What Is Vitamin D Good For? 4 Health Benefits

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins your body needs for optimal health. Low levels of the vitamin can put you at greater risk of infection, depression, and even decreased bone health. Nicole Avena, Ph.D. and assistant professor of neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and Kelli McGrane, MS, and registered dietitian, lend insight on how pivotal vitamin D and its benefits are to your overall health.

Why is it so important to have adequate levels of vitamin D?

“One of the major roles it plays is to help maximize the absorption and utilization of calcium, which is an important mineral for our skeletal system and teeth. It is also important [for] muscle, heart, and lung functioning,” says Avena.

If you don’t receive adequate levels of vitamin D each day, you put yourself at risk of deficiency, which the neuroscientist says can lead to increased susceptibility of infection, fatigue, back pain, and impaired wound healing.

What are some of the health benefits of vitamin D?

It strengthens the immune system.

Exactly how vitamin D plays a role in supporting our immune system is a hot topic in research right now, says McGrane, but there’s no doubt there’s a connection.

Avena says studies suggest taking 1,200 IU of vitamin D per day over a four-month period during the winter season reduces the risk of contracting the flu. “Vitamin D allows our immune system to work efficiently to ward off sickness,” she says.

It supports bone health.

Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of two very important minerals: calcium and phosphate, both of which are vital for bone health. Avena and McGrane both say that without enough vitamin D, the bones can begin to soften, making them fragile and more prone to break.

It may stave off the development of allergic diseases in babies.

Avena says that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of allergic conditions and diseases, including asthma and eczema in babies. However, research suggests that whether vitamin D actually prevents asthma and allergies during the prenatal window and early stages of life remains controversial. Vitamin D may also help kids and adults currently living with asthma.

A review of several clinical trials published in the medical science journal Cureus found that vitamin D supplementation may be helpful in the management of asthma, in addition to an inhaler and any other necessary medications.

It improves mental health.

“A growing body of research has shown a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of anxiety and depression,” says McGrane. “In several studies, providing vitamin D supplementation to deficient individuals significantly improved symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

Should you take a vitamin D supplement?

“While you can get some vitamin D through food sources like eggs, fatty fish, and fortified beverages—especially orange juice and soy milk—many individuals would benefit from a supplement, especially during the winter when there is a lack of sunlight,” says McGrane. “A good starting point is 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D3; however, it’s always best to check with your doctor or dietitian first.”

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

8 Reasons You’re Always Cold 

Certain medical conditions can cause your hands and feet to always feel chilled. As anyone who has worked in a shared office space can tell you, people have different body

These Are the Best Activities for Osteoarthritis

If you’re living with osteoarthritis, chances are the pain, swelling, and stiffness may have limited your activities and fitness routine over the years. This “wear and tear” form of arthritis

Super Spice Can Reduce Inflammation

Our body responds to things like injury, pain or infection with inflammation. So, you may want to know that there are natural ways to heal your body, rather than take

9 Common Things That Can Trigger Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own organs and tissues. “What is lupus” is a more difficult question than you might think

5 Common Prescription Meds That Cause Memory Loss

Antianxiety drugs (Benzodiazepines) Examples: alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan) Generally speaking, this kind of drugs is prescribed to ease symptoms of anxiety disorders,

The Most Common Culprits Behind Your Heartburn

Whether you’re 17 or 71, odds are that you’ve experienced heartburn at least once in your life, if not more. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60

10 Healthy Habits Cardiologists Wish You to Follow

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States, more than all cancers combined. As you know, prevention includes quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, maintaining a

8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Minimize Your Pain

When you’re dealing with a condition that causes inflammation, you should change your eating habits. Yes, medication is important, but many doctors say that embracing an anti-inflammatory diet can help,

Natural Remedies for Hair Growth

If you want to improve your hair, you should stay consistent. Your hair is said to be your crowning glory, and it’s normal to want to improve your hair if

5 Causes of B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency, whether because you’re not getting enough B12 or aren’t absorbing it well, can cause symptoms like fatigue, difficulty walking, weakness, and confusion. Find out if you

Scroll to Top