Discover the 3 Health Benefits of Vitamin D that you didn’t know.
Vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight.
It is for this reason that it is also called ” vitamin of the sun “.
What we call “vitamin D” is actually a collection of fat soluble substances.
Thus, this group includes in particular vitamin D2 (in plant form) and vitamin D3 (in animal form).
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is exposed to direct sunlight.
To avoid a deficiency, you can eat certain foods that contain vitamin D.
To ensure adequate levels of vitamin D in your blood, you can also take supplements like this plant vitamin D .
Strengthen bones and teeth, strengthen the immune system … the sunshine vitamin is all the rage.
Here are all the incredible health benefits of vitamin D you should know about:
Vitamin D is vital to our health
Getting enough vitamin D is essential for your body to function properly.
Indeed, among its most important functions, vitamin D helps:
- regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body,
ensure the proper functioning of immune responses,
strengthen bones and teeth and
provide better resistance to certain diseases.
Also, if your body does not get enough vitamin D, you risk developing bone pathologies.
The most common disorders are osteomalacia (which makes the bones “soft”) or osteoporosis (weakening of the bones).
3 scientifically proven health benefits of vitamin D
1. Helps fight disease
In addition to its best known benefits, the most recent scientific research has shown that vitamin D also helps:
- reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis , according to a study by Harvard University ( source 1 ).
reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease , according to an American study ( source 2 ).
reduce the risk of influenza contamination , according to a Japanese study ( source 3 ).
- Reduces anxiety and depression
Several studies show that vitamin D can also play an important role in regulating mood and in preventing depression.
Norwegian researchers have found that taking vitamin D supplements dramatically improves symptoms of depression ( source 4 ).
In another study, researchers observed the effects of vitamin D in people with fibromyalgia, a chronic disease characterized by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
However, researchers have discovered that in patients who also present symptoms of anxiety and depression, vitamin D deficiency is more frequent ( source 5 ).
3. Promotes weight loss
Are you trying to lose weight?
So consult your doctor or pharmacist to take vitamin D supplements .
In drops or ampoules, you can easily find various supplements in pharmacies or even on the Internet.
But, again, it’s best to consult a healthcare practitioner to find the most suitable form and dosage.
In one study, researchers found that people who received a daily dose of calcium and vitamin D lost more weight than those who received a placebo ( source 6 ).
The researchers of this study thus concluded that calcium and vitamin D supplements have an appetite suppressant effect .
And in another study in overweight people, markers of heart disease risk were dramatically reduced in people who received daily vitamin D supplements ( source 7 ).
How do you know if you are low on vitamin D?
There are several factors that can prevent your body from making enough vitamin D through exposure to the sun.
Here are the main causes of vitamin D deficiency:
- live in a heavily polluted area,
spend too much time indoors,
live in a big city (where buildings block sunlight) and
have dark skin (more pigmentation, the more difficult it is for the body to synthesize vitamin D).
Be aware that the above factors cause vitamin D deficiency in more and more people.
This is why it is essential for you to get some of your vitamin D from sources other than the sun!
What are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?
In adults, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- a feeling of fatigue, exhaustion and general malaise;
stiffness, pain and joint cramps;
severe bone pain and muscle weakness, which may cause difficulty in climbing stairs, getting up from a sitting or lying position and walking normally and
the ” stress fractures ” or “stress fractures”, a type of bone fractures in the legs, pelvis and hips.
Your doctor can easily diagnose vitamin D deficiency with a simple blood test .
If a deficiency is diagnosed, your doctor may order x-rays to measure the strength of your bones.
The doctor may also prescribe treatment with vitamin D supplements.
To produce more vitamin D, you should also watch your diet and make sure you increase your exposure to the sun.
Which foods contain the most vitamin D?
Few foods naturally contain vitamin D.
This is why some foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as certain brands of milk.
Here are the foods that contain the most vitamin D:
- salmon, sardines and other fatty fish,
egg yolk ,
milk, yogurt , butter and other dairy products (enriched with vitamin D) and
cereals and orange juice (fortified with vitamin D).
Whether it’s sun exposure or diet, getting enough vitamin D every day isn’t always easy.
It is for this reason that more and more people are turning to vitamin D supplements.
How much to take vitamin D?
There is controversy over the exact amount of vitamin D needed for the body to function properly.
Indeed, the most recent research seems to indicate that the necessary dosage of vitamin D is much more important than previously thought.
The dosage of vitamin D is often given in international units (IU) , rather than micrograms (µg).
Simply put, IU is a standard measurement for drugs and vitamins.
IUs help experts to better determine the recommended dose, but also to assess toxicity and levels of deficiency for each person.
Be aware that an IU is not the same for each type of vitamin!
Here is the recommended nutritional allowance (RDA) for vitamin D ( source 8 ):
children and adolescents: 600 IU
adults up to 70 years: 600 IU
adults over 70 years: 800 IU
pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU.