It’s As Simple As A, B, C, Vitamin D
March 30, 2022
Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin. A vitamin you can absorb simply by standing outside in the fresh air and letting the Ultraviolet B light from the sun react with a chemical in your skin. The resulting Vitamin D3 is then transferred from your liver to your kidneys where it is made accessible to the rest of your body to use.
These days however, living in the big cities, wrapped up against colder climates, or covered in sunscreen to avoid the worst effects of sunlight, we don’t get as much of it as we might need and many of us can benefit from supplementation.
Vitamin D has an essential role in supporting our immune system. Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health has summarized that Vitamin D may help mitigate the harmful inflammatory response of certain white blood cells, as well as increasing the immune cells production of microbe fighting proteins.1 Auto immune disorders like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid diseases can be prevented when taking Vitamin D and according to Dr Karen Costenbader of Harvard Medical School, taking Vitamin D for a prolonged period of time – at least two years – can see the prevention rate in auto immune disorders rise to as high as 39% in people over the age of 50. Her study also showed that when you combine Vitamin D with Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, auto immune disease can decrease by around 30%.2
As we get older, our skin doesn’t make as much Vitamin D as it did when we are younger, or absorb it as well as we used to. A Vitamin D supplement is often recommended by doctors for people over the age of 65 to help prevent getting colds and flu (always consult your health professionals before taking additional supplements).
Having low Vitamin D could be one of the reasons you’re in a bad mood. According to scientific research, Vitamin D plays a role in the production of the hormone serotonin – which regulates our moods and our sleep.3
Vitamin D also regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, keeping bones, teeth and muscles healthy and warding off bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets.
However that’s not an excuse for taking Vitamin D in vast quantities, As with all good things, too much can be dangerous – and because Vitamin D isn’t water soluble, we don’t simply excrete it, instead it can build up in fat cells and in the worst cases lead to bone pain and kidney damage.
1Vitamin D – The Nutrition Source. T H Chan School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/
2Vitamin D and marine omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and incident autoimmune disease: VITAL randomized controlled trial. Karen Costenbader https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj-2021-066452
3Optimal vitamin D spurs serotonin: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D represses serotonin reuptake transport (SERT) and degradation (MAO-A) gene expression in cultured rat serotonergic neuronal cell lines https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6042449/
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