Stop Mental Decline With Sunshine
Written by: Kirsten Cowart
A recent study by Joshua Miller, who is part of the department of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in New Brunswick, N.J., found that there is a new trend in adults who are suffering from mental decline – they found that mental decline is linked to low levels of vitamin D.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important for your body to absorb calcium from your food and to promote bone growth. Even if you are not growing, your body is continually replacing and healing your bones.
It has also been found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, depression and weight gain.
New Findings And Risks Of Not Having Enough Vitamin D
380 people were followed for around 5 years and it was found that those with dementia were found to lack healthy levels of vitamin D.
“It is unclear what vitamin D might be doing,” said Joshua Miller. “There is good evidence that vitamin D gets into all cells of the body, including the brain.”
The researchers believe that it is possible that vitamin D has a role in protecting the brain from developing plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
“There’s a good chance that most people over 75 in the United States are vitamin D-deficient,” Joshua Miller, author of the research said.
They are unsure if taking vitamin D supplements will help the problem just yet, they just have noticed a correlation between the two issues.
“All we can say is that supplements might be helpful to you,” he said. “And the downside of taking supplements is very small.”
Though it is recommended that older adults take around 600 to 800 IU of Vitamin D according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, sunshine is a much more natural way to produce vitamin D.
How Much Sunlight Should I Get?
You definitely don’t need to tan or burn in order to get the proper amount of sunlight. There are a few different factors to consider when exposing your skin to sunlight to keep it healthy and safe.
1. Time Of Day – You will get vitamin D much quicker if you expose your skin to the sun during the middle of the day. Make sure you don’t stay out too long though.
2. Location – If you live closer to the equator, the amount of direct sunlight exposure is greater year around. If you live further north or south, you may need to spend more time outside each day during the winter months.
3. Skin Color – If your skin is pale, you will absorb sunlight much more quickly than people with darker skin or who have a tan.
4. Amount Of Skin Exposed – The more skin that you have in direct sunlight will influence the amount of vitamin D that you will produce. If you have more skin showing, you will increase your vitamin D faster.
With society becoming more sedentary, it could be crucial for your long-term health to make frequent trips outside into the sun in order to make sure that you are healthy both physically and mentally.
How much sunlight do you typically get? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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