We know vitamin D is essential for bone and muscle health, but the latest news shows that getting enough helps you in other surprising ways, too.
D for your teeth
Vitamin D deficiency could be affecting your teeth. A large review found kids who had adequate vitamin D levels were 50 per cent less likely to suffer tooth decay.
Heart disease protection
People with diabetes who get enough vitamin D may be less likely to have atherosclerosis (an accumulation of fat in your arteries), a small study found. Reducing atherosclerosis may in turn reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Slowing down cancer cells
Vitamin D may help stop cells from becoming cancerous, new research found. The theory is vitamin D has an effect on a particular part of the cell growth cycle.
While you can get vitamin D in some foods (eg. dairy and oily fish), the best source is the sun. Cancer Council Australia recommends a few minutes of exposure to sunlight on your face, arms and hands before 10am and after 3pm most days of the week in summer to get enough.
Nutrition Reviews, 2012 Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012