Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, is a vital nutrient for overall health and wellness.
This article will explore the health benefits of vitamin D and how you can add more of this important vitamin to your diet.
Vitamin D Overview:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (along with vitamins A, E, and K). Fat-soluble vitamins are a group of vitamins that are dissolved in, and stored in, the body's fatty tissues and liver.
This is important because it means that your body can “store up” fat-soluble vitamins, unlike water-soluble vitamins which are excreted through urination.
Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D is unique in that your body can create vitamin D when your body is exposed to sunlight. It’s also available in many different types of foods and supplements.
Vitamin D plays a role in several important bodily functions, including regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption (key for bone health), supporting immune function, and balancing inflammation.
It’s recommended that individuals get 400-800 IU’s a day of vitamin D. For reference, eating 3 oz of salmon has about 570 IU’s of vitamin D. Additionally, getting 10-15 minutes of sun exposure provides around 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D.
Potential Health Benefits of Vitamin D:
Below are the top research-backed health benefits of vitamin D.
1. Bone Health
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for bone health.
Research shows that vitamin D is required by the body for proper calcium absorption into the bones. Calcium is a key mineral that the body uses to build and strengthen bones. Without vitamin D, the body is unable to build and repair bone tissue.
Clinical research has shown that supplementing with vitamin D can help to improve bone health and musculoskeletal function.
This research suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement can help to support overall bone health.
2. Immune Health
Vitamin D is also an important vitamin for immune health.
The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism for fighting off invading pathogens. A strong immune system is key to health and wellness.
Research has shown that vitamin D can help to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses. The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens entering the body. The adaptive immune system involves specialized immune cells and antibodies that attack and destroy foreign invaders.
Taking a vitamin D supplement, or getting daily sunshine, is a great way to support your immune health.
3. Brain Health
Vitamin D is also known to help to support brain health and mood.
A research review noted that vitamin D is an important nutrient for brain health and function.
A clinical study found that high levels of vitamin D in older adults were correlated with increased cognitive function.
Another study found that vitamin D may help to support a healthy mood and reduce instances of negative emotion.
This research suggests that vitamin D may be helpful for brain health.
4. Hair Health
Vitamin D is also an important nutrient for hair health.
Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin by keratinocytes, which are special cells that produce keratin, a key protein for hair, skin, and nail health. It’s thought that low levels of vitamin D can reduce keratin production, which can result in hair loss (as well as sagging skin and brittle nails).
Keeping your vitamin D levels topped off is a great way to support strong, healthy hair.
5. Supports Men’s Health
Vitamin D also has benefits for men’s health, specifically, vitamin D has been found to support healthy testosterone levels.
A placebo-controlled clinical trial found vitamin D supplementation helped to increase testosterone levels in healthy individuals.
Testosterone is important in male health as it helps to regulate sex drive, fat distribution, muscle mass, and strength, as well as the production of red blood cells and sperm.
Types of Vitamin D:
There are two primary types of this important vitamin; vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
- Vitamin D2 – known scientifically as ergocalciferol, is typically found in plants and mushrooms. It can also be made synthetically.
- Vitamin D3 - Als known as cholecalciferol, vitamin D3 is synthesized by the skin after exposure to sunlight. We can also get vitamin D3 via supplements, which are typically made from lanolin.
Research shows that vitamin D3 is typically better absorbed by most individuals when taken as a supplement or injection.
Vitamin D Deficiency:
The National Institute of Health estimates that almost 1 in 4 US adults have deficient vitamin D levels. Getting adequate sunshine and eating foods rich in vitamin D is a great way to fortify your body.
Additionally, you can take a supplement containing vitamin D to help increase your levels. This is an easy way to make sure that you get enough of this important nutrient.
How To Add Vitamin D To Your Diet:
Based on the health benefits listed above, adding vitamin D to your diet is an easy decision - especially if you're looking to support your overall health and wellness.
The easiest way to incorporate this vitamin into your diet is to take a daily vitamin D supplement.
In addition to vitamin D, our supplements contain other key ingredients that help to support overall health and wellness.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient with a wide variety of benefits.
Research shows that it provides many different health benefits, especially for bone, immune, and brain health.
If you are looking for natural support in any of these areas, vitamin D is worth considering.
Here at Wellbel, we include vitamin D3 in our Glamlab formula. This daily beauty formula is designed to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Have you tried vitamin D before? What's your favorite way to include this key vitamin in your diet?