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5 Benefits of Vitamin D and Why It’s so Important

by John McElborough
Vitamin D - actually a hormone - is produced by your body when you’re in the sun. We need it to keep our bones and teeth healthy, regulate calcium, and to support the immune system and muscles. Find out more about the benefits - and why so many of us don't get enough.
5 Benefits of Vitamin D and Why It’s so Important

 Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by your body when you’re in the sun. We need vitamin D to keep our bones and teeth healthy, regulate calcium, and support the immune system and muscles. Although we call it a vitamin, vitamin D is actually a hormone. This really shows how important it is to the body.  

The Risks of Not Enough Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with several diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

There is a mountain of research that shows the link between vitamin D deficiency and things like increased cancer risk, autoimmune diseases, and hypertension [4]. Vitamin D deficiency is common throughout the world. Current research is taking a deep dive into vitamin D deficiency in Europe to gain a better understanding of the issue and make a real change [5].

Why Do So Many People Have a Vitamin D Deficiency?

How common is vitamin D deficiency in UK? About 1 in 5 adults and children lack enough vitamin D, a recent survey found. Vitamn D deficiency has always been common in Britain and was once a major cause of rickets in children, resulting in bow legs. 

Dull weather

The problem with vitamin D is that because your body needs sunshine to produce it, you struggle to hit the amount you need, especially in winter. In the colder season, from October to March, there just isn’t enough sunlight for your body to produce adequate levels of vitamin D. People with naturally darker skin produce vitamin D far less slowly than whiter people when exposed to the same amount of sunlight for the same length of time. 

Limited dietary sources

Another reason vitamin D deficiency is common is that we no longer eat liver or fish as much as we used to. These and other organ meats are rich sources of vitamin D as well as many other nutrients. Similarly, public information campaigns encouraged us to eat eggs less often, even though they are packed with vitamin D and could be regarded as nature's multivitamin. Finally, vegans and vegetarians tend to shun the foods richest in vitamin D and this is why vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in this group. 

Although you can get vitamin D through certain foods in your diet, it’s hard for some people to hit their target through diet alone. This is why the majority of people turn to a vitamin D supplement to keep their levels up and feeling great all-year-round.  

5 Uses and Benefits of Vitamin D 

1. Support Normal Immune System Function 

When talking about a healthy immune system, vitamin D has a big part to play. Evidence suggests there is a strong link between vitamin D levels and the immune system. Not enough vitamin D could lead to increased infections.

Research shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with more severe symptoms in autoimmune diseases, because it doesn't just fuel the immune system, it helps maintain the right balance between T cells and B cells. B cells release antibodies that identify pathogens, whilst certain T cells produce cytokines and kill them, and often produce inflammation in the process. An imbalance in these processes is typical in autoimmune flare-ups. 

2. Prevent Fractures in Older People 

As you age, it’s normal for people to lose bone density. This is especially true in women after menopause. Bones can lose calcium and other minerals, and eventually, the rate at which you lose bone density is faster than the rate you build bones. Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when you lose too much bone density. It results in weaker bones that are more susceptible to breaks and injuries from minor bumps and falls. 

People with osteoporosis are usually prescribed vitamin D and calcium supplements to help stop bones weakening [2]. Interestingly, a report analysing a dozen studies shows that high doses of vitamin D can consistently prevent fractures in older people [3]. 

3. Promote Healthy Bones and Teeth 

Vitamin D regulates the calcium in your body. What this means is that vitamin D allows your body to absorb calcium. To build strong and healthy bones, you need calcium. Without enough vitamin D and calcium bones may become weak and lose mass. Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may result in rickets. Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. Vitamin D promotes strong and healthy bones and teeth.  

4. Encourage Normal Muscle Function  

Vitamin D plays a vital role in regular muscle function. You need healthy muscles for strength and balance. Multiple studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with muscle weakness. This can increase the risk of falls and injuries. Vitamin D is not only beneficial for bones but muscles too. 

5. Maintain Energy Levels 

Fatigue or low energy levels are a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Considering that many people struggle to get vitamin D through sun exposure alone, especially in the winter months, vitamin D supplements may help to maintain good energy levels. Many of our customers take vitamin D to keep them feeling energetic throughout the year.  

How to Get More Vitamin D 

Your skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun. But you can also get vitamin D in certain foods like fish and in particular fish liver oil, egg yolks, liver and fortified margarine. People who live in a winter climate or follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may be more likely to be deficient in vitamin D. 

Vitamin D3 supplements can help you hit your daily target without having to rely on your diet or sun exposure. 

When it comes to vitamin D supplements, the two most commonly available forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is found in animal sources and is a naturally occurring form of vitamin D and more easily absorbed into the body. Vitamin D2, on the other hand, mainly comes from plant foods and fortified foods.

It’s thought that vitamin D3 is more effective at boosting vitamin D levels and is often a popular choice for vitamin D supplements. 

Vitamin D Supplements

In terms of dosage, our vitamin D3 supplements contain 4000 IU Cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol, also called vitamin D3, is the form of vitamin D that your skin produces. Therefore it’s easier to absorb than other types of vitamin D and more biologically active. 

Maximum Strength: Vitabright 100% Natural Vitamin D3 Supplements 

Our vitamin D supplements contain naturally bioavailable D3 that is four times the strength of the majority of our products. As always, we use only the highest quality ingredients and ensure our products are non-GMO with no additives or preservatives. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

by John McElborough

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