Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble nutrients that is found in some foods and it is needed to maintain health. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3, also referred to as cholecalciferol and vitamin D2, also referred to as ergocalciferol. Both compounds can be ingested from diet and supplements. Even though the percentage of vitamin D that we obtain from our diet is generally less than what’s ideal, exposure to sunlight can provide additional vitamin D.
Benefits of Vitamin D
One of the well-known roles of vitamin D is maintaining bone health. It does so by helping you absorb calcium from your diet and supplements. When you don’t get enough vitamin D, your bones will become soft, thin, and weak, making them vulnerable to fractures and osteoporosis. But aside from maintaining bone integrity, vitamin D is also employed in the body in different ways. For instance, your muscles use it for movement. Primarily, your nerves require it to carry messages to and from your brain and every part of your body.
In recent years, much attention has been paid to vitamin D’s possible immune and inflammatory benefits. Experts believe that the immune system requires the said vitamin to deal with bacteria, viruses, and other inflammatory processes. Scientists have also associated low vitamin D levels to inflammatory diseases such as asthma, cancer, arthritis as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. You can read more about Vitamin D3 benefits by going here.
Vitamin D deficiency
Use of sunscreen and protective clothing, minimal exposure to sunlight and several other factors prevent many people from getting sufficient vitamin D from sunshine. In fact, approximately 1 billion people around the world are vitamin D deficient.
To gain the most out of Vitamin D, you should satisfy its recommended dietary allowance with proper diet or supplementation. One problem which makes it tricky to meet adequate vitamin D levels by means of diet alone is that few foods naturally contain vitamin D. You can get small amounts of Vitamin D from fatty fish such as salmon, beef liver, mushrooms, and some types of cheese. You can also find vitamin-D fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and milk. For the majority of people, the most convenient way to meet suggested levels of vitamin D is by taking supplements. Vitamin D nutritional supplements are taken by mouth and they are best absorbed when taken after a meal. You must take it at the same time each day.
Read about Vitamin D deficiency treatment with the use of supplements here.