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What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D (also known as calciferol) is a vitamin that is naturally present in foods such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. It can also be added to other foods, such as milk and cereal. Additionally, there are also Vitamin D supplements available. It is produced naturally by your body when ultraviolet rays of sunlight touch your skin and send your cells into Vitamin D synthesis.

The Vitamin D you get from food, sunlight, and supplements are first broken down in your liver, forming what is known as calcidiol. Secondly, it is broken down in your kidneys to form calcitriol.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s vital to maintaining your body’s normal processes. As a fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin D is present in foods containing fats.

Why you need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is crucial for helping your body function at its highest capacity. In particular, Vitamin D ensures your bones are strong and healthy by enabling normal bone mineralisation and calcium absorption in the gut, which is key to supporting bone health. Vitamin D is also necessary for bone growth and bone remodelling to heal any bone injuries you may experience throughout your life.

Along with promoting bone health, Vitamin D plays other key roles in the body.

Here are the other ways Vitamin D helps to keep you feeling your best:

  • Supporting both the immune system and nervous system

  • Reducing inflammation

  • Assisting the cell growth process

  • Promoting healthy teeth

  • Regulating insulin levels, which especially helps with diabetes management

  • Supporting glucose metabolism

  • Aiding with lung function and boosting cardiovascular health

  • Influencing the expression of genes related to cancer development

When you don’t get enough Vitamin D, your bones can become brittle, thin or misshapen. When paired with calcium, Vitamin D can help you maintain strong, healthy bones as you become older and more prone to bone conditions like osteoporosis. That means providing your body with enough Vitamin D should be a top priority no matter how old you are.

Here are some of its major benefits:

Promotes strong bones

Vitamin D is essential for regulating calcium and maintaining the appropriate levels of phosphorus in the blood. These factors are key to promoting healthy bones and sound bone structure. Specifically, Vitamin D enables the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium, helping your body reclaim the valuable calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete. This calcium helps produce healthy bone growth and support.

Can help lower your chances of catching the flu

Research has found that vitamin D might offer protection against the influenza virus. The theory is that vitamin D may boost the immune response to infection to keep you flu-free. Although further studies are needed to confirm whether vitamin D can help you ward off the flu, it is possible that getting enough vitamin D in your system can reduce your risk of coming down with the flu.

Boosts overall mood

Low vitamin D levels are linked to depressive symptoms and other mood disorders.
Researchers are still studying the topic, but Vitamin D is essential for warding off depression and anxiety.

Provides blood circulation and heart health benefits

Vitamin D3 may also contribute to heart health. This vitamin protects the lining of your blood vessels and lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke.

Fights infection

Improves the function of the immune system to fight against infection.

Helps cancer patients

A low level of Vitamin D has shown to increase the risk of colon cancer and can have a negative impact on the survival of these patients.

Reduces risk of hypertension

Vitamin D injection can be useful to reduce systolic blood pressure in those at risk of hypertension.

Reduces risk of Parkinson's disease

High vitamin D levels provide protection against Parkinson’s disease.

Reduces risk of bacterial vaginosis

In pregnant women, a deficiency of Vitamin D increases the risk for higher risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition that involves rising blood pressure and swelling, often resulting in giving birth prematurely. Maintaining the appropriate vitamin D levels can also help pregnant women avoid bacterial vaginosis and gestational diabetes.

Reduces risk of pelvic floor disorders

Higher vitamin D levels are associated with a decreased risk of pelvic floor disorders (urinary and faecal incontinence) in women.

Protect against Age related macular degeneration

High serum vitamin D concentrations may protect against early AMD in women under 75 years old.

Improves restless leg syndrome

Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve the severity of restless leg syndrome symptoms.

Improves vitiligo and psoriasis

High-dose Vitamin D3 therapy may be effective and safe for vitiligo and psoriasis patients.

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