Do You Really Need Vitamin D3? Absolutely!
Vitamin D is necessary for a multitude of bodily functions. The vitamin promotes calcium absorption, modulates cell growth, regulates immune function, and controls inflammation. Unfortunately, the vitamin is not found in many foods. It is important to understand how to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. A deficiency can result in fatigue, increased frequency of illness, body aches, depression, weakened ability to heal, bone loss, and hair loss.
Vitamin D is the Sunshine Vitamin
Although it can be difficult to get vitamin D from foods, it’s relatively easy to boost levels of the vitamin with sun exposure. Your body produces the nutrient when sunlight hits your skin. UVB rays are responsible for vitamin D production.
The effectiveness of this method for encouraging vitamin D production varies. It depends on the strength of the sun, time of day, amount of exposed skin, and skin color. People who live in areas with longer winters and extended periods of darkness are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiencies than people who live in warmer, sunnier regions. However, even people who live near the equator can suffer from low levels of the vitamin.
Many people don’t get outdoors enough. When they do, they often wear sunscreen. This is a good thing when it comes to preventing skin cancer, but broad-spectrum sunscreen can limit the amount of vitamin D that your body makes. You don’t need to be out in the sun for long to get enough vitamin D. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes will do, depending on the color of your skin. Fair-skinned individuals tend to produce vitamin D more quickly than those with dark skin.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D3 Anyway?
There are different types of vitamin D. Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, is the form naturally produced by your body when the sun hits your skin. This is also the type that is found in foods, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk. Your kidneys and liver must convert vitamin D3 into a usable form, but this is usually the favored form of vitamin D supplementation.
Although most people think of calcium as a nutrient that is necessary for bone growth, vitamin D is also crucial. That’s because vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium. Children who don’t get enough of the vitamin may develop rickets, a disease characterized by soft, poorly developed bones. Adults can develop misshapen and brittle bones.
Recent studies explain that vitamin D is actually a hormone. Since this was discovered, the necessity of vitamin D3 intake and production was reevaluated.
The vitamin stimulates genes that are involved in immune system regulation. Researchers say that a deficiency in the vitamin is linked to increased risk of autoimmune disease. People with low levels of vitamin D are also more prone to infection.
Treatment with vitamin D3 may also help people with the following conditions:
- Autoimmune disease
- Pain disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
Some psychological symptoms are associated with low levels of the nutrient. Vitamin D activates the release of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Deficiencies have been correlated with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that hits when the weather turns cold and dark.
10 Facts about Vitamin D and Immunity
- Every tissue in the human body has vitamin D receptors.
The nutrient is needed for every part of the body to function optimally.
- Vitamin D’s anti-bacterial properties have been maintained through 60 million years of evolution.
Researchers say that this is evidence that vitamin D is vital to our survival.
- Vitamin D is the first line of defense against bacteria
The adaptive immune system develops antibodies in response to foreign invaders. The innate immune system, which is the immediate reaction to germs, may be turned on by vitamin D.
- Vitamin D hinders inflammation.
Inflammation has been identified as the possible cause for may diseases. Vitamin D may help reduce inflammation, and restore your health.
- T cells need vitamin D to activate.
T cells, which are those that fight off harmful bacteria, extend vitamin D receptors when they need to be activated. Without enough of the vitamin, T cells can’t mobilize to fight disease.
- Vitamin D may lower the risk of cancer.
People with high levels of vitamin D may be less likely to develop colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
- Vitamin D may be just as effective as a flu vaccine.
Maintaining high levels of Vitamin D strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system is vital to help prevent infection.
- Vitamin D promotes a healthy gut
The vitamin helps maintain the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria.
- Vitamin D makes your immune system more intelligent.
Regulatory T cells, which distinguish between your own cells and external invaders, are promoted by vitamin D. This may help regulate, treat, and prevent autoimmune disease.
- People have been unknowingly getting vitamin D treatments for tuberculosis for years.
In the past, people with tuberculosis were sent to facilities where they received sunlight treatment. Doctors may not have realized that their patients were actually recovering because their vitamin D levels were boosted. People with low vitamin D levels are five times more likely to develop tuberculosis.
10 Foods That Contain Vitamin D3
1) Sardines and other fatty fish
2) Brazil nuts
3) Chia Seeds
4) Egg yolks
5) Fortified cereals
6) White mushrooms
7) Tuna, both canned and fresh
8) Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
9) Beef liver
10) Milk with added vitamin D and fortified soy milk
Vitamin D3 Basics
Vitamin D is essential.It is important to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D for a happy and healthier you.
Exposure to sunlight promotes healthy sleeping cycles, and encourages healthy vitamin D3 production, both factors that help maintain healthy energy levels. Spend at least 15 minutes outside whenever you can, to benefit from natural sunlight.
Balance Your Diet
A healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors supply vitamins and minerals that are necessary for energy production. Foods that are high in vitamin D3 also increase energy when low sunlight exposure is related to fatigue.
Exercise More Often
Exercise releases hormones that fight fatigue and lower stress. Low-intensity exercises like walking and yoga suit a wide range of fitness levels and effectively increase energy.
Stress has a huge impact on your physical and mental health, especially when accompanied by the mid-winter blues. Stress management classes, yoga, and guided meditations are options that reduce stress, resulting in more energy.