Importance of Vitamin D: Benefits, Sources, & More

Delve into the importance of Vitamin D, its benefits, sources, and more. Next Health empowers you to achieve and maintain optimal Vitamin D levels. Contact us.

Importance of Vitamin D: Benefits, Sources, & More
Next Health Staff
|
December 6, 2023

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that benefits our health in numerous ways yet 42% of Americans suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

Although this vitamin is typically associated with bone health (as it facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous), it actually supports a wide range of bodily functions including:

Immune Health

Scientists have been studying the benefits of vitamin D in regard to immunity for over 150 years. In 1849, doctors began treating tuberculosis patients with cod-liver oil (which is rich in vitamin D3) and noted many patients experienced an improvement in their symptoms.

Today, we understand that this was likely due to the fact that vitamin D plays a critical role in the innate immune system (the first line of defense against invading pathogens). Vitamin D regulates the activity of immune cells involved in antiviral responses, helping fight off infection.

Vitamin D is so effective in enhancing immune function that studies show that a vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of infection and autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

Heart Health

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of heart issues such as hypertension, heart failure, and stroke. However, it is unclear whether a vitamin D deficiency itself contributes to heart disease or is an indicator of chronic conditions.

With that being said, many experts believe that vitamin D may improve the lining of blood vessel walls, allowing blood to flow more freely and reducing the effect of inflammation.

Hormonal Health

Vitamin D is actually considered a precursor hormone. In fact, a vitamin D deficiency is the second leading cause of suboptimal hormone levels in men. Research shows this is because vitamin D affects testosterone production as it may monitor and support the secretion of testosterone in the testes.

For women, vitamin D supports estrogen production as a deficiency that may lead to lower estrogen levels, which can cause depression, hot flashes, mood swings, and more.

Both of these connections are due to the fact that vitamin D communicates with other hormones in the body and is critical in keeping hormones balanced.

Weight Loss

Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation enhanced the weight loss success of those on a diet plan more than those who receive a placebo. This may be due to vitamin D’s role in hormonal communication as there is evidence that this vitamin can alter the storage and formation of fat cells.

Mood Regulation

Studies show vitamin D may help regulate mood and reduce depression symptoms. A recent review of over 7,500 people found that those experiencing mood swings and negative emotions who supplemented with vitamin D noticed improvements in their symptoms.

A vitamin D deficiency is also linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety as it can impair cognitive function and brain health.

Getting All The Vitamin D You Need

Because the majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, our medical providers recommend testing your vitamin D levels with our Baseline Test, which measures over 50 biomarkers including the amount of active vitamin D in your blood. From there, you can understand how to adjust your routine and get all the vitamin D you need.

Most people receive some vitamin D through sunlight, ideally between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm This is because type B UV (UVB) radiation penetrates the skin and subsequently begins the process of converting these rays to vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is not commonly found in food. Fatty fish such as trout, salmon, and tuna are some of the few food sources that are a reliable source of vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolk, and mushrooms also contain small amounts of vitamin D. Because of this dietary lack of vitamin D, in the 1930s, the U.S. milk supply voluntarily started fortifying its milk products with vitamin D. Today, milk alternatives such as beverages made from soy, almond, or oats are often fortified with similar amounts of vitamin D.

Because it is difficult to obtain vitamin D through food, it is also recommended to supplement with vitamin D2 or D3. Both forms increase the body’s active form of vitamin D, 25(OH)D. If you are looking for high-quality supplements, consider FullScript, a trusted online dispensing platform that ships pharmaceutical-grade supplements straight to your front door.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Vitamin D Deficiency

Once you begin taking supplements, it might take a couple of weeks for your vitamin D levels to increase. If there aren't any other health issues slowing things down, you can anticipate a recovery period of about 4-6 weeks.

For those looking to take their vitamin D supplementation to the next level, consider a Next Health Vitamin Shot. Stop by for a 5-10 appointment and a licensed medical provider will administer your vitamin D shot to boost your immune system, hormonal health, bone health, and more.

To book your appointment, call or text us at: (310) 295-2075

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281985/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712348/

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d#2.-Vitamin-D-may-regulate-mood-and-reduce-depression

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