Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a magnificent role in your overall health. Vitamin D is produced in your body when your skin is exposed to the sun. This vitamin has many health benefits, but most of us don’t get enough doses of it. This vitamin is found in foods such as fatty fish, organ meats, certain mushrooms, and fortified foods. In this article, we share 4 health benefits you can get if you have adequate blood levels of vitamin D.
1. Enhances Bone Health: Vitamin D is important for our bone health because it increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from our diet. When you are not getting enough vitamin D, your body begins to slow or stop depositing calcium into bones, eventually drawing calcium out from your bone back into the bloodstream. Over time, this constant cycle of deposit and withdrawal will make your bones weak and at high risk for fractures. Moreover, research shows that individuals taking vitamin D supplements may benefit from a 23–33% lower risk of bone fractures.
2. Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Experts believe that vitamin D may play a big role in reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Many observational studies have shown improvements in beta-cell function, insulin sensitivity, and whole-body inflammation with higher levels of vitamin D. In fact, two recent reviews report that people with low blood vitamin D levels may have up to a 55% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
3. Improves heart Health: Vitamin D may help improve the health of your heart and reduce the likelihood of heart attacks. Recent evidence has shown that people deficient in vitamin D are at an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, sudden cardiac death, or heart failure. Also, in one study, the highest risk was seen in individuals with low vitamin D levels who also had high blood pressure.
4. Lowers your Risk of Certain Cancers: Many studies suggest that individuals with higher levels have a lower risk of certain types of cancer including colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate. Two recent reviews report that those with adequate levels may have up to a 25% lower risk of developing bladder cancer. Vitamin D is one of the most potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth, and it reduces the risk of cancer by increasing calcium absorption and cell differentiation while reducing metastasis.