7 Benefits of Vitamin D

Dr. Dee
by: Dr. Dee
7 Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is usually related to the sun, and often the number one reason parents use to get their kids to go outside, but it’s more than just the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D has a variety of key benefits that are essential to keeping the body running as normal. Here are 7 benefits that show Vitamin D is essential to keeping healthy.

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Immune System Regulation

This vitamin plays a large role in the immune system. Much of the immune system is controlled through the release of various white blood cells through the lymphatic system to affected regions of the body. The signals that trigger this immune response are highly dependant on calcium acting as the key to open the floodgates to release the neurotransmitters sparking the response. Vitamin D helps increase the body's calcium absorption, ensuring there is enough calcium in the body to actively trigger the immune response quickly and effectively.

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Bone Health

On the topic of calcium, also needed in maintaining homeostasis within the skeletal system. Since Vitamin D triggers calcium reabsorption within the small intestine, this added calcium is redirected to the bones to help improve bone density and aid in bone growth. It should be noted though, that Vitamin K2 has the opposite effect, so bulking up on both Vitamin D and Potassium-2 will basically cancel each other out.

Reduces Risk of Some Cancers

Simply having enough Vitamin D can help reduce your risk of developing some cancers. Many cancers are caused by cells that mutate in a way that they lack the genetic code to initiate apoptosis, the process in which the cell allows itself to die as its function has been fulfilled. Since our bodies are continually making new cells to replace dead ones, this process is essential in most cells of the body. When this fails to occur, the body's immune system can usually swoop in and eliminate the malfunctioning cells. The problem occurs when the immune system is compromised, for example from a lack of Vitamin D.

Regulating Insulin Levels

Vitamin D plays a role in insulin regulation as well. Vitamin D is used in the regulation of blood sugars. Since the blood sugar level triggers the release of insulin or glycogen to help either remove sugars from the blood or retain sugars, Vitamin D can help aid this process by affecting the body's sensitivity to insulin.

Regulate Appetite

In fueling certain neurotransmitter signals, Vitamin D can also have an effect on the release of certain hormones. One of these hormones is lepti, which helps control fat storage and appetite. An increase in the lepti hormone will give the body the feeling of being satisfied, reducing the body's appetite and helping to keep your food intake regulated.

Brain Health

Since Vitamin D plays a large role in neurotransmitter support, it goes without saying that it is very important for brain health. Vitamin D helps keep the elements that are used as neurotransmitters in supply, helping with brain function, keeping your mind sharp and reducing brain fog, as well as helping aid overall nervous system health. One of the most common neurotransmitters is calcium, which Vitamin D plays a direct role in helping the body retain.

Respiratory Health

Vitamin D also has shown it may have a beneficial impact on the respiratory system. Studies have shown that Vitamin D has improved the respiratory function of people with chronic conditions through the introduction of a variety of forms of Vitamin D into their diet. This is also related to Vitamin D's beneficial effect on the immune system, as many respiratory issues are caused by infection or disease, which a heightened immune response would be better equipped to handle when boosted by Vitamin D.

The benefits of Vitamin D are still being studied and examined, and due to the nature of Vitamin D acting more like a hormone that the body can actively create through the breakdown of cholesterol, there are many applications of the vitamin that are still yet unknown. While the body can produce Vitamin D with enough exposure to sunlight, it is important to remember that the body can't produce enough Vitamin D on its own, so the rest must be supplied through diet by eating foods like salmon, sardines, egg yolks, and fortified oranges, cheeses, butter, yogurts, and cereals.

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