Vitamin D3 is a member of the family of compounds known simply as vitamin D. Other compounds within this family include vitamins D1, and D2. The body produces all of these compounds naturally when it is exposed to sunlight, which is why all of these vitamins are often referred to as the “sunshine vitamins”. You can also get vitamin D from some foods, as well as supplements.
D vitamins are fat-soluble, which means that they are stored within the liver and other fatty tissues when they aren’t used and are secreted when the body needs them. These vitamins play a crucial role in your overall health and well being. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is between 600 and 4,000 IU. In order to maintain your health, it’s important that you get enough of this vitamin.
1. It strengthens bones and teeth
Since vitamin D3 helps with the regulation and absorption of calcium, it plays an important role in the health of your teeth and bones. Of all the minerals found in the body, calcium is the most abundant. The majority of this mineral lies in the skeleton (the bones) and the teeth. Since bones and teeth are primarily made of calcium, it is important that you make sure you are not only getting, but also absorbing high levels of this mineral to keep your bones and teeth strong.
Since vitamin D3 aids in the absorption and regulation of calcium, this vitamin plays a key role in the health and strength of your bones and teeth. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, your body can’t efficiently absorb calcium, which could increase your risk for developing various conditions, including arthritis. It can also increase the risk of early-onset tooth loss.
2. It strengthens and maintains the immune system
Vitamin D3 also plays an important role in maintaining and strengthening the immune system. This fat-soluble vitamin helps to turn certain genes and processes that occur within the body on and off. Vitamin D is stored in fatty tissues, such as the liver, and is excreted when it is needed. It is sent out to many different parts of the body, including the cells in the immune system.
Therefore, vitamin D3 helps to not only strengthen your immune system, but it also initiates its response to invaders, such as bacteria and viruses that are responsible for various types of illnesses, such as the common cold. It can also prevent the development of autoimmune diseases. That’s because it promotes the production of T cells that regulate the immune system and differentiate between foreign pathogens and cells that normally occur within the body.
3. It boosts your mood
If you are feeling a blue, especially during the winter months when exposure to the sun naturally decreases, it could be because you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. Several studies have revealed that the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be linked to low levels of vitamin D3. SAD is a mood disorder and the primary symptom is depression.
It occurs when exposure to sunshine is reduced. Studies suggest that the decreased levels of vitamin D3 may impact the levels of serotonin in the brain, a hormone that regulates the mood. By taking a vitamin D3 supplement or increasing your exposure to the sun, you could see a significant boost in your mood. You can also try eating more foods that are rich in vitamin D3, such as salmon, tuna, eggs, trout, and dairy products that have been fortified with the vitamin.
4. It can aid in weight loss
If you have been trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results that you are looking for, try increasing your levels of vitamin D3. Studies have found that taking a vitamin D3 supplement, eating more foods that are rich in this vitamin, or simply getting more sun – coupled with eating a well-balanced diet and exercising – can make it easier to lose weight.
That is because vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin and can actually help to keep your levels of body fat down. Furthermore, research has revealed that people who are deficient in vitamin D have a greater risk of becoming obese and developing complications that are related with obesity. Remember though, simply taking a supplement, eating more vitamin D rich foods, and increasing your sun exposure aren’t enough; you also need to eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of exercise.
5. It can help lower blood pressure
There have been several observational studies that have proven that there is an indisputable link between low vitamin D levels and hypertension (high blood pressure). Until recently, it wasn’t known if being deficient in vitamin D actually lead to hypertension. A large genetic study that involved more than 150,000 people revealed that low levels of vitamin D can, in fact, cause hypertension.
In this study, those who had the highest levels of vitamin D had lower blood pressure. Furthermore, it was revealed that increasing vitamin D by 10 percent lead to a 10 percent decrease in hypertension. This same study found that there was a definite link between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or you want to avoid developing it, consider talking to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your daily regime.
6. It might prevent certain types of cancer
Vitamin D3 can help to prevent the development of certain types of cancer. Epidemiologic research has shown that there is a lower incidence of certain types of cancers are lower in people who live in southern locations and have more exposure to the sun. That’s because the UV rays of the sun naturally produce vitamin D in the body, which has led researchers to hypothesize that higher levels of this vitamin and lower incidence of cancer in people who live in southern locations could be correlated.
Furthermore, experiments have indicated that there is a possible connection between vitamin D and the development of cancer. Vitamin D aids in the repair and regeneration of cells, which could decrease the growth of cancerous tumors, stimulate the death of cells that have been damaged by cancer, and lower the formation of blood vessels in tumors.
7. It can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
The body needs various types of vitamins in order to maintain optimal health, including vitamin D. It has been found that people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints – have low levels of vitamin D. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system believes that the linings of the joints are foreign substances and attacks to ward off any infection that it believes the linings will cause.
This leads to inflammation that in the joints that results in stiffness, pain, and reduced mobility. Since vitamin D helps to maintain the immune system and ensures that it is functioning properly, it makes sense that a deficiency in this vitamin could lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis. By taking a vitamin D supplement, there is a chance that you could reduce the onset of this disease.
8. It may improve brain function
Scientists have connected vitamin D with several important functions in the body, including how the brain functions. There are vitamin D receptors located throughout the central nervous system, as well as the hippocampus. Furthermore, vitamin D plays a role in activating and deactivating the synthesis of neurotransmitters, as well as nerve growth.
Additionally, studies on animal subjects have found that vitamin D helps to protect neurons and can reduce inflammation within the brain. All of these factors could help to improve the overall function of the brain, helping to promote alertness and quicker response time. Another study analyzed the effects that vitamin D levels plays on a collection of subjects’ performance on mental exams. This study found that those who had lower levels of the fat-soluble vitamin performed worse than those who had adequate levels of the vitamin, suggesting it improves acuity.
9. It lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
If diabetes runs in your family or you have been diagnosed with hyperglycemia (pre-diabetes), you might want to consider getting more vitamin D. Recent studies have suggests that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency, the body’s resistance to insulin, and type 2 diabetes. By overcoming insulin resistance, you could potentially prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
The cells in the pancreas that are responsible for secreting insulin contain alpha-hydroxylase enzyme and VDRs, which both play a role in the body’s tolerance to glucose and resistance to insulin. As a result, not getting enough sunlight can reduce the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which can create a resistance to insulin and affect how the body responds to glucose. Given these findings, it is a good idea to speak to your doctor to find out if getting more vitamin D can benefit your health.
10. It might reduce the risk of heart disease
An increasing amount of studies have indicated that a deficiency in vitamin D is a risk factor for developing heart disease. It can increase the risk for congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, strokes, and heart attack. It can also increase the risk of high blood pressure (as stated before). Vitamin D helps to prevent abnormal cells from developing and spreading throughout the tissues of the body. It also regulates blood pressure.
These two things combined can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and the symptoms that are associated with it. Furthermore, since it may play a role in weight loss and maintaining healthy body weight, this vitamin may also be able to prevent the adverse effects that are associated with obesity and high levels of body fat, including cardiovascular disease. Speak to your doctor to learn more.