Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, plays essential roles in supporting our energy and balancing our moods. It also helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and supports the health of the thyroid gland—a butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that helps maintain a healthy weight, balanced metabolism, and energy levels. But, at this time of year, it is easy to develop a Vitamin D deficiency.
New evidence shows that people with higher levels of vitamin D experienced a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University just released its study linking low levels of vitamin D to diabetes in the June 2010 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood may be a type 2 diabetes prevention strategy.
Other research found that vitamin D plays a critical role in activating the body’s immune system against infectious diseases like the flu. Researchers note that a deficiency in this important vitamin, which actually acts like a hormone in your body, may result in a greater risk of contracting flu viruses. Also, additional research linked low amounts of vitamin D to autoimmune disorders, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.