Vitamin D3 is one of the vitamins from the group of nutrients, together termed as vitamin D. it is a fat-soluble nutrient, which lies underneath the skin and activates on exposure of skin to the sun. It had been underrated and neglected for a long time but recently much attention is being given to the importance of this crucial vitamin. It has great, many benefits and its deficiency lead to numerous health issues.
Let’s start with the most commonly known benefit of vitamin D3: increased bone density. Our bones need calcium to become healthy, but for calcium absorption, vitamin D3 is very important. Even if you are taking appropriate amounts of calcium but are deficient in vitamin D3, you are likely to get weak bones which may consequently lead to osteoporosis in adults, while rickets and osteomalacia in children. For strong bones, vitamin D3 is as important as calcium.
Improved defense system:
It helps in strengthening the immune system. Studies prove that this vitamin fights cancer cells and is also proved to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D3 also reduces the risk of developing precancerous colon polyps. The incidence of these conditions is found more in areas where there aren’t sufficient hours of daylight.
Lowered risks of various diseases:
Inappropriate levels of vitamin D in the body may lead to various other diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, asthma and type I diabetes.
Normalizing blood pressure:
There are evidence-based studies which show that a consistent intake of vitamin D3 is likely to help those with hypertension. A study conducted by Boston University showed a surprisingly good result for people with high blood pressure, only by increasing their exposure to sunlight.
Getting over depression and anxiety:
Some anxiety patients, when tested, are found to be having low levels of vitamin D3. Many patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression have shown improvements with an increased intake of vitamin D3.
Fighting heart diseases:
Many research studies suggest that a lowered risk of heart diseases is linked with an adequate intake of vitamin D. This vitamin helps eradicate many risks that may result in cardiovascular disorders by improving blood circulation and strengthening the heart, and some evidence also exhibits the vitamin’s aid in losing weight.
Vitamin D requirements:
The RDA is 600 IU vitamin D each day. However, more and better studies are needed. But what is clear is that the amount needed to get most people to their optimal levels of D3 is far higher than the recommended number of IUs. Everyone should get a blood test to see what their levels are, but most people will benefit from at least 2000 IUs each day, possibly more. Vitamin D3 is one of the vitamins most people are grossly deficient in.
How to achieve appropriate levels of vitamin D through food sources?
Best food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, swordfish, and salmon. Other considerably good sources include tuna, egg yolk, fortified milk, and fortified orange juice.
However, one should also consider taking a quality vitamin D3 supplement, as it requires very special effort for people who are reliant on foods alone to reach their daily vitamin D needs.
If you’re going to drink cow’s milk as a source of vitamin D, at least drink organic milk from grass fed cows.
Vitamin D through the sun:
Nature has provided us with a powerful and free source of vitamin D: sunlight. Direct exposure to the sun produces vitamin D in the body. Only 5-10 minutes of sun exposure per day is enough; but sunscreens and standing behind glass, even if transparent, do not let sun rays do their work.
So enjoy the sun and stay healthy!