Written By Reggie Moore / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble class of vitamins that includes vitamin D-1, D-2 and D-3. Although vitamin D is present in some foods and nutritional supplements, the skin can produce it when exposed to direct sunlight, hence its reputation as the “sunshine vitamin.”
Vitamin D serves several important biological functions in the body, perhaps the most major being regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption. Getting enough vitamin D, whether through diet or exposure to sunlight, is essential for bone and teeth development and enhanced immunity against certain diseases. For example, nine out of ten COVID-19 deaths may also have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Healthy Bones and Teeth
Calcium is the body’s most abundant mineral, with the bones and teeth accounting for 99 percent of it. Vitamin D helps the body maintain sufficient calcium and phosphorus levels by stimulating the intestines to absorb calcium from ingested food and reclaiming calcium due for excretion from the kidneys. Vitamin D deficiency manifests as rickets in children and osteomalacia (bone softening) in adults, resulting in muscular weakness, low bone density and fragility.
Besides its more obvious benefits, strong evidence supports vitamin D’s effectiveness in helping the body ward off diseases. For instance, a 2006 study revealed that vitamin D reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis while a 2008 study showed that the sunshine vitamin reduces the chances of developing heart disease. A more recent 2018 review of past research showed a strong link between vitamin D and enhanced protection against influenza.
Vitamin D, especially from sun exposure, has been touted as an excellent psychiatric solution for certain mood disorders, including depression. In a 2008 study involving 441 subjects, researchers noticed an alleviation of depressive symptoms among the individuals who consumed 20,000 to 40,000 IU vitamin D every week. That said, anyone displaying symptoms of depression should consider consulting a mental health professional or doctor before resorting to vitamin D-rich diets.
Sources of Vitamin D
Although adequate sun exposure is important for vitamin D uptake, some people live too far from the equator or spend too much time indoors to receive enough sunlight-induced vitamin D. Not to mention, people with darker skin tend to absorb less vitamin D through their skin.
Since few foods naturally contain enough vitamin D, it might help to consume the following supplements and vitamin D-fortified or dense foods:
-Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) tablets
-Cod liver oil
-Fortified milk and yogurt
Regardless of the sources, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends individuals to consume no more than 10,000 IU per day lest they experience vitamin D toxicity and over calcification in the long run.
Getting enough vitamin D from sun exposure and dietary sources is necessary for optimal body functionality. Receiving too much vitamin D could cause vitamin D toxicity and over calcification. On the other hand, a vitamin D deficiency could cause rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
To get enough of the sunshine vitamin, consider brief periods of sun exposure whenever possible, and consume vitamin D-rich foods and supplements as advised by a medical professional. If you’re looking for more health information - and there’s a lot out there of varying quality and accuracy - then compare accredited sources with whatever health blogs you read, but always defer to a trusted physician who knows you and your body the most.
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Reggie Moore is a freelance writer and proto-entrepreneur. When not trying to tinker with a new process or idea, Reggie can usually be found saying the words “Well, actually…” to an unsuspecting bystander.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.