Famously coined The Sunshine Vitamin, vitamin D has built quite a reputation for itself. This vitamin is one of the main nutrients we absorb from the bright rays of the Sun. When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, vitamin D is formed from a cholesterol derivative and absorbed into the circulatory system, where it begins to play its functional role in the body as Vitamin d3 (its active form). The Sun is a natural d3 supplement and is the primary way we intake this vitamin. After absorption, vitamin d3 is then transported to the liver for storage and deposits are found in the skin, brain, spleen, and bones. Although we do need to allow pure Sun exposure to absorb this vitamin, Sun safety practices should still be put in place. After about 5-10 minutes of Sun exposure, sunscreen that is a SPF15 or higher, should be applied for the duration of your time outdoors.
In this article we will be exploring this essential vitamin and its impact on our health.
Why is this vitamin so important?
Although vitamin D wears many hats in the body, its most important roles lie in its contribution to the strength of our immune system, skeletal system, and mood balance. Immune cells contain vitamin D receptors, which means they respond to vitamin d and utilize it to help create more immune fighting defenses in the body. Vitamin D also plays a role in preventing autoimmune disease, which studies have shown low levels being associated with disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. Vitamin D is involved in the absorption of Calcium and the assimilation of Phosphorus, two key nutrients for bone formation. Without vitamin D, we could not maintain strong bones and teeth. It helps to regulate the amount of Calcium and Phosphorus in the blood.
Studies have found a link between low levels of vitamin D and depression. During the Winter months, a condition called S.A.D or Seasonal Affective Disorder becomes more predominant due to the lack of sunlight. Symptoms of S.A.D include depression, sadness, withdrawal, and a loss of “zest” for life. Vitamin D supplementation has shown promising results in individuals who suffer from depression and mood imbalance.
Wintertime, clouds, and smog reduce the body’s production of this sunshine vitamin. Deficiency can become more prevalent in people who live in cold, damp climates or in vegans, if conscious intake is not prioritized. Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, muscle pain, bone pain and weakness. An adequate d3 supplement is essential at this time of year as to prevent deficiency and most importantly, to keep the immune system strong.
This vitamin also helps to fight fatigue naturally as well as regulate blood glucose levels, which plays a huge role in diabetes prevention. Other functions include maintaining the nervous system, heart function, and normal blood clotting. You can check out other vitamin d3 health benefits and uses here.
How Much do we Need?
There are 4 common diseases associated with Vitamin D deficiency, but they can be easily prevented when our bodies receive the RDA (recommended daily allowance). A healthy adult requires about 4000 IU of vitamin D daily, but that number can easily increase if deficiencies are present. The amount of vitamin D a person needs will always vary. Especially when using vitamin d to boost the immune system, or to combat vitamin d related disease like Rickets. Noor’s Vitamin d3 5000 iu offers a healthy dose of this sunshine vitamin, giving the body exactly what it needs to stay functional and healthy.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that taking or exposing yourself to more than the body needs, can have toxic effects. It can cause weight loss, headaches, and kidney stones with prolonged, chronic use. Although these effects are very rare, always talk to your doctor about ensuring you are receiving the correct dosage.
Incorporating Vitamin D into your daily Diet
There are many sources of vitamin D that one can incorporate into their daily regimen. The most convenient way is to supplement with vitamin d to ensure all nutritional gaps are being filled. Dietary sources of vitamin D include butter, eggs, fortified milk, fish liver and oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. Other fortified beverages and food include soy milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals. Vegetarian sources include mushrooms, spirulina, and leafy greens.
All in all, Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in the body. It is wise to be more conscious of your intake during the winter months and avoid deficiency during this time. The benefits of vitamin D are endless, but most importantly it is crucial to bone health, mood balance and the immune system. Supplementing with vitamin d is also great for Cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and lowering blood pressure. This Sunshine vitamin is present in foods but is also available as a vitamin d3 5000 iu softgel, and can also be found in a gluten free vitamin d form. Have a safe and healthy Winter!