Vitamin D and Its Importance to Your Health
We all know we need Vitamin D for our general health. Some of the reasons are well known such as stronger bones, better moods, and improved mental health. But, are there other areas that Vitamin D might be useful for our bodies, helping us to be the best we can be? Read on to find out other benefits of this important vitamin.
Helps Muscles Function Better
Every day through exercise and/or daily activities, we put our muscles to the test. If you find yourself with pain and fatigue more than you’d like, it could be connected to a deficiency of Vitamin D. Adequate levels of this vitamin have shown to aid in muscle recovery from the wear and tear we put on our bodies.
Vitamin D helps in the production of leptin, a protein made in the fat cells of our bodies that circulate through the bloodstream, and eventually end up in the brain. When we have enough leptin in our system, it tells our brains that we have enough energy for common activities like eating a normal amount. A study from the University of Minnesota found that beginning a low-calorie diet with higher levels of Vitamin D in the body resulted in about a half-pound more weight loss in the dieters. Another study conducted by Aberdeen University found that post-menopausal women in Scotland with a higher BMI had the lowest levels of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential for the health of a pregnant mother AND the developing baby. A pregnant woman taking 4,000 IU of Vitamin D each day had the best chance of lowering her risk of preterm labor and births, as well as infections. Adequate amounts of this vitamin also aided in healthy bone formation of the fetus. Along with all of this, a deficiency of Vitamin D might lead to preeclampsia in the pregnant mother, which is a condition marked by high blood pressure and possible damage to the kidneys and liver.
Vitamin D has been shown to be helpful in reducing your chance of developing osteoporosis, a disease characterized by a reduction in bone mineral density, and an increased risk of fractures. Vitamin D helps in three ways to prevent this condition. First, it increases calcium and phosphorus absorption from food into the intestines. Second, it encourages re-absorption of calcium in the kidneys, which in turn puts more calcium in the bloodstream. And, lastly, it hinders the release of Parathyroid Hormone (PTH), therefore reducing the osteoclasts, or bone cells, that deteriorate bone tissue.
Because Vitamin D is an essential element to immune cell function, it has been shown to boost immunity and protect against infections such as the flu and other respiratory illnesses. A deficiency of Vitamin D can result in wound healing at a slower rate and an increased risk of infections.
Asthma Attacks and Lesser-Known Conditions
Vitamin D might help in lowering the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Research indicates that taking Vitamin D, along with prescribed asthma medicine, might help in lowering your chance of even having an attack. And, in the event one does occur, the severity might be reduced. There’s also research that having enough Vitamin D might help in preventing other ailments such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and rickets.
Vitamin D is essential to our well-being. And, many of us are not getting enough. If you think you might benefit from additional Vitamin D, please check with your primary care physician to set up a plan tailored just for you.
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