Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies.
The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Recently, research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
In a recent study, a team of European researchers has demonstrated that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with improved cognitive function in middle-aged and older men.
The study compared the cognitive performance of more than 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 years, and found that those with higher levels of vitamin D performed consistently better in a test that assesses an individual’s attention and speed of information processing.
The experiment took into account factors such as depression, season and levels of physical activity.
“Previous studies exploring the relationship … produced inconsistent findings, but we observed a significant, independent association between a slower information processing speed and lower levels of vitamin D,” says lead author Dr. David Lee from the University of Manchester School of Translational Medicine.
Since vitamin D is primarily synthesized in the skin following sun exposure, and not many people get enough exposure to sunlight on a daily basis, and because of our fast paced lifestyle, nutritional supplements may be the best means to receive this all important vitamin.
Some of the better vitamin D supplements on the market provide multiple forms of chelated calcium, bone-fortifying vitamins and minerals, 100% RDI of Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamin D, within Chlorophyll-coated tablets that protect the valuable nutrients, and which are time-releasing for optimal absorption.