The top 5 health benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin is one of the leading vitamin deficiencies in our country today. The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure and as we get very little sun in the UK its not surprising so many people are deficient. This is the follow up to my last blog on Magnesium.

 

Benefit 1 – Stronger bones

Don’t just think of calcium when it comes to strong bones, you need a delicate balance of not only magnesium but also Vit D to deposit calcium in the bones. Without these present calcium can flow unchecked through the bloodstream depositing in arteries which is not ideal.

Benefit 2 – Better muscle function

Vit D deficiency in athletes has been associated with muscle weakness and atrophy, specifically type 2 muscle fibre atrophy.

Benefit 3 – Protection from cardiovascular disease

The mechanisms are unsure as to why at this time but individuals with a Vit D deficiency are at higher risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.

Benefit 4 – Decrease risk of type 2 diabeties

Several observations have shown improvements in beta cell function, insulin sensitivity and whole body inflammation with higher levels of Vit D. A recent study calculated the risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to baseline vitamin D status and found those with the highest baseline levels had 38% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels of vitamin D.

Benefit 5 – Improved immunity

Scientists have found that Vit D is crucial to activating our immune defences and without sufficient intake of the vitamin the killer cells of the immune system (T-cells) will not be able to react and fight off serious infections in the body.

The current government recommendation is 600IU of Vit D daily for men and women. However this is likely to be an underestimation, research has shown higher levels 4000IU-10,000IU a day provide benefit and have no toxic effects.

Remember the baseline doesn’t take into account how deficient you already might be and your activity levels as athletes deplete vitamins and minerals much quicker than sedentary people.

I personally have found benefit from supplementing 5000IU a day.

The best way to get your Vit D is the sun. You will need approximately 10-20min of sun exposure during the hours of 11am-2pm. Darker skin tones will require longer to get the adequate amount of exposure. Next best option if sun is not available is food, oily fish, dairy and eggs all contain trace amounts but you would need to eat a lot to get your daily vitamin D goals. Lastly you have supplementation, Look for a high quality supplement, I use exclusively pure pharma and I have done for years as I find they are the best quality. you will want 1000-2000IU per capsule ideally and it should be suspended in a oil to help absorption as Vit D is a fat soluble vitamin meaning if it is not taken alongside some fat our bodies cannot absorb it.

I hope this has been helpful,

Adam