While most people want to live longer, doing so is rarely left up to chance. Taking some steps can help to ensure greater longevity. When you want to know how to live a long life, one of the best things you can do, which may also be one of the simplest, is to spend time outside every day and get a good dose of vitamin D. By itself, this vitamin may enable you to live longer.
Benefits of Vitamin D
One of the best benefits is that it can help you avoid some chronic and deadly diseases. This fact alone can enable you to live longer since many people die due to disease-related complications.
Decreases Your Risk of Several Diseases
Having a deficiency of this vitamin will raise your risk of developing several major diseases. These include diabetes (types 1 and 2), cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer (particularly breast, colon, and prostate), and multiple sclerosis.
It Strengthens Your Cognitive Abilities
Vitamin D also helps prevent cognitive problems. Longer life with cognitive problems is not a desirable combination. This vitamin helps prevent the binding of certain proteins known to be behind cognitive diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It Helps Prevent Bone Fractures
Another benefit of vitamin D is that the vitamin helps prevent bone fractures. This is especially important for seniors because it not only helps prevent fractures but also helps bones to heal when they are damaged. The vitamin is essential for teeth and bone health because it helps the body to absorb calcium. Without enough calcium, bones can become soft.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
When you become deficient in vitamin D, there are apt to be several symptoms present. They include:
- Frequent sickness and infections
- Bone and back pain
- Muscle pain
- Slow wound healing
- Loss of hair.
Long-term Intake of Vitamin D Produces Better Results
Studies have indicated that it can reduce overall causes of mortality. Human life expectancy can be expected to be extended by taking this vitamin, but trying to catch up and start taking it after years of neglect may not help much right away. Statistics revealed that taking increased amounts for less than three years will not make much difference.
Care needs to be taken to limit how much vitamin D you take if you decide to add vitamin D supplements to your diet. Taking too much – over 4,000 IU per day – can be just as detrimental as not getting enough. In most cases, people will get enough vitamin D for the day by spending just 15 minutes per day in the outdoors during peak sun – in the warmer months.
Going Outdoors More
Although you could take supplements to meet your daily needs, going outside for a few minutes will benefit you in more than one way. Being outdoors will not only give you the vitamin D you need, but research indicates that it could also:
- Reduce blood pressure and inflammation
- Improve your sleep
- Decrease depression and stress
- Boosts immunity
- And helps to relieve pain if you get your exercise outdoors.
More Studies Are Being Conducted
Researchers discovered that ordinary vitamin D (D2 and D3 – D3 may be slightly better) has a lot of benefits. While some of these benefits are known, several studies are being conducted now to learn more about this free sunshine vitamin. There also seems to be some additional benefit from being exposed to UV rays – but this needs to be limited.