Last week I wrote about the increase in the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D. That post lead to a few questions about vitamin D and why it’s so important. So here’s some great information about some of the advantages of vitamin D and why you want to avoid a deficiency. In particular we’ll be talking about vitamin D 3 benefits, which is the kind your skin makes and is typically the most deficient.
Vitamin D impacts your entire body. In fact, vitamin D receptors have been found inside almost every human cell. And it makes sense that all our cells wanna piece, because there are so many uses for it.
Critical to Bone Health
Vitamin D is critical to bone health. This part we’ve known about for a long time. One of the major advantages of vitamin D is that it aids in the absorption of calcium, as well as bone formation. So it helps your bones develop properly, and then it keeps them strong by helping the calcium you consume hang around and settle in enough to actually make a positive difference to your body and your health.
Another major function of vitamin D is that it influences and regulates genes. This is a more recent discovery. One recent study found that vitamin D influences over 200 genes, but many scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes affected by vitamin D.
What this means is that vitamin D actually affects our DNA through those vitamin D receptors I mentioned earlier that are in almost every cell of our bodies. It regulates a significant portion of all our genes including those related to cancer, autoimmune diseases, autism, and many other undesirable physical conditions. So a major advantage of vitamin D is that it helps regulate our gene expression in ways that will help us fight and even avoid many diseases. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Helps Fight Disease
A huge advantage of vitamin D is that it regulates an important gene that controls our ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation. This means that vitamin D not only helps us fight colds and influenzas, but also helps calm down chronic inflammation.
Vitamin D also helps regulate our immune systems, including our immune response. To me this is one of the best advantages of vitamin D. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of six years old. This is an autoimmune disease (my immune system attacks my own joints) characterized by chronic inflammation of my joints. When I found out that vitamin D helps calm down chronic inflammation (the part of my disease that really hurts) and helps balance my immune response (overactive immune response in me = war waged on joints), I immediately increased my vitamin D intake. It makes a huge difference in helping me manage that disease.
Reduces Risk of Developing Disease
Another of the advantages of vitamin D is its key role in reducing the risk of developing disease in the first place. And I’m talking about some major illnesses you do NOT want to get stuck with.
I’ve just mentioned my own autoimmune disease. Had I known back then what I know now about vitamin D, it could have actually helped prevent the onset of that disease for me. It helps prevent the onset of many other autoimmune diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis to name just a few.
For middle-aged to elderly people, it can reduce their risk of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43 percent.
For anyone at any age, there are now over 800 studies showing that vitamin D can reduce your risk of developing several types of cancer by 50%.
In a nutshell, some of the major vitamin D 3 benefits are that it provides protection against many diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and several autoimmune diseases. It also helps fight diseases that come your way.
Based on this knowledge and my own experience, I highly recommend you optimize your vitamin D levels. My own search for a great vitamin D supplement ended when I found Vital Choice’s Vitamin D 3 in Wild Salmon Oil. I recommend theirs in particular because of its certified purity and the fact that it comes in a high-grade fish oil rather than the common soy or vegetable oils most supplement manufacturers use.