Why is Vitamin D so Vital?
When you’re soaking up some sun, Vitamin D comes to mind. It is produced when you are exposed to sunlight, that’s why it is also known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Certain food items and supplements are also good sources of this essential nutrient.
Did you know that once your body produces Vitamin D in response to sun exposure, it turns this vitamin into a hormone? This is called calcitriol or activated Vitamin D that influences several body functions.
Why is Vitamin D so vital? Here are some of its benefits:
- Reduces skin cancer – Vitamin D protects your body against melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
- Supports bone growth – It is important to get adequate Vitamin D as it facilitates the normal growth and development of our bones. It is also essential in bone remodelling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without enough Vitamin D, you may be vulnerable to bone disorders such as osteomalacia (misshapen bones) or osteoporosis (brittle bones).
- Enhances calcium absorption – Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. These two nutrients are essential in keeping our bones strong and healthy.
- Enhances calcium and phosphate production in the intestines – Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium in your gut and maintains phosphate concentrations that play a role in bone mineralization.
- Modulates immune function – Vitamin D helps regulate your immune system and protect your body against infection.
- Enhances nerve conduction (signals) – Vitamin D promotes the production and release of serotonin which influences brain and biological functions, as well as your mood and appetite.
- Inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion – Vitamin D is vital since it blocks the release of parathyroid hormone which causes our bones to become thin and brittle.
- Strengthens the heart muscle – It decreases your risk of having heart diseases and aids in cardiovascular function.
Stimulates insulin production of the pancreas – Having an adequate level of Vitamin D plays a role in the increase of production and secretion of insulin. This helps regulate the glucose in your body. Vitamin D is especially important to people with Type II diabetes since they cannot manage insulin properly. This nutrient improves insulin sensitivity and promotes insulin release.
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