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Vitamin D, Heart Disease, And Depression

Author : Phil Tucker

When people think about spending time out in the sun, when they consider spending a day out at the park or on the beach, they often think that they are treating themselves to a fun experience and little more. Increasingly however studies are showing that time spent in the sun can prove vital to your health, from the generation of vitamin D to the regulation and prevention of heart disease, depression, and death. In today's article we're going to take a look at some of these most recent studies and their findings and see how they can apply to your lifestyle, health, and outlook.

Vitamin D is a secosteroid that is generated by our skin when stimulated by ultra-violet light. We need about ten to fifteen minutes of sunlight to generate enough for our daily dosage, which is then sent into our blood stream and processed by our livers and kidneys into a calcium and phosphate regulating hormone. Famously this has been linked to bone health, but recently vitamin D has also been linked to the genes that regulate cell activity and death.

Recent studies in this direction have discovered startling corollaries between how much vitamin D people have, their cardiovascular health and mental state. A study that examined people aged fifty and older found that those with less than optimal levels of the vitamin were at risk of heart disease and stroke, and more likely to die earlier than those with adequate amounts of the vitamin. In the test group of those tested, those with low levels of vitamin D were 32% more likely to be depressed, and 77% more likely to die, 45% more likely to develop heart disease, and 78% more likely to have a stroke during the one year study, as well as twice the probability of developing heart disease.

This comes as no surprise as the connection between cardiovascular health and vitamin D levels has been amply demonstrated by this point. The vitamin also regulates blood pressure, and is important for heart health. It has a direct effect on the brain, which contains receptors for it, which is where the depression may come into play. Further, a lack of vitamin D can lead to a host of problems, such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and diabetes.

Since it's so easy to get about ten to fifteen minutes of sunlight, we should all make a greater effort given these findings.

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Tags:   diet, fitness, health, weight loss, exercise

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Submitted : 2011-07-21    Word Count : 417    Times Viewed: 317