Gray skies abound after a glorious weekend of blue skies and sunshine. Do you find dark, rainy days a bit depressing? I can accept one or two and even be grateful for the opportunity to get stuff done indoors, but more than two is oppressive to me.
As a life long resident of New England, I’m used to the weird weather patterns that zig-zag from sunshine to gloom with little warning. I think about friends and family in warm climates, and I am envious on some level. What’s it like to wake every day to sunshine? That question takes me back to vacations of the past. It’s glorious. Twice in one conversation or post, I have stated the word glorious; a rare event, indeed.
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins that our bodies need every day. Vitamin D is derived from sunshine and is supplemented by some foods. More important, vitamin D is made by, synthesized by, our bodies. Vitamin D helps our bones make and store the mineral, calcium. Without the benefit of sunshine or food supplements, our bodies can’t make the calcium needed. Over time, this means brittle or malformed bones. It’s generally known that vitamin D, working with calcium and phosphorous minerals, protects against osteoporosis in the elderly.
What is not so well-known are the other roles that vitamin D plays; such as regulation of cell growth and coordination between nerves and muscles that are easy to take for granted. Vitamin D is necessary for adequate immune function and apoptosis of cells. Apoptosis is simply known as a natural cell death; a physiological sequence of events that occur naturally to remove cells that are unhealthy.
In a nutshell, vitamin D is important, and something to be aware of in daily nutrition intakes. Your primary care professional can help you decide if you are deficient through a blood test, for certainty. Your health care professional knows that there is an acceptable numeric range for adequate and inadequate blood content of Vitamin D.
Adequate amounts of vitamin D can help you make the most of gray-sky days. This is something to consider in your overall health planning, both long and short term.