Scientists believe that vitamin D, also referred to as the Sunshine Vitamin, plays an exciting part in the fight against heart disease including falls and broken bones, breast and prostate cancer, depression, arthritis, and memory loss.
The suggestion is that vitamin D may help prevent all of them. It may also help maintain healthy blood vessel function and blood pressure levels. However, researchers say more clinical trials are needed to prove these health benefits.
Below you can read research carried out by different scientists and how they believe sunshine coupled with the body’s ability to produce vitamin D can give us more than just a suntan.
Researching Elderly Individuals
When researching elderly individuals scientists at Warwick University have discovered the elderly population of 50 plus can increase their good health by spending more time in the sunshine, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The research team investigated the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes as well as other reported health benefits. The research team recommends that older people spend between 5 and 30 minutes, twice a week in the sun to have the desired effect.
The scientists discovered that those pensioners who took more sunshine had higher levels of vitamin D than those pensioners who stayed indoors. Making them less likely to serious illness.
Dr. Oscar Franco at Warwick Medical School, who led the investigation said: “As we get older our skin is less efficient at forming vitamin D. As well as this, our diet may also become less varied, with a lower natural vitamin D content.”
Following on he commented: “Most importantly the production of vitamin D after a normal amount of exposure to UVB light decreases with age because of skin changes. When we are older we may need to spend more time outdoors to make sure we get the same levels of vitamin D we had when we were younger.”
A further study in India by lead researcher Dr. Anoop Misra back in 2011 also found a link between diabetes and Vitamin D deficiency, this study was conducted by the Diabetes Foundation (India), the Department of diabetes and metabolic disease at Fortis Hospital, and the department of biostatistics, AIIMS.
Dr. Anoop Misra said that after studying 92 subjects with type II diabetes mellitus, it was found that the average concentration of Vitamin D was significantly lower in diabetics as compared to non-diabetic patients.
A further study 2009 at Harvard School of Public Health found that men who are deficient in the so-called sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, have more than double the normal risk of suffering a heart attack.
If you check out our know your vitamins section you will be able to see how the lack of vitamin D can seriously damage your health.