What You May Not Know About Vitamin D

Vitamin D is not like other vitamins. Originally thought to be a vitamin solely for healthy bone development, vitamin D is now recognized as a fat-soluble hormone responsible for the regulation of many physiological processes. As a result, vitamin D is still viewed as important for strong bones, but it also plays a vital role in many areas of our health.

Another reason why vitamin D is unique is because it’s the only vitamin that can be produced by the body. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because exposing your skin to the sunlight causes your body to naturally make its own vitamin D. There are different forms of vitamin D, but the two most valuable forms to humans are vitamin D2, which is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3, which is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

Vitamin D is essential for a healthy body because it helps regulate the following functions:

  • Bone development
  • Muscle health
  • Immune function
  • Insulin activity
  • Calcium metabolism
  • Phosphorus balance

There is also growing evidence that vitamin D can help prevent and treat many medical problems, including:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Senile dementia

The best ways to get vitamin D are through exposure to sunlight and vitamin D supplements. While it may seem simple to get enough sun exposure, you may not get the proper amounts of UVB light due to where you live, the time of day, and the color of your skin. As a result, vitamin D supplements are often necessary, especially for people who live in colder climates, have darker skin, or worry about exposing their skin to the sun. The ideal intake of vitamin D varies by age and health conditions, but experts recommend taking supplements that provide D3, rather than D2, since it’s naturally recognized by the body.

Supplements are also useful because it can also be difficult to get enough vitamin D through your diet alone. Only a few foods contain small amounts of vitamin D, but the best sources are salmon, sardines, fortified milk, eggs, and shiitake mushrooms.

Today, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common since many people do not get adequate sun exposure or consume enough dietary sources.

Signs of deficiency include:

  • Bone pain
  • Frequent bone fractures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lowered immunity
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cognitive problems
  • Depression

A simple blood test can determine if you are deficient in vitamin D. Fortunately, treating vitamin D deficiency is just as simple and the condition can be corrected by getting the proper amounts of vitamin D through supplements. Since intake levels can vary greatly based on the degree of deficiency, consult your physician to determine the ideal course of supplementation.

Vitamin D plays a major role in helping the body function properly and stay healthy. With so many benefits yet so few sources, it’s important to make sure you get enough vitamin D to keep yourself in the best of health.

Call the biostation™ today at 888-754-1852 or contact us online to schedule your private, personal consultation.

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