Nutrient Articles Essay

Submitted By Reihan-Ahmed
Words: 2706
Pages: 11

Vitamin D has been called the new "wonder vitamin." Doctors are learning more and more about its role in good health and the prevention of diseases. Unfortunately, though, most teens don't get enough. Why Do I Need It?
Vitamin D plays a part in the bone-building process by helping the body to absorb calcium. If someone doesn't get enough, it could affect the body's ability to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
It's not just about bones, though. Vitamin D is needed for a healthy immune system — helping the body to fight off infections and prevent the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Research done in adults suggests that getting enough vitamin D may help lower the chances of developing heart disease, certain cancers, and other serious diseases like diabetes.

Why Don't People Get Enough?
There are several reasons why people don't get enough vitamin D:



Less exposure to UV rays. Vitamin D is sometimes called the "sunshine" vitamin. When the sun's ultraviolet rays penetrate bare skin, it sets off a process in the body that produces vitamin D. As many of us spend more and more time on computers and game consoles, we're not outdoors as much as we once were. And, when we do spend time in the sun, more of us are making the wise decision to use sunscreen to block the UV rays that cause sun damage and cancer. Where we live makes a difference, too: If you live in northern U.S. and Canada, it's possible you're not getting the UV exposure required for your body to make enough vitamin D.



Dark skin. The melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color) in darker skin protects against sun damage, but it can also block the sun needed to produce vitamin D.



Certain health conditions. Some health conditions, like cystic fibrosis or inflammatory bowel disease, affect how well the body absorbs nutrients, including vitamin D. And because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that gets stored in the body's fat cells,obesity increases a person's risk for vitamin D deficiency.



Lower consumption of D-rich foods. Experts recommend eating vitamin D-rich foods as the best way to get enough vitamin D. But many of the best foods — like fatty fish and oil
— are not the most popular. These days, most milk is "fortified" with added vitamin D. But many teens aren't drinking enough milk to get the recommended daily amount

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ou probably heard "drink your milk" all the time from your parents when you were a kid, and you knew it was good for you. But now you may opt for sodas or sports drinks, and other than adding a splash to your morning Wheaties, you don't give much thought to milk.
But your parents were right to make you drink milk when you were little. It's loaded with calcium, a mineral vital for building strong bones and teeth.

Why Do I Need Calcium?
Bones grow rapidly during adolescence, and teens need enough calcium to build strong bones and fight bone loss later in life. But many don't get the recommended daily amount of calcium. In addition, people who smoke or drink soda, caffeinated beverages, or alcohol may get even less calcium because those substances interfere with the way the body absorbs and uses calcium.
Bone calcium begins to decrease in young adulthood and people gradually lose bone density as they age — particularly women. Teens, especially girls, whose diets don't provide the nutrients to build

bones to their maximum potential are at greater risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis, which increases the risk of fractures from weakened bones.
Calcium also plays an important role in muscle contraction, transmitting messages through the nerves, and the release of hormones. If people aren't getting enough calcium in their diet, the body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones.
If you got enough calcium and…