11 Benefits of Vitamin D

Many people recognize vitamin D as an essential nutrient that helps your body build strong bones. However, there are many other benefits to vitamin D that frequently go overlooked. Keeping healthy levels of vitamin D is essential to staying healthy and strong. Individuals who have low vitamin D may experience a variety of different symptoms.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has a number of important benefits. It not only plays a role in growing strong bones, muscles, and hair but also helps to prevent dangerous diseases. Here are some of the most important vitamin D benefits in your body:

  • 1. Strengthen bones: Vitamin D’s most well-known characteristic is its role in building strong bones. Vitamin D aids in absorbing calcium from foods. This allows your bones to grow strong. Without vitamin D, bones may become weak and break easily due to the lack of calcium.
  • 2. Hair growth: Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping hair follicles healthy. As a result, vitamin D deficiency may result in hair loss. Keeping adequate levels of the nutrient, however, can help your hair grow.
  • 3. Boost immune system: Vitamin D helps guard your body against viruses and bacteria. Those who have higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to catch influenza and an acute respiratory infection.
  • 4. Prevent diabetes: Some studies have found that vitamin D can help prevent diabetes. This includes type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  • 5. Lose weight: Other studies have noted a strong correlation between vitamin D and obesity. This leads scientists to conclude that vitamin D may be closely linked with weight loss. During one study, women who took vitamin D supplements were more likely to lose weight as opposed to those who didn’t.
  • 6. Strengthen muscles: Vitamin D also helps to strengthen muscles in a similar way to building bone strength. This helps reduce the risk of injury from falls.
  • 7. Fight depression: It is a well-known fact that sunshine makes most people feel happy. It is unknown the exact role that vitamin D plays in depression, but scientists note that there is a relationship between the two variables. Those who have increased sun exposure and vitamin D tend to be happier and have lower risks for depression.
  • 8. Lower risk of cancer: New research suggests vitamin D may not only lower your risk of cancer but may also help fight cancer. Research suggests that those with greater sun exposure or vitamin D levels have a reduced risk of developing cancer. Further research has found that mice provided with sufficient levels of vitamin D have decreased tumor growth.
  • 9. Reduce hypertension: If you have adequate levels of vitamin D, this can also help lower your risks of cardiovascular disease. Having a vitamin D deficiency can raise your blood pressure while taking vitamin D can lower blood pressure and reduce hypertension.
  • 10. Increase oral health: Because vitamin D aids in your body absorbing calcium, having high levels of vitamin D also protects oral health. This lowers the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It can also help create peptides that fight harmful bacterial in your mouth.
  • 11. Treat inflammation: Those with adequate levels of vitamin D are less likely to suffer from inflammation and related diseases. This includes lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem. Many people lack sufficient vitamin D level, especially in northern states during the winter. There are many symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Some are mild and common while others can be severe.

  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Falls
  • Brittle bones
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Immune system disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hair loss

There are several other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency that may be present if you don’t get enough of the nutrient. Because vitamin D plays such an essential role in multiple of your body’s processes, a deficiency means each of these processes will suffer. If you’re concerned about your levels of vitamin D or notice these symptoms, talk with your doctor about ways to increase vitamin D intake.

How Much Vitamin D?

The older you are, the more vitamin D your body needs. Children under the age of 12 months require 400 international units (IU) while those between 1 to 70 years need 600 IU. Individuals over the age of 70 require 800 IU to keep them healthy. If you’re wondering how much vitamin D per day for a woman, the recommended units are similar to males.

How to Get More Vitamin D

If you have a vitamin D deficiency or are concerned about your vitamin D level, it can be difficult to get more. Many foods do not contain vitamin D naturally. Some foods, such as milk or orange juice, may be artificially supplemented with Vitamin D. Other foods contain small amounts naturally, such as salmon or sardines.

The primary source of vitamin D, however, is the sun. When exposed to sunlight, your body creates vitamin D using a chemical in its skin. The stronger the sun, the more vitamin D your body is capable of producing. To get the most vitamin D, you should expose yourself to the sun during peak afternoon hours. A doctor can test for vitamin D deficiency in your blood with a simple test. If you’re still concerned about vitamin D deficiency, you can also boost your intake through a supplement or multivitamin.

Conclusion

It is important for your body to get enough vitamin D at every age. Vitamin D plays an essential role in a number of processes, such as increasing calcium intake to create strong bones and lowering your risk of diabetes. As a result, it is important to get enough vitamin D every day. If you’re concerned about your vitamin D levels, visit a doctor to talk more about your options.

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