5 Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the vitamin that maintains our bone health. It is an essential nutrient that everyone needs to consume daily. Much like vitamin C, one of the benefits of vitamin D is to keep the body healthy and it also fights off infections.
Additionally, vitamin D is also processed differently than other vitamins. The body is capable of producing vitamin D, unlike any other vitamins. When exposed to sunlight, the skin produces vitamin D that is then absorbed in the body.
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That being said, sunshine itself is not enough to produce vitamin D that needs to be consumed daily. Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends 600 International Unit (IU) daily for ages 3 to 70.
Infants need around 400 IU, while the elderly need 800 IU daily intake of vitamin D. Natural vitamin D produced through sunshine rarely exceeds 288 IU.
In addition to bone health, vitamin D also provides many health benefits. Here are the health benefits of vitamin D.
Helps prevent diabetes type 2
Diabetes type 2 is developed mainly through lifestyle and eating habits. The disease happens when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the body becomes resistant to insulin.
Studies have found a link between vitamin D consumption and diabetes type 2. Adults who consume less than 500 IU of vitamin D per day are more likely to develop diabetes type 2 by 13 percent.
Additionally, vitamin D also reduces the risk of diabetes type 2 by breaking down the body’s resistance to insulin.
It is still not fully understood how vitamin D reduces depression and anxiety. Another benefit of vitamin D is that it provides nutrients to the brain. The nutrients are believed, to be connected to a lower risk of depression.
A lower level of vitamin D in the body may impair part of the brain that is responsible for mood and behavior.
Improves muscle strength
Studies are done by doing muscle biopsies to reveal the muscle gene for vitamin D receptor. Vitamin D must bind to this receptor to promote muscle strength.
Much research has also concluded the correlation between the two by using samples of athletic and non-athletic body types. The research reveals a slightly more strength in upper and lower muscles with more consumption of vitamin D. Daily doses of 800 IU in the elderly is sufficient to improve muscle strength.
Improves bone health
This is the most well-known benefit of vitamin D and it is proven. Vitamin D plays a vital role in promoting bone health. This is mostly so because vitamin D increases the body’s absorption to calcium and phosphor.
Research shows that deficiency in vitamin D results in a 23 to 33 percent higher risk of bone fractures.
Reduces the risk to some cancers
Although cancers are caused by many factors, vitamin D is often linked to reducing the chance of certain cancers including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
The minimum or average daily intake of vitamin D to reduce certain cancers varies. A study found that daily intake (from supplements) of about 1,000 IU – 2,000 IU may reduce the risk of dying from colon cancer.
However, it is also important to note that excessive amounts of vitamin D might also be dangerous to the body and can increase a risk of skin cancer. To understand more about the natural ways you can increase the amount of vitamin D through your diets, you can visit this page.
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