The Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body as a result of exposure to sunlight. It's also found naturally in milk and other dairy products, salmon, sardines, egg yolks, certain leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods and beverages. Vitamin D supplements are also available for those who cannot get enough through other means. Adequate vitamin D intake is an important part of maintaining optimal human health for a variety of reasons. The following are five of them.

A picture (Cartoon) of the sun blazing with sunglasses on and a smile on its face.As little as 10 minute of sunlight per day promotes the healthy synthesis of vitamin D

Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease

Getting enough vitamin D on a regular basis reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Those who don't get enough vitamin D in their diet are at elevated risk of cardiac arrest, stroke, and other conditions associated with a compromised cardiovascular system.

A picture of a heart with a beat indicated inside the heartHealthy Heart

Improves Muscle Function

Vitamin D is important for those who are engaged in strength training because it improves muscle function. Muscle fatigue is one of the major symptoms of those suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Besides being instrumental in helping athletes gain and maintain optimal performance levels, vitamin D also serves to help prevent slip-and-fall accidents among the elderly and others by promoting muscle efficiency. 

Protects Against Diabetes

Vision loss, kidney failure, and nerve damage are just some of the long-term complications associated with Type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D helps reduce risks of developing this disease by decreasing inflammation levels in the body, improving the functioning of beta cells, and increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin. Those in pre-diabetes mode, meaning that blood sugar levels are high enough for concern but not high enough to warrant a fully fledged diagnoses of the disease, should ensure that an adequate amount of vitamin D is a regular part of their dietary intake. Studies have shown that vitamin D may also help decrease symptoms of Type I diabetes as well.

Promotes Proper Absorption of Calcium

Getting enough calcium is essential in the development of strong, healthy bone tissue. Vitamin D promotes optimal absorption of this mineral at the cellular level. When the body does not get enough calcium, it begins to take it from the mineral stores in the bones, which can leave bones soft, brittle, and prone to breaking.

A bone with a happy face on itVitamin D Supports Healthy Bones

Protects Against Cancer

Vitamin D inhibits cellular growth and development of various types of cancer, including ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic, and colon cancers. It has also been shown to reduce metastasis in existing cancers.

Vitamin D deficiency causes a variety of adverse health conditions, including brittle bones, weak muscles, decreased immune system functionality, and increased risk of developing mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Although experts agree that it is best to  maintain necessary vitamin D levels through diet and exposure to sunlight, those who aren't able to get enough should discuss the possibility of using supplements with their doctor or nutritionist.

› The Benefits of Vitamin D
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