Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. As mentioned earlier, your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Here are some of the most important and most studied benefits of having enough vitamin D.
1. Bone Health
Strong bones depend on many things, including vitamin D. You probably already know that calcium is crucial for developing and maintaining dense, strong bones.What you probably didn’t know, was that vitamin D is needed to stimulate movement of molecules like calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is needed to absorb both calcium and phosphorus efficiently .
2. Vitamin D fights disease
In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:
· reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
· decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, according to 2008 findings published in Circulation
· helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
3. Cancer Protection
Vitamin D can significantly reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer, including breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, and more. While the mechanism is still not fully known, current theories are that it interrupts one of the key 7 phases of cancer development
4. Vitamin D reduces depression
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. It has been found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
5. Vitamin D boosts weight loss
Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease. In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect. In another study, overweight people who took a daily vitamin D supplement improved their heart disease risk markers.
So next time you are sipping on your Protein Shake, why not catch some Sun and in turn some Vitamin D?!