Often ignored, vitamin D (also known as D vitamins because there are many different forms of vitamin D available) has a lot of importance amongst the numerous vitamins that our body needs. It can be called a steroid vitamin for all the properties it has.
Scientifically speaking the D vitamins are a collection of fat-soluble prohormones which basically and mostly enable the absorption and regulation of calcium as well as phosphorus throughout the body. Those people whose body has maintained the right level of this vitamin can reap and understand the true benefits of Vitamin D.
The optimum level of Vitamin D in a body can ensure a longer and healthy life that is free of harmful diseases. Because the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus is enhanced, the person will have much stronger bones and tougher muscles. And that is not all, the body will be more resilient to infections and inflammations.
So basically it is a super vitamin, the advantages of which are still beingdiscovered by scientists. For sufficient Vitamin D sysnthesis to take place in a body, it is important to be exposed to normal amounts of sunlight daily. Those people who live in places with very less direct sunlight are often recommended by doctors to take vitamin D supplements.
Different Forms of Vitamin D
Before learning about the benefits of Vitamin D, let’s find out about the different forms of Vitamin D that have yet been discovered – D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. Out of these there are only two that matter a lot to the human body –, D2, D3 also known as ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol respectively. Although Vitamin D can be obtained from food and supplements, it is however best absorbed by staying in the sunlight.
When Vitamin D enters the body then it has to go through two hydroxylation reactions before it can be active in the body. This active form allows the absorption of calcium in the body preventing a low calcium state. The low calcium condition can become the reason behind muscular spasms, cramps and spasms of hand and feet.
Here are some of the known benefits of vitamin D.
1. Calcium and Phosphorus Absorption
Vitamin D’s ability to enable the calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body was first discovered around 1782 when some scientists found out that it was cod liver oil that cured rickets in children. Rickets is a disease which makes the bones of children bend because they lack the strength to grow straight. At the time of this discovery they didn’t know that it was the Vitamin D in cod liver oil that did the trick.
It was much later in 1920 that they found the benefits of Vitamin D. Drinking lots of milk in addition to taking calcium supplements will not give bones the strength until the body has good amounts of Vitamin D in it as well. Not only does the vitamin D help in the calcium absorption but it also helps in preventing the calcium to be deposited in body parts where they are not supposed to.
2. The Immune System
Although it is the immune system which helps in fighting against the diseases, it is Vitamin D which strengthens the immune system. So a body which has an optimum level of Vitamin D can count on lesser amounts of flus and colds.
But it is not just the immune system, Vitamin D can independently obstruct the growth of other auto-immune harmful diseases like diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It can even prevent deadly diseases like cancer. Although this may also be owed to the fact that it is because it strengthens the immune system. So these are some major benefits of Vitamin D.
Chronic inflammation is becoming the root cause of many deadly diseases like cancer and other heart diseases. For this reason, inflammation is becoming under focus of many scientists. Vitamin D has been discovered to contain a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Because of this property it also reduces muscular pain.
4. Cell Proliferation
Other benefits of Vitamin D include its involvement in cell differentiation. Due to cell differentiation, cells can effectively perform their own specialized functions. Cell differentiation also slows down the multiplication or proliferation of cells. The proliferation otherwise becomes the main attribute in the building of cancer.
5. Blood Sugar
Vitamin D is a major component in regulating the blood sugar levels; therefore it prevents conditions like diabetes, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Those people who suffer from diabetes usually have a very low level of Vitamin D. Pancreas, which creates insulin, also depends upon vitamin D for its function.
6. Blood Pressure
Vitamin D is also said to control hyper tension and thus blood pressure; because those who suffer from hypertension tend to become victim to high blood pressure as well.
It has lately been discovered that Vitamin D also has the capability of protecting the body against low levels of radiation as well, one that happens in case of a nuclear accident. Because vitamin D requires a person to be exposed to bright sunlight therefore it possesses the capabilities to protect the body from electromagnetic radiation — another advantage to be added to the numerous benefits vitamin D.
Therefore it is visible from all the above mentioned benefits of vitamin D, that it is a highly advantageous vitamin for our body.
A Super Health Benefit for Free
People would usually be ready to pay any amount of price to get something that is so beneficial to their health. But luckily, one doesn’t have to pay anything to sit in the sun because it is the number one source of Vitamin D. All one needs to do is to spend some normal amount of time under the sun daily and that is it, all of these numerous life-saving advantages could be yours for free. However those people who live in regions where they cannot get sunlight should take Vitamin D in some form of supplement.