Technically, vitamin D is a type of hormone; it helps the body absorb calcium from food and plays a role in keeping bones dense. It’s hard to get from food sources alone, but most people can synthesize it in their skin when exposed to UVB light, which is present in sunlight. People in areas with frequent overcast days, older adults, and some women may benefit from a supplement.
“To sum it all up, nearly every cell in the body needs vitamin D to function at full capacity,” says Dr. Robert Heaney, professor of medicine at Creighton University. Deficiency in vitamin D inhibits these processes, causing the cellular systems to break down, and leading to chronic disease,” he says.
Research suggests low vitamin D levels could play a role in various health conditions such as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and glucose intolerance. Those risks have compelled physicians to begin routinely testing patients’ D levels.
Ensure that the early morning sun touches you and warms you up, it feels really good.