Since sunshine naturally prompts the body to produce vitamin D, shorter days may lower levels. Deficiency is on the rise among kids — and is more prevalent among seniors, darker skinned ethnicities and the obese (who produce 57% less vitamin D than their normal-weight peers). You can get vitamin D from canned salmon and sardines. Milk, juice and cereal are often fortified with vitamin D.
This new evidence of this nutrient’s importance to minimizing pain and maximizing happiness lengthens a long list of vitamin D benefits, including healthy bones and teeth, lower blood pressure, improved immunity and reduced risk of certain cancers. A University of California San Diego study found a 50% drop in colon cancer and a 30% decreased risk of ovarian and breast cancer with increased intakes of vitamin D — which also reduced prostate cancer risk by 43%.
Published January 1, 2009