|Benefits of Vitamin D|
Vitamin D is descriptively referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced as a natural response to sunlight coming in contact with the skin. Vitamin D is of great importance to our health in many ways. Certain foods and supplements also increase Vitamin D levels in our blood. The functions and benefits of vitamin D are numerous for both physical and mental health:
Below are 8 vitamin D benefits you should know:
Vitamin D Strengthens Your Bones
One of the most well-known benefits of Vitamin D is its bone-building and strengthening capabilities. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium in the gut. Without it, calcium cannot benefit your health by building, strengthening, growing and preventing your bones from becoming brittle, misshapen or thin.
Vitamin D Strengthens Muscles
Vitamin D also helps in strengthening your muscles. With little or no Vitamin D, your body runs the risk of having weak muscles, hence an increased risk of falls, says Lana Nasrallah, MPH, RD, Clinical Dietician at UNC Health, U.S.A. This affects the elderly more. No wonder disability and death from falls are common among older people.
Vitamin D Supports the Immune System
Vitamin D can also help support the immune system in combating harmful bacteria and viruses. This contributes in possibly preventing inflammation and infections such as the COVID-19 pandemic which is of critical concern this time. Research indicates that both low vitamin D, increased influenza and other respiratory illnesses are risk factors in high latitudes and the winter season. However, more research to establish if the link is causal or merely a correlation still needs to be done.
Vitamin D Reduces Depression
According to research, vitamin D can help in regulating your mood and reduce depression.
In one study, scientist gave vitamin D supplements to people with depression and noticed an improvement in the symptoms.
In yet another study involving people with fibromyalgia, researchers discovered that vitamin D deficiency was more common in people suffering from anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D Boosts Weight Loss
Are you trying to lose weight? Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet. It can lower the risk of heart diseases as well. Extra calcium and vitamin D suppress appetite and lowers your desire to eat frequently. In a 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, overweight or obese women with low calcium levels were divided into two. The group that took a daily dose of calcium paired with vitamin D lost weight significantly unlike that which took a placebo supplement. The reason was the “appetite-suppressing effect” of the combination.
Vitamin D Can Help Strengthen Oral Health
The ability of vitamin D to help our body absorb calcium also contributes immensely in supporting oral health. This reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum infection. As per a research review published in The Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association in 2011, there’s an “emerging hypothesis” that vitamin D benefits oral health because it functions as a bone metabolism, anti-inflammatory and stimulating effect on the production of anti-microbial peptides.
Vitamin D Can Also Help Prevent Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Though studies are yet to be conclusive, vitamin D may be a safe way to prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. According to a 2006 study, vitamin D can effectively lower the risk of type 2 diabetes when combined with a daily intake of >1,200 mg calcium.
Vitamin D Can Help Treat Hypertension
Vitamin D benefits also include the treatment of high blood pressure which is among the markers of cardiovascular diseases. It is true that even short-term vitamin D deficiency can also be the reason your high blood pressure level is going up in addition to promoting target organ damage. Researchers have considered the high correlation between vitamin D and hypertension as an indication that vitamin D supplementation therapy may become the new treatment of BP.
Now that you have known some of the essential benefits of Vitamin D, read our next article to learn more about the vitamin, its food sources and more. Feel free to comment or ask me any question in the comments’ section below.