Lifestyle

17 Vitamin D3 Benefits Everyone Should Know

By Amber SmithApr 22, 2022 7:00 PM
image001

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Did you know that vitamin D is actually a hormone? It's true! And it's one of the most important hormones in the body. Vitamin D is essential for good health, and there are many benefits to be had from getting enough of it.

In this blog post, we will discuss 17 of the best vitamin D3 benefits. So whether you're looking to improve your overall health or just want to learn more about this important nutrient, read on.

 

1.      It strengthens bones.

2.      It strengthens the immune system.

3.      It might prevent certain types of cancer.

4.      It may improve brain function.

5.      It boosts your mood.

6.      It can aid in weight loss.

7.      It can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

8.      It lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

9.      It can help lower blood pressure.

10.   It might reduce the risk of heart disease.

11.   It can fight inflammation.

12.   It can strengthen oral health.

13.   It can reduce risk of fractures.

14.   It supports proper lung function.

15.   It can support a healthy nervous system.

16.   It can encourage healthy hair growth.

17.   It can improve cognitive function and prevent dementia.

How does vitamin D3 work?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in only a few foods, added to others, and obtained as a dietary supplement. It's also made naturally by the body when sunlight hit the skin and stimulate vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol.

Calcitriol circulates as a hormone in the blood and regulates calcium and phosphate metabolism for bone formation and other physiological functions. Vitamin D sufficiency is achieved when serum 25(OH)D concentrations are ≥30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L).

Most vitamin D is derived from sun exposure; however, the amount of sun exposure required to maintain adequate levels varies by age, skin pigmentation, season, latitude, time of day, clothing habits, and use of sunscreen.

People who have limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet or take supplements to achieve and maintain adequate serum 25(OH)D concentrations.

How much vitamin D3 should a person take?

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a daily intake of 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D for most adults between the ages of 19 and 70 years, including pregnant and lactating women.

The IOM set an Upper Limit (UL) of 4000 IU (100 mcg) per day for adults to avoid the potential risk of adverse health effects associated with excessive vitamin D intake.

Pregnant and lactating women, as well as people over the age of 70 years, are advised to get more than 600 IU/day because they are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency.

People with dark skin are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency and may need higher intakes of vitamin D. Some researchers recommend that people with dark skin should get up to 1000-2000 IU (25-50 mcg) of vitamin D per day.

A number of factors can affect how much vitamin D you need, including your age, skin color, and level of sun exposure. Talk to your healthcare provider about how much vitamin D you should take.

What are the benefits of taking vitamin D?

There is some evidence that vitamin D may have a number of health benefits, including:

1. Strengthens Bones

Vitamin D3 aids in the management and absorption of calcium, as well as being essential to your bones (and teeth).

Calcium is the most common mineral in the body. The majority of this element is found in our bones and teeth. Calcium consumption should be sufficient to maintain your bones and teeth healthy. Inadequate calcium intake can result in joint pain with early-onset osteoarthritis and tooth loss.

2. Strengthens the Immune System

Vitamin D's most important functions include supporting the immune system and improving its function. It stimulates T-cell production and aids in the proper response to viral infections, such as the common cold, influenza, and other community-wide illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungus.

3. Might Prevent Certain Types of Cancer

Vitamin D3 can assist decrease the chance of developing particular types of cancer. Epidemiological studies have shown that people who reside in southern/equatorial regions and are more exposed to the sun have a lower risk of some malignancies.

Vitamin D has been linked to cancer in numerous studies. Vitamin D aids in the repair and regeneration of cells, which might slow the growth of cancerous tumors, stimulate the death of cells that have been damaged by cancer, and decrease blood vessel formation in tumors.

4. Improve Brain Function 

Vitamin D has been linked to a variety of bodily processes, including the brain's function. Vitamin D receptors may be found in all parts of the brain and spinal cord. Vitamin D helps you by promoting nerve growth and repair as well as stimulating and inhibiting neurotransmitter synthesis.

Vitamin D, it is thought, benefits the brain by lowering inflammation and preserving neurons. Vitamin D has also been shown to protect neurons in animal studies, which may help to explain why it promotes alertness and quick reaction time.

Another study looked at the relationship between Vitamin D levels and performance on mental tests in a group of people. This research revealed that those with lower Vitamin D levels did worse than those with sufficient amounts, suggesting it improves attention.

5. Boosts Your Mood 

The diminished sunlight exposure in the winter, as well as the darker months, is advantageous for Vitamin D. A number of studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D3, linked to insufficient sunshine exposure, are associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms.

SAD is a mood disorder characterized by sadness as the primary symptom. Vitamin D3 levels have been shown to decrease, which has been linked to lower levels of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that controls emotions. You may improve your mood by taking a Vitamin D3 supplement or increasing your sun exposure.

6. Aids in Weight Loss

Did you know that Vitamin D has other benefits? If you've been trying to reduce weight and haven't seen the desired results, consider upping your vitamin D3 intake through diet and sunlight.

Studies have shown that taking a Vitamin D3 supplement, eating more foods that are high in this vitamin, or simply exposing oneself to more sunshine - along with eating a healthy diet and exercising - can help one lose weight. Because Vitamin D3 can assist reduce body fat levels.

People who have insufficient Vitamin D are more likely to become overweight and develop obesity-related diseases, according to studies. However, remember that simply taking a pill, eating more Vitamin D-rich foods, and spending more time in the sun isn't enough; you'll also need to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

7. Lower the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder.

The linings of the joints are mistaken by the immune system for foreign materials, resulting in inflammation and stiffness.

A lack of Vitamin D might lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis since it is required for the immune system's proper functioning. Raising your Vitamin D levels has the potential to alleviate the severity and incidence of this disease as well as other autoimmune disorders.

8. Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

If you have diabetes in your family or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you might want to consider taking more Vitamin D. Recent studies have shown a link between Vitamin D deficiency, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. You may be able to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by overcoming insulin resistance.

The cells in the pancreas that produce insulin have alpha-hydroxylase enzymes and VDRs, which are important in determining glucose tolerance and resistance to insulin.

Vitamin D deficiency can also reduce the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which might cause insulin resistance and modify how the body responds to glucose. Given these findings, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to see if taking extra Vitamin D improves your overall health.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure

Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to high blood pressure in several long-term studies.

It was previously unknown whether Vitamin D insufficiency causes hypertension, but a large genotypic research with over 150,000 participants has revealed that low levels of Vitamin D can induce high blood pressure.

Those who had the most vitamin D in this research had lower blood pressure. It was revealed that an increase of 10% in Vitamin D levels resulted in a 10% reduction in high blood pressure. An increase in your Vitamin D levels may help if you have high blood pressure or wish to prevent it from developing.

10. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, strokes, and heart attack. Vitamin D levels can be elevated to help reduce the chance of developing heart illness and its symptoms.

Furthermore, because it may aid in weight reduction and maintaining healthy body weight, this vitamin might also be able to minimize the negative effects of obesity and excessive body fat on heart disease. To discover more about Vitamin D advantages, consult with your doctor.

11. Vitamin D can fight inflammation

Vitamin D is beneficial to the immune system because it helps regulate the production of cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that are used by the immune system to communicate with other cells, and when they are produced in the wrong amounts or at the wrong time, they can cause inflammation.

Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of infections by promoting the production of white blood cells and increasing the efficiency of T-cells. A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to an increased susceptibility to infection, so maintaining healthy levels might help keep you from getting sick.

12. Vitamin D can help Strengthen Oral Health

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is essential for dental health. Vitamin D has been shown to be beneficial for oral health, according to a 2011 analysis published in The Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association.

13. Reduces the Risk of Fractures

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for bone health. A lack of vitamin D can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, which weakens bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures.

14. Supports Proper Lung Function

Vitamin D is essential for proper lung function. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for healthy lungs. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to a variety of respiratory problems, including asthma and COPD.

15. Supports a Healthy Nervous System

Vitamin D is essential for a healthy nervous system. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for healthy nerves. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to a variety of neurological problems, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

16. Encourages Healthy Hair Growth

Vitamin D is essential for healthy hair growth. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for healthy hair follicles. A lack of vitamin D has been linked to a variety of hair problems, including hair loss and alopecia.

17. Improves Cognitive Function and Prevents dementia 

Vitamin D is essential for brain development, and a lack of it has been linked to cognitive problems and dementia. A 2017 study published in the journal Neurology found that people with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to experience a decline in cognitive function over a six-year period than those who had sufficient levels of the vitamin.

Should everyone be taking vitamin D3?

There are many benefits of vitamin D, and it's often called the "sunshine vitamin" because we can produce it when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth, and it helps our bodies absorb calcium.

It also supports our immune system and may help prevent certain chronic diseases such as cancer.

There are several ways to get vitamin D, including exposure to sunlight, certain foods, and supplements. Vitamin D deficiencies are relatively common, especially in the winter months when there is less sun exposure.

If you think you may be deficient in vitamin D, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test. You may also want to consider taking a supplement, especially if you don't get much sun exposure.

Elm & Rye Vitamin D3 Supplements

Image courtesy Elm & Rye

We highly recommended the vitamin D3 capsules from Elm & Rye as a starting point for the best natural remedy to get your levels back to good working order. Elm & Rye doesn't like to see people suffer unnecessarily, so they have a line of natural supplements that include capsules or gummies to get your health back on track.

While we do love so many of the Elm & Rye supplements, today we're sharing their D3 capsules and D3 gummies so that you can rest easier knowing you're taking a GMO-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free D3 supplement for your vitamin D deficiency.

Not all supplements are made equal. Elm & Rye usually submit their products to third-party laboratories for testing and evaluation. Then they make the data public for full transparency.

In all of their products, they only utilize genuine and high-quality components. There are no extra additions, fillers, or fluff in these supplements. These substances work together to produce a superior recipe and approach for your daily routine.

How do you know you are vitamin D deficiency?

There are a few ways to know if you are vitamin D deficient. The most common way is to get your blood tested by a doctor. You can also look for symptoms of deficiency, which include fatigue, bone pain, and muscle weakness.

If you think you might be deficient, it's important to talk to your doctor and get a blood test. Vitamin D deficiency can be treated with supplements, so it's important to get diagnosed and treated early.

Can taking too much vitamin D3 hurt you?

Although vitamin D is essential for good health, taking too much of it can be harmful. Vitamin D toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, and poor appetite. It can also lead to more serious problems such as kidney stones and heart arrhythmias.

If you take too much vitamin D, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. You may also want to see your doctor to be sure that you are not experiencing any other health problems.

Can low vitamin D cause Gray hair?

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that low vitamin D levels can cause grey hair. However, vitamin D is necessary for healthy hair growth. So, if you are not getting enough vitamin D, you may experience other problems such as dry, brittle hair.

Do I need to take a vitamin D supplement?

If you are not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight or your diet, you may need to take a supplement. Vitamin D supplements are available in both capsule and liquid form. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they can interact with other medications you may be taking.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits of vitamin D, but it's important to get the right amount. Too much or too little vitamin D can be harmful. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether you should take a supplement. And, get out in the sun when you can to soak up some of this essential vitamin!

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that offers many health benefits. If you are not getting enough vitamin D, be sure to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. Getting enough vitamin D can help improve your overall health and well-being.

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.