Sunshine really IS good for you: Getting the daily recommended dose of vitamin D from natural light can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, study finds
- Getting the daily recommended dose of vitamin D can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, a new study finds
- Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, and often considered the best way to absorb it daily
- People with higher vitamin D levels were less likely to show signs of dangerous inflammations tied to conditions after routine testing
- Those who are at an increased risk of developing diabetes or a heart condition can help manage the risk by getting more sunlight
Getting sun can do more than just boost your mood, as the vitamin D from natural light can even help prevent devastating conditions like diabetes and heart disease, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute in Adelaide, found that people who received a proper amount of vitamin D were less likely to show markers of inflammation in blood tests.
While inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune system and other processes, too much can put a person at an increased risk of developing harmful chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There are many different ways to get a daily dose of vitamin D, especially through fish products. The body can also convert sunlight into vitamin D in the skin, though, making outdoor time the easiest way to get your required intake.
Researchers found that getting enough vitamin D every day can reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. Sunlight is considered to be an excellent source of the vitamin (file photo)
Researchers gathered data from the UK Biobank, a pool of data from thousands of UK residents collected in an effort to gain further understanding of many diseases.
The study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, included data from 294,970 Britons.
They specifically looked to compare levels of vitamin D and C-reactive proteins that are tied to inflammation.
HOW VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY CAN AFFECT THE HUMAN BODY
Vitamin D deficiency – when the level of vitamin D in your body is too low – can cause your bones to become thin, brittle or misshapen.
Vitamin D also appears to play a role in insulin resistance, high blood pressure and immune function – and this relates to heart disease and cancer – but this is still being investigated.
Low levels of the vitamin have also long been linked to an increased risk of multiple sclerosis.
Although the amount of vitamin D adults get from their diets is often less than what’s recommended, exposure to sunlight can make up for the difference.
For most adults, vitamin D deficiency is not a concern.
However, some groups – particularly people who are obese, who have dark skin and who are older than age 65 – may have lower levels of vitamin D due to their diets, little sun exposure or other factors.
Source: Mayo Clinic
‘Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting your tissues if you’ve been injured or have an infection,’ Dr Ang Zhou, lead researcher of the study, said in a statement.
‘High levels of C-reactive protein are generated by the liver in response to inflammation, so when your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, it also shows higher levels of C-reactive protein.
‘This study examined vitamin D and C-reactive proteins and found a one-way relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of C-reactive protein, expressed as inflammation.
‘Boosting vitamin D in people with deficiencies may reduce chronic inflammation, helping them avoid a number of related diseases.’
Blood test data revealed a clear link between vitamin D levels and C-reactive protein levels.
These findings have major implications for medical experts going forward. First, a person who is suffering from a condition tied to the inflammation should make sure to get more vitamin D.
Those who are at an increased risk of develop cardiovascular issues – or other related health problems – should also take care to make sure they are not compounding their risk by having a vitamin D deficiency.
It also shines an increased importance on the vitamin.
The easiest and most commonly recommended way to get more vitamin D is to just spend more time outdoors.
While the amount of sunlight needed can very greatly depending on a person’s age and race, sun-derived vitamin D is believed to be more durable than versions from food and supplements.
Many fish and fish-oil products are very good sources of vitamin D, according to Healthline. Mushrooms are considered a great source as well.