Vitamin D Benefits
People with optimum vitamin D levels can expect better health across the board – longer life, reduction in death rates from all causes, fewer diseases, stronger bones and muscles, fewer and less severe infections, less depression, pain and inflammation.
In short, more life and more enjoyment of it.
If this was a drug, the drug companies would be blowing their trumpets from the rooftops! And new vitamin D benefits are still being discovered, almost everywhere researchers look.
Here are some of the more important benefits discovered so far:
Vitamin D keeps bones and teeth strong
As far back as 1782, doctors knew that cod liver oil cured rickets (a disease of growing children whose bones bend due to lack of strength). Of course, they didn’t know then that it was vitamin D in the oil that did the job.
Vitamin D helps to keep bones and teeth strong, and improves bone density. It also reduces the incidence of falls in older people, according to Wikipedia.
In fact, vitamin D plays a major role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and in their proper utilization.
Vitamin D fights infections
Vitamin D helps the immune system to fight infections. With a near-optimum blood level of vitamin D, you can expect fewer colds, ‘flu, and other unwelcome opportunists.
Not only does Vitamin D enhance your immunity, but it inhibits the development of destructive auto-immune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D is a major inhibitor of cancer, and part of this effect may be attributed to the increased vigilance of the immune system.
Vitamin D fights cancer
Vitamin D encourages cell differentiation (differentiated cells are needed to perform specialized functions effectively) and also slows down the rate at which cells multiply, or proliferate.
Both of these effects contribute to vitamin D’s cancer-fighting ability. Cancer cells are characterized by a lack of differentiation and by rapid proliferation.
Chronic inflammation is coming into prominent focus as a cause of many disease processes, including major killers such as heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin D is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which may also contribute to its effectiveness in reducing some types of muscular pain.
Vitamin D protects against diabetes
Optimum levels of vitamin D protect against diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Diabetes is usually associated with very low levels of vitamin D.
The pancreas also needs sufficient vitamin D in order to make and secrete insulin.
Getting enough vitamin D helps blood sugar control. It may also help prevent serious diabetic complications.
Vitamin D helps to control high blood pressure
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D helps reduce the risk of hypertension. And optimum levels actually tend to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people.
Vitamin D helps build stronger muscles
Studies show that people with higher vitamin D levels have stronger arm and leg muscles.
Older people with high vitamin D levels lose their muscle mass more slowly than those with low vitamin D levels.
In older men, higher vitamin D levels are associated with higher testosterone levels and better reproductive health.
Vitamin D helps to keep you healthy
Scientists are continually reporting that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with one disease after another. (High vitamin D levels may be protective.)
Here are just some of the conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency:
Acne, Adrenal insufficiency, Allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Autoimmune disorders, Bacterial infections, Bones weak (easy to fracture), Breast cancer, Cancer (all types), Celiac disease, Colds and ‘flu, Crohn’s disease, Chronic fatigue, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Chronic pain, Colonic adenoma, Colorectal cancer, Cystic fibrosis, Dementia, Dental cavities and misaligned teeth, Depression, Diabetes (types 1 and 2), Fatigue, Gluten intolerance, Graves disease, Heart disease, Hypertension, Influenza, Kidney Disease, Low back pain, Lupus erythematosis, Macular Degeneration, Melanoma, Mental illness and mood disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle weakness and pain, Obesity, Osteo-arthritis, Osteomalacia (softening of bones), Osteoporosis, Ovarian cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Periodontal disease, Peripheral artery disease, Pelvic floor disorders, Pneumonia, Post-operative infections, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rickets, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), Sepsis, Sports injuries, Tuberculosis, Urinary incontinence, Viral infections.
Vitamin D protects against low-level nuclear radiation
Dr Daniel Hayes PhD describes many ways in which vitamin D may protect the body from the effects of low-level radiation, such as may occur after a nuclear accident. His paper was published in the International Journal of Low Radiation (Sept 2008)
It makes sense that a nutrient that requires you to expose yourself to strong sunlight would help protect against electromagnetic radiation, doesn’t it?
Vitamin D is required by most cell types in your body
Many people can’t understand how vitamin D can be so good for so many different things. They think it’s all too good to be true! But most of the cells in your body, including brain, heart, blood, muscles, bones, liver and kidneys have special receptors for taking in vitamin D when needed, not just bones.
In each case, those receptors are there for a reason, but the reason is different for each type of cell because each cell is specialized for a particular kind of work. If a cell is able to access vitamin D then it performs optimally. If not, it just has to manage without and do the best it can.
That is why the benefits of optimum vitamin D are so diverse.
Vitamin D is safe and cheap
Some people would pay any price for such amazing health benefits, but fortunately they are available for free – if you can spend enough time in the sun. See our Safe Sun Practices to maximize benefits and minimize risk.
Otherwise, simply supplement with natural vitamin D3 capsules. Fortunately they are relatively cheap.
Finally, Vitamin D Prevents Vitamin D Deficiency!
Silly me! I couldn’t resist that one.
For further information, see
- Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- How to Estimate Your Vitamin D Level
- Optimum Vitamin D
- Who Should Not Take Vitamin D
- Vitamin D and Pregnancy
- Vitamin D Deficiency is Easily Treated
- Tips for Buying Vitamin D