Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is a vital nutrient for the body. It performs several important functions, such as boosting the immune system, maintaining the nervous system and regulating insulin levels. A new study states that vitamin D is also important for maintaining fitness. The participants in the high vitamin D study showed better cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness is a measure of how well your body can transport oxygen to your muscles during exercise. The cardiovascular fitness of a person shows how powerful your muscles are with regard to the absorption of oxygen.
The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that higher vitamin D levels improve cardiorespiratory fitness. However, this relationship was only found between a person's cardiorespiratory fitness and vitamin D levels. It could not be proven whether a high vitamin D content improves general fitness.
Also read: Low vitamin D levels, which are strongly linked to increased diabetes risk
How can you naturally increase the vitamin D level?
Vitamin D is naturally produced in the body when exposed to sunlight. This is the reason why it is also known as sun vitamin. When the sun shines on your bare skin, the body makes its own Vitamin D. However, the body needs more vitamin D than can be caused by the sun's rays.
Food sources of vitamin D
Common sources of vitamin D are salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Small amounts of the vitamin can occur in egg yolk, milk and other dairy products.
Newborns receive the required vitamin D intake from breast milk. It should be noted, however, that newborns do not receive excessive levels of vitamin D as this may cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst and muscle aches.
Also read: Would you like to reduce the risk of cancer? Make sure your vitamin D content is optimal
Lack of vitamin D.
Common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are muscle weakness and brittle bones. Severe vitamin D deficiency in children can lead to rickets in children. Low vitamin D or vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to heart disease. However, it is unclear whether a sufficient vitamin D level reduces the risk of heart disease. Very high levels of vitamin D can damage the blood vessels and increase the amount of calcium in the blood.
Vitamin D levels are likely to be low in older adults. Older adults with vitamin D deficiency probably have a poor memory. A lack of vitamin may also increase the risk of dementia or mental deterioration.
Also read: 6 Serious Signs That Your Vitamin D Levels Are Too High
You can test your vitamin D levels with a blood test. The blood test is known as the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. The healthy vitamin D level for good bones and overall health is 20 ng / ml. Some doctors recommend higher levels, about 30 ng / ml, to get the full benefit of vitamin D.
Disclaimer: This content contains only general information. It is by no means a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always contact a specialist or your own physician for more information. NDTV assumes no responsibility for this information.