vitamin D benefits

  1. Better blood sugar control with the sunshine vitamin

    Vitamin D helps protect the heart from metabolic syndrome

    Nearly everyone needs more vitamin D. But if you're suffering from metabolic syndrome, you really need this stuff.

    Proper D levels have been shown to help control blood sugar and even help keep your metabolic syndrome from turning into diabetes. And now, the latest research shows it can even save your life -- not bad for a nutrient you can get for free by simply standing outside under the sun.

    Researchers used data from 1,801 patients with metabolic syndrome who were tracked for an average of 7.7 years as part of a larger study.

    Just 8 percent of them had optimal levels of D, which the researchers considered to be 75 nmol/L, while nearly three times as many -- 22 percent -- were severely deficient.

    Not surprisingly, those with optimal levels were in much better shape. They were 66 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease and 75 percent less likely to die of any cause.

    But you don't need to wait for metabolic syndrome to kick in to boost your D levels -- because the sunshine vitamin can help protect you from even getting the condition in the first place. One study in 2009 found that people with low D levels are 52 percent more likely to get metabolic syndrome than those with optimal levels.

    That's a handy trick in a time when metabolic syndrome is raging out of control -- but that's not all D can do. Proper D levels can protect the brain and slash your risk of dementia. The sunshine vitamin can also strengthen bone, protect the heart, lift your mood, and slash your risk of cancer.

    It can even prevent the cold and flu -- and help you overcome the illnesses if you do happen to catch them.

    The best way to get your D is right from the source: Spend a few minutes a day outside under the sun.

    That's a lot easier said than done these days -- so get a quality D supplement and take it every day to make sure you really get what you need.

  2. Vitamin D miracles keep mounting

    There's one simple thing you can do to dramatically reduce your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome all at once.

    Get outside a little more.

    Researchers examined data on 100,000 middle-aged and elderly people from 28 studies that looked at vitamin D levels along with these all-too-common conditions.

    They found that people with the highest levels of vitamin D had a 33 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, 55 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, and 51 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome, according to the study published in the journal Maturitas.

    Most of us are badly deficient in this essential nutrient... largely because we've simply stopped getting the necessary sunlight that allows our bodies to manufacture it. So if you're making the changes needed for a healthier lifestyle, add some more time in the great outdoors to the list--your body needs the sun.

    The researchers in this study recommend 30 minutes of sunshine twice a week--with no sunblock.

    Let's take a moment to applaud these researchers--because that's a pretty gutsy recommendation in a time when everyone's being taught to shrink from the sun.

    Of course, there are other ways to boost vitamin D. And one of the tastiest ones is to eat more fatty fish. One serving of wild, fresh salmon can give you up to 1,000 IU of the sunshine vitamin--in addition to plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don't like seafood, get your fins on a fish oil supplement instead.

    And just about everyone should be taking a vitamin D3 supplement. They're inexpensive and easy to find.

  3. The list of vitamin D benefits gets even longer

    Two new studies add to the already impressive body of evidence for this wonder vitamin: It may help you control your blood pressure, and even lower your risk of dying from heart disease.

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