As women approach menopause (which could be as early as in their 30s) levels of estrogen decline, leading to Vitamin D deficiency. This is very important to know as Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant that:
- promotes healthy skin
- alleviates symptoms of depression
- helps absorb calcium to build strong bones
- lowers blood pressure
- protects cellular DNA and the ability of cells to replicate
- prevents many types of cancers, especially cancer of the colon and breast
- may prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes
In the U.S., 41% of adults are suffering from insufficient Vitamin D and 29% are totally deficient. We can get Vitamin D from a diet of fatty fish, fish liver oil, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Another excellent source is sunshine. Usually, a supplement of Vitamin D is also required. It is recommended that women over the age of 50 take 800 IU of Vitamin D on a daily basis. However, having a simple blood test before you increase your dosage might be a good idea since taking too much is just as bad as taking too little.
Older women, in particular, usually lack enough Vitamin D because they tend to stay indoors more than men and don’t get enough sun. Also, the common use of sunscreen lotion (amid skin cancer fears) blocks Vitamin D. This has caused the medical community to rethink their suggestion about keeping entirely out of the sun. They are now suggesting that getting a bit of sun before applying sun block is a good idea.
Bottom line, schedule a regular blood test to determine your Vitamin D level, eat a diet rich in Vitamin D, get a little sun each day (without sun screen lotion) and take a supplement if needed.
Finally, if you are in your 30s, start your Vitamin D regimen now to prepare for menopause. It will be upon you faster than you think!