What exactly do you know about Vitamin D? Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s good for your bones. That it can help to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The above is true, but this is just the tip of the iceberg – the list goes on!
We take a more in-depth look at the benefits of Vitamin D. What can this powerful micronutrient offer you? We discuss all the health benefits of this essential vitamin and how it can help improve your overall health and vitality.
What are the benefits of vitamin D?
Vitamin D has some amazing health benefits, so it’s no wonder it’s one of the most commonly consumed vitamins today. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most important benefits of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth – Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from food, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Aside from making sure your bones and teeth are healthy, calcium and phosphate are also important for muscle and nerve function.
- It also plays a role in regulating the immune system – Vitamin D is known to help reduce the risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Many of these diseases occur when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. Vitamin D can help to prevent this from happening.
- Vitamin D can protect against cancer – A growing number of studies are linking low levels of it to an increased risk of cancer. Studies show that women with low blood levels of vitamin D are much more likely to develop cancer than women that keep their vitamin D levels high. Another study found that men who had low levels of vitamin D were more likely to suffer from prostate cancer too. It’s safe to say that Vitamin D may have a role in slowing the growth of cancer cells; it may also reduce the risk of metastasis.
- It can protect against heart disease – Other studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop heart disease than those with normal levels. Vitamin D may help to protect against heart disease by reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, and lowering cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin D can reduce the risk of diabetes – Science also shows us that people with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop type II diabetes than those with normal levels of Vitamin D. The reason for this is that Vitamin D helps to prevent insulin resistance, a major contributor to Vitamin D. Vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of diabetes by reducing inflammation within the body.
- It can improve mental health – Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. One study found that people with depression who took vitamin D supplements showed significant improvement in their symptoms. Vitamin D may help to improve mental health by increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is important for mood and well-being.
- Vitamin D can help manage high blood pressure – Adding vitamin D to a treatment plan for people with high blood pressure shows positive results in a significant reduction to subjects’ blood pressure levels. Studies also show that high blood pressure is more common in people who have low levels of vitamin D.
- It can help manage pain – People with chronic pain often have low levels of vitamin D. It is said that supplementing with vitamin D helped to reduce pain intensity and improve function in people with chronic pain. Vitamin D may help to reduce inflammation and improve nerve function, both of which could contribute to pain relief.
- It improves cognitive function – Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D perform worse on tests of cognitive function than those with normal levels. Vitamin D is even powerful enough to make a difference to older subjects – Vitamin D is proven to better cognitive function in elderly people. Vitamin D may also help to improve cognitive function by increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are important for mood and cognition.
What are the best ways to get the D?
The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure, as sunlight triggers the body to produce vitamin D. However, many people don’t get enough sunlight exposure because they live in northern climates or have jobs that keep them inside all day.
Another good way to get vitamin D is by taking supplements. Vitamin D supplements are available in both pill and liquid form.
You can also get vitamin D from certain foods. Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, and mackerel, are good sources of vitamin D. Other good sources include eggs, cheese, and beef liver. If you’re finding it difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, you can try out adding supplements to your diet.
If you are concerned that you may have low levels of vitamin D, talk to your doctor. They can do a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels and recommend the best way to get more vitamin D into your diet.
Can you have too much?
Yes, it is possible to have too much vitamin D. Excessive amounts of vitamin D can cause adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. It can also increase the risk of heart disease and kidney damage.
If you are taking supplements or eating foods that are high in vitamin D, be sure to monitor your intake. If you have high levels of vitamin D, your doctor may recommend that you lower your dose or stop taking supplements altogether. It is always best to speak with a health professional before supplementing with large doses of Vitamin D.
However, it is very unlikely that you will get too much vitamin D from any source. As long as you are not taking supplements in excess, sun exposure and diet should not cause any problems.
What other vitamins work well with vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and therefore works best when taken with other fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, E, and K. These vitamins help to increase the absorption of vitamin D and help keep your body healthy.
Vitamin A is good for your eyes and helps to keep your skin healthy. While Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Vitamin K is important for preventing blood clotting, as well as bone health.
If you are taking supplements that include vitamin D, it is good practice to also include these other fat-soluble vitamins. Certain supplements will contain multiple vitamins, so it’s best to check what is in whatever you’re taking.
It is also important to make sure that you are getting enough water-soluble vitamins, such as C and B12. These vitamins help keep your body healthy and work well with vitamin D.
Vitamin C is important for immune system health and helps to protect your body from disease. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve function and energy production.
Make sure that you are getting enough of all of the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy! A balanced diet and multi-vitamin supplement can help make sure you are getting everything you need. You can also try other types of immune-boosting items such as Ayurvedic herbs.
Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your vitamin D levels. They can help you create a plan that will keep you healthy and happy!
If you are pregnant, it is especially important to make sure that you are getting enough vitamin D. Studies have shown that deficiency in pregnant women can lead to health problems for both the mother and the child.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have during pregnancy. And ask what they recommend in terms of supplementation. They can help ensure that both you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need!
There are so many amazing benefits of vitamin D! It’s no wonder this essential vitamin is often called the ‘sunshine vitamin.’ Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D by eating foods that are rich in them, taking a supplement if needed, and spending time outdoors in the sun. Your health will thank you for it! Do you Have a favourite Vitamin D supplement you like to take? Let us know!