for women’s health. Whether you’re in your 30s or your 80s, vitamin D can strengthen and support healthy bones.
In fact, calcium can only be absorbed into the body when vitamin D is present. So, a lack of this critical vitamin means an absence of this important mineral. Let’s take a deep dive into the healing waters of this all-important vitamin.
What Does Vitamin D Do?
We tend to link vitamin D with our bones. And that’s totally fair. It’s a key factor in allowing our bones to absorb healthy levels of calcium for prime functioning. However, vitamin D is also responsible for a lot more, including:
- strong, healthy teeth
- a healthy immune system
- a reduction in inflammation
- healthy heart functioning
- regulated insulin levels
Vitamin D is also being linked to the fight against cancer. There’s much debate over whether or not this is true, but it’s a hypothesis that’s gaining a lot of traction in the healthcare community.
The National Cancer Institute, for example, doesn’t believe vitamin D will reduce the risk of developing cancer. Still, it’s an interesting field of study worth keeping an eye on.
Vitamin D and the Heart
Vitamin D already has a pretty good rap for supporting healthy bones. But, recent research indicates it does a lot more. Most notably, it can aid in the battle against heart disease.
According to Johns Hopkins, vitamin D deficiency is being examined as a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Vitamin D may not be able to not prevent these things from happening, but a deficiency does seem to align with these health problems.
Trouble is, those who are at risk for heart attacks and strokes are commonly obese and stray from outdoor activities. Obesity is, of course, the leading factor in the fight against heart problems. So, a lack of vitamin D may go hand in hand with the overall symptoms simply as a result of lifestyle choices.
What’s one of the best ways to ward off obesity? By avoiding sugar. In fact, we go so far as to say you should avoid sugar as if your life depended on it. Long-term, excessive usage can negatively impact every organ of our bodies.
Are You Vitamin D Deficient?
Women should aim for about 400-800 IU. You’ll see the IUs indicated right on the bottle. Some medical practitioners believe that people who spend less time in the sun should take even more.
Still, anything less than 400-800 IU may require a vitamin D supplement. Be sure to ask your doctor about the benefits of a calcium supplement along with your vitamin D. The two work hand in hand since vitamin D aids in calcium absorption.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
An uncommon fact about vitamin D is that it’s not actually a vitamin. It’s fine to refer to it that way since everyone else does. In truth, it’s actually a pro-hormone. Vitamins can’t be produced by the body. That’s why we search for them in our diet and lifestyle.
Hormones, however, are produced by our body. The trouble is, if we’re not getting enough sunlight, the body isn’t being prompted to produce this invaluable hormone. Here are some warning signs that could possibly be linked to vitamin D deficiency:
- bone and joint pain
- depressed moods
- hair loss
- lowered immune system
- muscle pain
- wounds that are slow to heal
Be sure to ask your doctor about any of these symptoms, especially if they’re chronic. A simple blood test can indicate where your vitamin D levels stand.
How to Maintain Healthy Levels Naturally
In lieu of a vitamin supplement, there are other ways to boost healthy levels of vitamin D. The first step is regular outdoor activity. Small doses of sunlight, about 10-15 minutes per day, is a great place to start.
Even if you’re not getting regular exercise outdoors, indoor activity will also be key. Obesity is linked with lower levels of vitamin D because excess fat cells absorb the calcium that our bones need.
Of course, exercise’s best friend is healthy eating. A vitamin D-rich diet will include healthy fats like salmon or tuna and moderate amounts of low-fat dairy. One of our favorite vitamin and mineral-rich diets is “Whole 30.” It adds vital nutrients, aids in weight loss, and can boost our overall complexion.
Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Vitamin D?
Like anything else, excess can be harmful. Maximum levels vary on a case by case basis. But, excessive consumption of vitamin D can lead to over-calcification of the bones. It can also harden blood vessels and cause significant damage to the kidneys, lungs, and heart.
Vitamin D for Women’s Health Today
Ask your doctor about pursuing vitamin D for women’s health today. If you spend a lot of time indoors, that lack of sunlight might be doing a disservice to everything from your bones, to your immune system, to your heart.
Here at Wellness Rejuvenated, we’re all about full-body health and we go beyond diet and exercise. We also love to explore the countless benefits of meditation. In fact, we recently wrote about why you need to start meditating today.
There’s no doubt that stress takes its toll on every component of our body. When those stressful moments strike, we hope you’ll consider one of these simple tips to help you keep calm and carry on. Let’s raise a cup of tea to a healthy, well-lived life.