In order for the body to produce vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient, getting enough sunlight is important. arthritis research uk But unfortunately, during this time of year the combination of bundling up for winter plus a lack of sunlight, limits the body’s ability to produce enough vitamin D. So what is the next best thing to do?
Besides exposure to sunlight, the next best place to get your vitamin D is in your diet. Cod liver oil has been found to be a valuable source of vitamin D. It has been shown to ward off rickets and to ease stiff and creaking joints for more than a hundred years. Like other fish oils, cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fats, and is instrumental in improving brain function, memory, immune response, allergies, and manic-depression.
These oils come in two major forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Consuming a great amount of these fats has been connected with a reduced risk of cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Because omega-3 fats come with a natural anti-inflammatory effect in the body, the biochemical benefit is able to provide relief from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Like vitamin D, cod liver oil has important benefits for the brain in that DHA is vital for the structural integrity of the brain, while EPA plays an important role in the daily operation of the brain. Omega-3 fats continue to make headway in the prevention and/or treatment for many mental ailments, such as depression and dementia.
Studies have also shown that increased exposure to sunlight is linked with a decreased risk of several forms of cancer, such as breast, prostate, and colon. Evidence from test-tube and animal experiments proves that vitamin D has the ability to reduce the risk of developing and spreading of cancerous tumors, as well as protecting against multiple sclerosis.
Research conducted by several experts reveals that seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as “winter blues”, may be associated with a deficiency in vitamin D. One study showed that taking a five-day supply of vitamin D (at a dose of 400 or 800 IU daily) improved winter mood. In another study where individuals were treated with either 600 or 4000 IU of a daily dose of vitamin D for at least six months, researchers found that both dosages of vitamin D were responsible for improving the participants’ mood and health. Those who took the higher dose were said to have benefited the most.