The Role of Vitamin D in Your Health

by Peter Bua
The Role of Vitamin D in Your Health
Image by Ronnie Scotch Finger Image by Ronnie Scotch Finger
When thinking of vitamins, we usually think that we have to take something in order to achieve the recommended daily allowance our body requires of them. Usually this means either diet or supplementation. But it's important to remember that there is a unique vitamin that does not require such avenues, and that’s vitamin D. Your body contains an inactive form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol, and it needs to convert this form into the active form of vitamin D called calcitriol. There are two ways your body does this: through small amounts of food, and sunlight. By being in the sunlight for around 10-20 minutes your body gets all the vitamin D it needs. Your skins contains a substance called 7-dehydrocholesterol. When your skin is exposed to sunlight or UV light, this substance is converted to vitamin D. Vitamin D also comes from certain foods such as oily fish, eggs, and dairy. Now you might be thinking being out in the sun too much can increase risk of skin cancer, or that you're busy most of the day indoors working and you can't make it out during peak hours. Or maybe you don’t like eating fish, eggs, or dairy very much. This is where a vitamin D supplement could help. There are so many benefits of getting enough vitamin D in your diet that you'd be kind of crazy not to try and get enough of it. When you think vitamin d, you might think it’s just for bone health. But research has shown that vitamin D can play an important role in several health factors:

Helps regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in your blood.

Your body requires a certain amount of calcium and phosphorous, when they drop, vitamin D comes to the rescue.

Improves brain development and mood.

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with depression and mood disorders.

Strengthens your bones.

Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, which is important for strong bones.

Boosts your immune system.

Research suggests vitamin helps with a healthy immune system.

Helps prevent cancer.

Certain studies have suggested vitamin D can help prevent certain forms of cancer. Have I convinced you yet? If you can’t make the 10-20 minute walk in the sun everyday, or have a steady diet that includes fish, eggs, and dairy, then supplementing your lifestyle with vitamin D will get you the dosage you need without changing your routine. Look for a supplement that has a biologically active form of vitamin D (that’s vitamin D3) for better results.