Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is an essential vitamin that we all are lacking. In fact, the biggest pandemic I believe is Vitamin D deficiency.
Classified under the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D is actually not a vitamin but a steroid hormone. From preventing mental disorders such as depression to keeping you strong physically, Vitamin D has a significant role to play.
Are you getting enough of it in your daily diet? How much do you need on a daily basis? We are going to discuss all these points in this article. So keep on reading till the end.
First, let’s discuss the overall benefits of Vitamin D and how it can help you boost your physical and mental health.
Benefits of Vitamin D
1. Vitamin D is important for overall health
Vitamin D has many functions to play in the human body. Most importantly, it is crucial for your body to absorb calcium and phosphorous and it also helps the body to have a normal immune function.
Getting enough vitamin D in your diet/supplements and from sunlight is essential for proper bone and teeth development and can also assist the body to develop strong resistance to certain diseases.
2. Vitamin D is important for the immune system
Vitamin D acts as an immunity regulator and helps in inhibiting T cell proliferation (rapid growth) as well as B cell proliferation.
Vitamin D helps in regulating the immune cells that are responsible for antiviral responses. It can greatly help in preventing infections or reduce their severity of it.
It is recommended to get enough vitamin D or get it from a supplement if you are deficient to boost your immunity.
3. Vitamin D is important for bone health
Vitamin D’s vital role is to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorous helping it to maintain healthy bones and teeth. It even helps you keep your muscles stronger.
For bodybuilders, the main hormone they are targeting is testosterone. Vitamin D can significantly affect the production and circulation of hormones in the body.
People especially children who are deficient in Vitamin D develop a condition called rickets, bowed legs, and other deformities.
Also, other chronic bone conditions such as osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis that cause high inflammation of the bones are greatly prevented or severity is reduced, especially in women in which these are common occurrences after menopause. Vitamin D and Calcium together can help build strong bones in women after menopause.
It is recommended to get your, as well as your child’s vitamin D, tested and corrected with proper diet/supplements and sunlight.
4. Vitamin D is important for muscle health
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in muscle fitness. It gives you strong muscles. The reason behind this is that Vitamin D is found to promote skeletal muscle regeneration and mitochondrial health.
Vitamin D supplementation has also been found to improve muscle strength, particularly in people who are deficient in it. It has also been noted that higher serum levels of Vitamin D have been shown to reduce injury rates and improvement in sports/athletic performance.
Also, lower vitamin D levels are linked with reduced muscle mass. So it’s better to keep your vitamin D levels up to the mark for maintaining your muscles.
5. Vitamin D is important for good mood
Ever felt low or had mental fatigue? Several factors affect the mood and vitamin D can help enhance your mood. It can play a significant role In improving your mood and reducing the chances of getting depression.
Serotonin or the feel-good hormone is greatly influenced by Vitamin D levels in your body. Also getting enough vitamin D is essential to improve your anxiety and it can act as a potential antidepressant, especially in psychiatric outpatients.
If you add a quality vitamin D supplement to your daily routine, you can see the difference in your mood over a period of three to four months. Get your dose of sunshine vitamin now!
6. Vitamin D is important for cognitive function
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays an important role in brain physiology and is a part of several brain functions. It can affect multiple brain processes including cognitive function.
Vitamin D has neuroprotective effects and vitamin D receptors are widespread all over the brain. The neuroprotective effects of vitamin D also include the clearance of amyloid plaques, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease.
7. Vitamin D is important for preventing chronic diseases
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several chronic diseases and conditions such as bone metabolic disorders, diabetes mellitus, tumors, and cardiovascular diseases among others.
It is also to be noted that certain autoimmune conditions/diseases, as well as neuropsychiatric problems, are faced by people with a deficiency of 25OHD (Vitamin D3).
Taking a Vitamin D3 supplement can help in preventing certain types of cancers and can lessen the severity of the disease.
How much Vitamin D is normal?
If you have gone to a lab and got your vitamin D levels checked, you might have seen the normal range of vitamin D. It’s expressed in the unit of nanograms per milliliter(ng/mL). Most people just do dine in the range of 20 to 40 ng/mL but it’s recommended to have between 30 to 50 ng/mL for proper bone and overall health.
Why I am deficient in Vitamin D?
Most the people today are deficient in Vitamin D. The reasons include one or more of the following –
1. Inadequate or no exposure to sunlight
2. Poor absorption of Vitamin D
3. Inadequate intake of vitamin D through diet
4. Poor kidney function that can impair 25OHD conversion
Side effects of too much vitamin D
Though high doses are safely tolerated by most people when taken orally, when administered through a syringe can have bad side effects. The main problem with too much Vitamin D is the calcium buildup in the body(hypercalcemia). It can lead to kidney stones as well. In my past experience when I was administered megadoses of vitamin D through a syringe, I suffered from too many kidney stones.
Other symptoms include weakness, vomiting/nausea, dry mouth, and others.
How much Vitamin D to take in supplement
It varies on the condition you have and your current vitamin D3 (25OHD) levels). Usually, 1000 to 2000 IUs a day are good enough for healthy adults but the upper limit is up to 10,000 IUs per day (earlier it was 4,000IUs per day) are safe for adults taken orally (recommended by The Endocrine Society Practice Guidelines).
Best sources of vitamin D
People nowadays are vitamin D deficient and need more of it to have a healthy body and mind functioning.
Below are some of the ways you can get vitamin D –
2. Egg yolks
4. Fatty/Oily Fish such as Salmon
5. Red Meat
6. Fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals
In this article, we discussed the top 7 benefits of vitamin D and how it can help you boost your physical as well as mental health.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating several processes from your brain to other organs including your endocrine system. Having adequate amounts of vitamin D in your blood can prevent you from certain cancers, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.
It is recommended to get your vitamin D levels tested for deficiency and get it corrected. Are you also suffering from any of the chronic conditions mentioned above? Do let us know in the comments section below how vitamin D has helped you in improving your everyday life.
Disclaimer – The tips given in this article are for informational purposes only. It does not intend to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your dietitian and medical health practitioner before making any changes to your diet or before taking any supplements.