Vitamin D is an essential nutrient the body needs to maintain good health. It is responsible for helping the body absorb calcium faster and boosting the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Thus, it is necessary to keep your body strong and in top condition.
According to the National Institutes of Health, one out of four people in the US have extremely low vitamin D blood levels. As a result, it could affect a person's overall health.
The lack of vitamin D can cause several health problems like fatigue, bone deformities, and other conditions. Vitamin D3 supplements could significantly help boost the body's need for this nutrient.
Read on to find out why vitamin D is essential to avoid a deficiency of this nutrient.
What Sets Vitamin D Apart from Other Nutrients?
Vitamin D, also known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” is unlike the other nutrients because your body produces it when your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays.
But only some have the time to expose themselves to the sun consistently. According to a recent article from the New York Post, over 42% of people in the US are not getting the correct dose of vitamin D from the sun.
It would help if you got an adequate dose of vitamin D from your diet. But since limited food items contain this nutrient, you can get vitamin D health benefits from supplements.
What is an adequate amount, though? In the U.S. the recommended dose is sometimes noted as 600 IU, but this may be too low, which is a possible reason why so many Americans are Vitamin D deficient. To be on the safe side, we suggest you aim for at least 4000 IU of Vitamin D intake a day.
Forms of Vitamin D
There are two forms of vitamin D, these are:
It is a fat-soluble nutrient that serves as the body’s assistant in absorbing calcium and phosphorus.
Also called ergocalciferol, you can find it in fortified food products such as:
- Orange juice
- Dairy and plant milk like almond, oat, and soy milk
Mushrooms and yeast exposed to UV radiation or direct sunlight also contain high levels of vitamin D2.
Also referred to as cholecalciferol, this vitamin may help treat bone deficiencies like rickets and osteomalacia.
However, this nutrient is only present in animal-sourced foods, particularly:
- Egg yolk
- Oily fish and fish oil
Among these two forms of nutrients, vitamin D3 is more efficient in boosting the body’s vitamin D levels. So when looking for vitamin D supplements, those containing vitamin D3 could significantly help the body receive higher levels of this essential nutrient.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
While most people cannot determine the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, inadequate vitamin levels can result in the following conditions.
Frequent Illnesses or Infections
Since vitamin D is crucial for bone health, an insufficient amount of this nutrient may cause weaknesses in the bones and muscles that may lead to fatigue.
Joint and Bone Pain
A study discovered a connection between vitamin D deficiency and joint pain, like rheumatoid arthritis. So if you constantly experience pain and discomfort in your joints or bones, you may have a vitamin D deficiency.
In addition, vitamin D helps in calcium absorption. With adequate levels of this nutrient in the body through proper nutrition, high-quality supplements, and sun exposure, you can improve your bone health and prevent bone deficiencies.
A study conducted in 2019 learned that people with lower vitamin D levels in their bodies are more at risk of having mood issues.
Based on the study, this type of vitamin has a protective anti-inflammatory effect on the brain. However, with inadequate levels of vitamin D, you may experience the following condition:
- Mood changes
- Decreased interest in activities that you previously made you excited
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sleeping troubles
- Loss of appetite
You should check your vitamin D levels if you experience any of these symptoms.
Slower Wound Healing
You may have lower vitamin D levels in your body if your wounds take a while before they heal.
According to an in vitro study, vitamin D plays a vital role in the body’s wound-healing capability since it helps maintain growth factors. It is also responsible for other functions that develop new tissue.
Another research discovered that people who have leg ulcers might have vitamin D deficiencies. Their healing time improved significantly when they took 50,000 IU of this vitamin weekly for two months.
Benefits of Adequate Vitamin D
Your body will enjoy the following perks with adequate vitamin D levels.
1. Better Immune Health
One of the most crucial benefits of vitamin D is its role in boosting and maintaining the body’s immune system. Studies claim that this vitamin encourages T-cell production and helps in promoting the body’s response to infectious pathogens.
Some studies also looked into the link between the body’s vitamin D levels and its ability to fight COVID-19 infection. According to the study, those with lower vitamin D levels are more at risk of severe COVID-19 conditions.
So vitamin D supplements may help improve your immune system and fight various infections.
2. May Help Lower the Risk of Cancer
The National Cancer Institute mentioned early epidemiologic research discovered that there are lower cases of certain cancers among patients living where sunlight exposure is relatively high.
Since exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun results in vitamin D production, the differences in vitamin D levels might have something to do with reducing the risk of cancer.
However, more studies are necessary to prove this claim.
3. May Modify the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Studies conducted in cell models believed that vitamin D might help the body enhance its insulin sensitivity. The study also suggested that this nutrient can improve beta cell function and reduce inflammation.
As a result, it may lower the risk of having type 2 diabetes and help patients manage their condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Check the Body’s Vitamin D Levels?
A blood test is necessary to check how high or low your vitamin levels are in your body. You might have to go to a healthcare professional to have the test done or invest in test kits so you can extract blood samples at home.
You must send the blood samples to the nearest laboratory after collecting them in a test tube to have the experts check your blood for its vitamin D content.
What Are the Normal Vitamin D Levels?
According to the National Institutes of Health, healthy individuals must have at least 20 to 50 nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL) of vitamin D in the body.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
The lack of sunlight exposure may lead to a drastic drop in the body’s vitamin D levels. So if you live in a place where sunlight is rare, you might consider supplementing your healthcare routine by adding products like Omega+D3 with 4000 IUs of the crucial vitamin D your body needs for better health.
Xendurance’s Omega + D3 also promotes heart and brain health, bone health, joint mobility, and a stronger immune response.
Boost Your Vitamin D Levels Today
If you want to maintain good bone and mental health and improve your body's immune system, ensure you get enough healthy sun rays regularly. But if you have limited access to the sun's healthy dose, you might consider adding vitamin D supplements to your fitness regimen.
With the correct dose of vitamin D, you may help avoid different types of ailments for a long time. It will also help you maintain your body's overall wellness.