Vitamin D is another of those essential vitamins produced naturally by the human body. as long as you receive enough sunlight daily, the necessary biochemical processes will flood your body with adequate amounts. Alternatively, you can also get vitamin D from appropriate supplements and foods.
You might be wondering, what does vitamin D do? It does a lot of things, actually – but the biggest benefits involve increased protection against certain ailments, involvement in the growth of bones and teeth under study, and it amplifies the bioavailability of phosphorus and calcium in the body. blood.
As you may have guessed, vitamin D is especially important in the current pandemic years. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways vitamin D helps the immune system fight disease.
Vitamin D and the immune system
It has long been well known that vitamin D helps the human body fight various diseases. To be more specific, the research looked at the following:
- It supports the immune system. Numerous studies have shown that subjects with low vitamin D levels are clearly at risk for a range of autoimmune diseases, as well as infections. Some of them include inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes.
- Multiple sclerosis linked to vitamin D levels. A 2018 bona fide medical study actually involved a review of multiple literature articles based on multiple cirrhosis trials. These trials involved enough subjects to perform an adequate population-based assessment: the risk of multiple sclerosis appears to increase if the subject has lower levels of vitamin D in the system.
- An overall statistical reduction in the occurrence of serious illnesses. Several reviews of medical trials strongly suggest that acute respiratory distress syndrome is also linked to lower than average levels of vitamin D in the subjects system. Also, the coronavirus and the acute version of the common flu are less likely when there is enough vitamin D in the system. More studies need to be done to better certify this particular result.
- Heart Disease Correlation. The results here are mixed; whether vitamin D levels are lower or not remains to be determined actually contributes to heart diseaseor subjects generally had poor health, which usually results in a lack of adequate levels of vitamin D. Nonetheless, there appears to be a link between serious cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, hypertension, and stroke brain when the patient has low levels of vitamin D in the system.
- Testosterone. Some research showed that vitamin D supplementation in already deficient men can increase testosterone levels.
Benefits of vitamin and weight loss
Full disclosure: Although there is a relationship between vitamin D and weight loss, it would currently be misleading to definitively state that it is causation rather than a correlation. What research has shown is that lower than normal levels of vitamin D tend to be associated with overweight people, according to the BMI system.
As for the studies, there was one that compared two groups of certified obese people: one group of obese people were given a placebo and put on a diet. The other group of obese people received vitamin D supplements and were placed on the same diet; it turns out that the latter group experienced greater fat and weight loss.
When we compare the above with an even older study involving both vitamin D and calcium supplements, we can conclude that vitamin D combined with calcium has an appetite suppressant effect.
Effects of vitamin D on depression and general mood
Low vitamin D levels have been linked to anxiety, fibromyalgia and depression. There is a large study that included over 7500 neurotic subjects. When they received vitamin D supplements, it significantly reduced their sensitivity to negative emotions. As a result, one of the findings of the study was that depressed people with vitamin D deficiency may benefit from supplementation.
How to Fight Vitamin D Deficiency
The amount of vitamin D you receive can depend on a multitude of factors; in particular, it refers to your body’s ability to produce it from sunlight. Studies show that the following conditions or situations limit your ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun:
- if you use sunscreen, it blocks the absorption of vitamin D
- high levels of melanin can also limit the amount of vitamin D absorbed by your skin
- too much air pollution in your area limits sunshine
- not getting out enough also limits the amount of vitamin D you can absorb
- cities with a multitude of skyscrapers will block out a lot of sunlight
These are just a few of the reasons why vitamin D supplementation can be such an important course of action for many people.
Side effects of vitamin D deficiency
Some of the effects that have been seen in adults with below average vitamin D levels include:
- a propensity to sustain stress fractures in lower body regions; the most common specific areas are the pelvis, legs and hips
- chronic fatigue accompanied by body aches
- rare, acute weakness in your muscles/bones
If you even suspect that you are suffering from any of these issues, you should consider making an appointment with your GP or healthcare professional. All it takes is a blood test to determine whether or not you have a vitamin D deficiency.
If determined in the affirmative, an X-ray may be suggested to look for bone density issues. Usually, the courses of action involve either vitamin D supplementation with commercially available pills or high-dose vitamin D alternatives prescribed by your doctor.
Remember that you can still get vitamin D by getting out more to soak up sunlight and by eating foods rich in it.
Risks associated with too much vitamin D
As with most things, moderation is key. You want to avoid consuming too much vitamin D, either through supplements or liquids. It’s not that easy to do, given the body’s natural vitamin D regulating properties. However, toxic levels of vitamin D will also flood your blood with too much calcium and lead to some of the following effects:
- excessive thirst
- a feeling of confusion
- a general state of apathy
- pain in the abdominal area
Natural food sources with vitamin D
While it’s true that many food sources these days are fortified with vitamin D, there are also many others that contain it naturally. Here are a few from the prodigious zoo of vitamin D candidates.
- canned tuna
- Egg yolk
- car liver oil
- Liver of beef
- red herring
- sea shrimp
Since studies show that even when combined, adequate sunlight and foods that naturally contain vitamin D often don’t provide enough. Therefore, we will also include foods that are artificially fortified with vitamin D. When combined with supplementation, you will be very well within the recommended daily value of vitamin D in your system.
- fortified milk
- fortified orange juice
- fortified yogurts – whether Greek or sweetened
- enriched rolled oats
- cereals enriched with a multitude of varieties
In sum, vitamin D confers a host of benefits to the human body. Many medical trials have shown it has the potential to reduce disease and boost immune system function, as well as help manage depression and possibly weight. Let’s conclude this article with the daily allowances recommended by the FDA:
- pregnant or breastfeeding women to get 15 mcg of vitamin D per day
- infants should receive 10 mcg of vitamin D daily
- people over the age of 70 should get 20 mcg of vitamin D daily
- children and adolescents should consume 15 mcg of vitamin D daily
- adults aged 18 to 70 should receive 15 mcg daily