Let’s start with the facts: Vitamin D, technically a hormone, is considered a crucial nutrient commonly known to help build bones and keep them strong. It’s acquired by exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays), or food and/or supplemental absorption.
A family history of osteoporosis was once the only prerequisite required to guard your levels; of late, that’s no longer the case. Turns out, vitamin D receptors have been found across all biological systems and countless medical studies have demonstrated its positive effects toward our overall well-being.
Let’s take a look at what deficiencies have shown:
Inflammation: Vitamin D has been shown to possess a range of anti-inflammatory properties leading to its benefit in a host of respiratory infections and many other inflammatory disorders.
Immune System: Vitamin D is essential for optimum immune performance and has played a role in combating everything from influenza and the common cold to relieving symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease and psoriasis.
Musculature: Due to its contribution to cell growth, D also enhances the cell’s contraction ability setting the stage for muscle health & strength, leading us to the most important muscle of all…
The Heart: Aside from the benefits of vitamin D to the heart as a muscular function, mentioned above, low-level D has also been linked to high blood pressure and if not checked, HBP can lead to stroke and an increased risk of heart attack.
Kidneys: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps regulate kidney function.
Mood: Low-level D has long been associated with higher incidences of depression and untreated depression opens the door to a myriad of other health issues.
Weight Loss: Vitamin D has been shown to work in conjunction with the hormone that tells you you’re full! Normal D levels reinforce a feeling of satisfaction, which stops you from over-eating.
Cognitive Function: Recent studies indicate a connection between Vitamin D and neurological impairments such as Alzheimer’s. D helps the brain rid itself of abnormal proteins considered a primary cause for the disease.
Cancer: Most recent data only showcases a positive connection between D and colorectal, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer. There’s yet enough clinical research to validate a connection with any other type.
Something to consider
There are two types of vitamin D; D2 and D3. One is derived from plants, the other from animal sources and while similar, they’re not the same. Your doctor can inform you further concerning the differences, specifying which will be most beneficial should you decide to supplement.
If you think you do not have enough vitamin D, the first step is a trip to the doctor for a conversation. He/she will be able to properly advise you concerning recent findings, if you might be affected, and administer a simple blood test to indicate your base level.