Vitamin D deficiency can increase your overall risk of premature death as well as specific risk of dying from cancer, heart disease or lung disease, as per a new study involving more than 307,000 UK residents. This means that having adequate amount of Vitamin D in your body can help extend life and aid in living a healthy life. Vitamin D is an important micronutrient for your overall health and you can get the required amount from food including milk, eggs and meat and also sunlight. Not only Vitamin D helps you have a better bone health, it can also help fight infections. There are also many studies that talk about Vitamin D’s role in preventing cardiac ailments and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D is also an essential nutrient in taking care of your brain health and helps regulate nervous system function. It also cuts cancer risk. (Also read: 6 surprising signs of Vitamin D deficiency you shouldn’t ignore)
Vitamin D is important for bone health. It keeps the bone strong, helps prevent fractures, and helps with strong teeth. If one has Vitamin D deficiency, they are at increased risk of fractures. Fractured spine and hip are poor outcomes of Vitamin D. One must consume food that increases bone density, like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and green leafy vegetables like kale, greens, and broccoli. Nuts and bread are also a source of Vitamin D. It is advised to include foods high in Vitamin D, such as salmon and mackerel, canned tin fish, and cereals,” says Dr. Sheela Murali Chakravarthy, Director- Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.
Dr Chakravarthy says sunlight is one of the main sources of Vitamin D and it is important to know the angle of the sunlight you are exposed to.
“Vitamin D is an important fat-soluble micronutrient essential for health. Sources include milk products, meat, eggs, and synthesis by the skin in sunlight,” says Dr Sanjay Raina, Head, Department of Internal Medicine, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad.
Dr Sanjay Raina also shares 5 reasons Vitamin D can extend your life:
Strengthens bones and prevents fractures: Vitamin D has a well-established role in the absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus, which is essential for bone strength.
Fighting germs: Vitamin D helps immune cells produce germ-fighting proteins and controls excess inflammation, thus lowering the risk of infectious diseases.
Prevention of heart disease and diabetes: Multiple studies have demonstrated that Vitamin D decreases insulin resistance, improves fat metabolism leading to lower incidence of diabetes and heart disease.
Prevention of dementia, depression, and other nervous system diseases: Vitamin D regulates nervous function through calcium regulation and the production of nerve growth factor. It improves mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
Cancer prevention: Vitamin D by regulation of cell signalling and cell growth prevents cancer, especially of the breast, colon, lung, kidney, and pancreas.