Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that develops when the skin is naked to sunlight. Foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and reinforced dairy products also contain Vitamin D. Along with many other vital roles in the body, Vitamin D enhances the body’s ability to absorb calcium and retain strong bones.
In the following article, we will talk about several Vitamin D benefits and how it not only aids us in developing bone health but maintains overall health and enhances immunity.
What is Vitamin D?
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Before discussing Vitamin D and its advantages, let us learn what it is and how it functions in the body.
There are two forms of VItamin D: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 exists in some plant-based foods, whereas Vitamin D3 is induced in the body through exposure to sunlight and is produced in some animal-based foods.
When Vitamin D is consumed or incorporated into the body, it goes through various conversions in the liver and kidneys to activate in the body. Active Vitamin D, also known as calcitriol, controls the retention of calcium and phosphorus in the body, which is vital for strengthening bones and teeth.
Vitamin D has additional functions that are vital for the development of the body, maintaining immune function, enhancing cell growth, and reducing inflammation.
7 Vitamin D Benefits
1. Boosts Immune System
One of the most popular benefits of Vitamin D is maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin D activates the immune cells, like T cells and macrophages, which can diagnose and destroy infection-causing pathogens. Studies have projected that people with low Vitamin D count are more receptive to respiratory infections like the flu.
2. Promotes Healthy Bones
Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and bone health. Without enough Vitamin D in the body, bones can become weak, thin, and fragile. Therefore, the body is inclined to conditions like osteoporosis, increasing the risk of fractures, especially in old adults. Sufficient intake of Vitamin D, in addition to the intake of calcium and weight-bearing exercise, can aid in regulating bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
3. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
Various studies have shown that a healthy count of Vitamin D reduces the risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Nonetheless, we need more research to make a solid connection between Vitamin D and these diseases.
4. Improves Muscle Function
Vitamin D can help enhance muscle strength and balance, effectively reducing the danger of falls and fractures in older adults. Studies show that Vitamin D intake aids in diminishing muscle pain and weakness in people with fibromyalgia.
5. Enhances Mood and Brain Function
Vitamin D receptors exist in several areas of the brain, including those that control mood and cognitive functions. Some studies have shown that a low Vitamin D is the cause of depression and cognitive deterioration in older adults. More research is necessary to authenticate an accurate link between Vitamin D and these conditions.
6. Supports Fertility and Pregnancy
Vitamin D is vital for reproductive strength in men and women. In men, Vitamin D leads to the improvement of sperm quality and testosterone levels. Vitamin D may help enhance fertility and reinforce healthy pregnancy events in women. Vitamin D is also vital during pregnancy, considering it helps improve fetal bone evolution.
7. Regulates Insulin Levels
Vitamin D may also be important in managing insulin levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance is the prime factor in the progress of type 2 diabetes.
Studies prove that people with lower insulin levels, resulting from a lack of Vitamin D, are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes and that the intake of the vitamin will help develop insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.