Many of my Twitter friends know that I’m on a mission to lose some weight by February 2009.
After looking at the photos that were taken of me this past August with my new Grandson, Slugger ~ that was motivation enough to go on a diet. Some say that the camera adds 10 pounds, but really ~ the scales don’t lie. I’ll keep up updated on how things are going with Sparkpeople diet plans (it’s Free!) and Weight Watchers.
While at a doctor’s visit last week to get my flu shot, doc suggested that I increase my intake of Vitamin D. Doc knows full well that I don’t enjoy taking pills of any kind, and even said I could take 2 Flintstones to meet the daily requirement of Vitamin D that I need.
The body needs vitamins and minerals for proper functioning. These essential nutrients can be obtained from the foods that we eat, but when we are not eating the way we should, supplements do the job for us. One of those vitamins our bodies need is vitamin D.
What is so great about vitamin D? Well, first of all, it aids the body in the absorption of calcium. Calcium, as we all know, is important for strong bones, teeth, and nails. Calcium is essential to the body at every age. Babies are building bones so calcium ensures they will form properly.
As we grow up and age calcium continues to keep bones strong. The effect of weak bones is seen in older people who are bent over as they walk. Osteoporosis is a fact of life for people with little calcium in their bones to strengthen them. As a Baby Boomer, Osteoporosis is something I am hoping to avoid.
Vitamin D is kind of unique. It can be synthesized by the sun. Who knew? Spending as little as an hour in the sun each day allows the skin to produce vitamin D in the form of a substance called calcitriol. This substance enters the body and triggers the release of calcium from the intestines into the bloodstream where it is needed.
When calcium is needed and nowhere to be found, the body removes it from the bones. As more calcium is ingested in our food or supplements, the calcium removed from the bones is replaced. This can only happen if enough vitamin D is present to trigger the release of calcium so it can reach the bones. When that doesn’t happen, we’re susceptible to bone loss.
During the winter months, it can seem like the sun has gone on hiatus. The nights are longer and we experience more of the moonlight than the sunlight. A decrease in sunlight absorption can also increase one’s chances of getting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). As I live in New England, I’m finding that I occasionally have bouts of SAD if we have exceptionally snowy winters. How do we get our essential vitamin D then?
Vitamin D can be ingested in the form of supplements. Supplements contain vitamin D in the form needed to trigger the calcium release from the intestines. Supplements like multivitamins contain about fifty percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. The rest comes from foods we ingest like milk that is fortified with vitamin D and green leafy veggies.
When the sun is supplying the vitamin D, the body determines how much we need. In the sun’s absence, we have to be careful, how much we consume. We get vitamin D from foods but we usually don’t eat enough of the right ones to get all of the vitamin D we need. Supplements are always in the same proportion and it is vitamin D in the needed form.
Vitamin D comes from the sun. To get it we don’t have to run, jump, or skip, just stand in the open and gaze heavenward. In its absence, supplements are the best substitute.
There’s many reputable supplements available for women, men and children. Check with your pharmacist,or, you could be like me & get Flintstones!