A new study found that not getting enough vitamin D could be linked to early death. Common sources of vitamin D include sunlight, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. Without enough vitamin D, staying healthy and surviving disease becomes more difficult.
While scientists have known that the body needs enough vitamin D to survive, it is only recently that they have confirmed that a deficiency of this nutrient could cause premature death.
That’s because vitamin D is one of the core nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. There are two main forms of vitamin D the human body needs to stay healthy: D3 (cholecalciferol) which comes from exposure to the sun, and D2 (ergocalciferol) which is produced by fungi. Your liver and kidneys transform these compounds into forms that are able to be used by the body.
Vitamin D is important to human health because it helps protect the body from colds, cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other illnesses and conditions. When your levels of vitamin D are too low, it becomes easier for disease to attack the body and you become more susceptible to life-threatening illness.
The body also uses vitamin D to transmit messages throughout your body via your nerves. In addition, vitamin D helps keep your bones strong and helps your body fight off viruses. Ensuring you get enough vitamin D can also help slow the progress of a variety of diseases.
New studies involving more than 500,000 people from all over the world show that those who do not get enough vitamin D are susceptible to more life-threatening illnesses than those who do get enough of the nutrient. Research shows that the body needs 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, although the National Institutes of Health currently list the recommended daily dose at 600 IU.
Because many people do not spend enough time in the sun to produce enough vitamin D, today many foods are fortified with the nutrient to help people get their recommended daily amount. Many people also take vitamin D supplements in order to ensure they get the needed amount of this essential nutrient.