The body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. In addition to getting vitamin D from the sun, we can also find it in certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of this vitamin in the blood.
Vitamin D has several important functions. Probably the most important function is to regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption and support immune system function. A sufficient dose of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth and for improving resistance to certain diseases.
If your body is not getting enough vitamin D, you are at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or brittle bones (osteoporosis).
vitamin D fights disease
- 1 vitamin D fights disease
- 2 Vitamin D helps with depression
- 3 vitamin D supports weight loss
- 4 Optimal levels of vitamin D3 in the body
- 5 Vitamin D deficiency
- 6 Vitamin D and its role in the human body
- 7 Properties and role of vitamin D
- 8 Vitamin D for hypertension and heart disease
In addition to its key benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:
reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis, based on a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
lowering the risk of developing heart disease, based on a 2008 study published in Criculation
reducing the likelihood of getting the flu, based on a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Vitamin D helps with depression
Research shows that vitamin D may play an important role in regulating mood or preventing depression. In one study, researchers found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements saw significant improvement.
In another study on people with fibromyalgia, researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was more common in people who also experienced anxiety and depression.
vitamin D supports weight loss
Consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease.
In one study, people who took a daily vitamin D supplement did not lose a significant amount of weight, but they did improve their heart disease risk markers.
In another study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than participants taking a placebo. The researchers noted that the extra dose of calcium and vitamin D helped suppress appetite.
Optimal levels of vitamin D3 in the body
When reporting to the laboratory for a vitamin D level test, it is important to note the level of 25-hydroxyvitaminase D, or calcidiol, in the blood!
below 20 ng/ml or 50 nmol/l means that you have a severe vitamin D deficiency
below 30 ng/ml or 75 nmol/l there is still a deficiency
a range of 30-50 ng/ml or 75-125 nmol/l is the optimal level for humans
Vitamin D deficiency
Many environmental and lifestyle factors can affect the ability to take up vitamin D from sunlight. These factors include:
- high environmental pollution
- use of sunscreens
- spending a lot of time indoors
- living in large cities, where high-rise buildings block the sun’s rays
- a darker complexion
These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. Therefore, it is important to get vitamin D from other sources in addition to the sun.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in adults are
- fatigue, aches and general malaise
- severe bone and muscle pain or weakness, which can cause problems climbing stairs, getting up from the floor or a low chair
- chronic fractures, especially of the legs, pelvis and hips.
Your doctor can diagnose vitamin D deficiency by carrying out a simple blood test. If the result is positive, your doctor may recommend an X-ray to check your bone health.
If you are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will probably recommend vitamin D supplements. If the deficiency is severe, he or she may recommend high-dose vitamin D tablets or fluids. Also make sure you are getting vitamin D through sun exposure and in your diet.
Vitamin D and its role in the human body
As many as 95 percent of Poles are deficient in vitamin D. Doctors are sounding the alarm, because its importance for our body is very high. Vitamins are essential to our health and should be supplied with food or in the form of supplementation. In the case of vitamin D, natural sources are not able to meet the body’s needs. The most important source of vitamin D is sunlight – skin synthesis under the influence of UVB radiation can cover up to 90% of the daily demand for this vitamin. However, in our country it is possible only during a few sunny months, and during autumn and winter vitamin D supplementation turns out to be necessary. Why is it so important for our body and what can vitamin D deficiency result in?
Properties and role of vitamin D
Vitamin D belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins, which means that it is not excreted with urine, but stored in the liver and adipose tissue. It is found in food in two forms: of plant origin (vitamin D2) and animal origin (D3). Vitamin D is called the “elixir of life” because it protects against a number of diseases of civilisation.
Vitamin D for hypertension and heart disease
One of the most serious diseases of civilisation is hypertension, along with heart disease. Vitamin D in combination with calcium effectively protects against heart attack, stroke or coronary heart disease. In addition, it can prevent the fall of the “good” HDL cholesterol, as it is responsible for the correct maintenance of the protein that makes up HDL.
Vitamin D and cancer
Studies confirm that daily vitamin D supplementation by adults at a dose of 4000-8000 IU is necessary to halve the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Adequate levels of vitamin D in the body can not only inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, but also accelerate their death (apoptosis). The benefits of vitamin D, or rather the hormone, relate to prevention, but also to survival in cancer. Vitamin D resembles an endocrine hormone in many ways; the active form of the vitamin has important regulatory functions in all tissues and organs.