Vitamin D, sometimes called the sunshine vitamin, is naturally produced by the body as a response to sun exposure. Your body uses it to absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorus that make your teeth and bones strong. Vitamin D also supports your muscles, nerves, and immune system. You can get it from sunshine on your skin to eating eggs, fatty fish, and fortified foods. It plays an important role in our brain and cardiovascular health. It can also boost serotonin levels and mood.
Why You Might Need More Vitamin D
There are a few possibilities:
- You don’t get enough sunshine.
- You don’t get enough from food. This is more common in vegans and people with dairy allergies or intolerance.
- Your body doesn’t absorb it as well as it should.
- Your body gets rid of it too quickly.
- There are some conditions that could result from being low in vitamin D. There are also circumstances that could make it more likely.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Healthy Bones and Prevention of Osteoporosis
It affects a third of women between the ages of 60 and 70 and two thirds of women 80 or older. No single thing causes it, but not enough vitamin D makes it harder for your body to use the minerals it needs to keep bones strong.
In osteoporosis, this means enlargement of natural spaces in the substance of your bones. They become more “porous,” which makes them more breakable.
People who have pain and weakness in their muscles and bones often don’t have enough of the vitamin. In older people especially, weak muscles can raise your chances of falling and breaking a bone. It also may be a sign of osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor if you notice any pain. That could be a warning sign that can go away with supplements or changes in diet or lifestyle.
Helpful for Breastfeeding Mothers and Infants
There often isn’t enough vitamin D in breast milk to keep infants healthy unless the mother takes a supplement. Rickets happens most often in breastfed children. African American mothers, in particular, tend to start with less vitamin D in their blood. Experts say breastfeeding infants need an extra 400 IU of the vitamin per day.
Your body needs fat to use vitamin D. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other conditions that affect your gut — like celiac disease and cystic fibrosis — make it harder for you to absorb this fat. That may mean you need more to keep your levels up.
Those Overweight Need More
If you have a BMI of 30 or more (meaning you are obese), your vitamin D levels are more likely to be lower than someone who isn’t obese. It’s not that your skin makes less, it’s that the extra fat under your skin keeps more of it and changes the way it goes into your blood. Diet, lifestyle changes, and supplementing can help with this issue.
It Can Help You Lose Weight
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 supplementation had an appetite-suppressing effect which in turn leads to weight loss.
It Can Boost Your Immune System
In an international study that looked at nearly 11,000 people over 25 clinical trials, researchers found that those with lower levels of vitamin D who then took a daily or weekly supplement were shown to cut their risk of an acute respiratory infection (such as pneumonia or the flu) and an upper respiratory infection (like a cold and sinus infection). A study published in Frontiers in Immunology also found that this vitamin could be therapeutic for those with an autoimmune disease, such as Lupus and multiple sclerosis, Dr. Harry adds.
Where to Find High Quality Supplements
Taylor MD Formulations Supplements and Products
Vitamin D can also be consumed by food and supplements such as Taylor MD Formulations’ Vitamin D Rx™. It contains micellized vitamin D3 that may help support healthy vitamin levels. Micellization increases the absorption of fat soluble vitamin D, by making it water soluble. D3 is a potent and active form which supports the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D Rx™ may support normal sleep patterns while improving neuromuscular function, bone health and mood. It may promote immune, cardiovascular, breast and pancreas health.
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Vitamin D Injection