Vitamin D can have powerful effects on several systems in the body. The nutrient is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in the skin in response to sun exposure. You can also get vitamin D through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels in the bloodstream.
To learn more about the surprising benefits of what’s called the “Wonder Pill” in its supplemental form, scroll through the article below to find out what vitamin D can do for you.
Healthier bones and stronger teeth
Vitamin D helps to regulate calcium phosphorus levels in the blood—two nutrients that are extremely important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium in the intestines and to get back calcium that is otherwise excreted through the kidneys. If the body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at a higher risk of developing bone abnormalities such as osteomalacia or osteoporosis.
Reduced risk of diabetes
Several studies have shown an inverse relationship between vitamin D in the body and the risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, insufficient vitamin D levels can harm insulin secretion and stimulate glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes.
Strengthened immune system
Vitamin D facilitates normal immune system function. In fact, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the nutrient can help to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu.
Reduced chances of multiple sclerosis
Though more research is needed to assess these findings, some studies suggest that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association).
Combat heart disease
Multiple studies have shown that people who are vitamin D deficient have a 40 percent higher chance of developing heart-related medical problems. To reduce the risk, strive to maintain appropriate levels of vitamin D in the body.
Lower likelihood of depression
Research suggests that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and the prevention of depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Weight loss boost
Vitamin D supplements can be very helpful in aiding effective weight loss. In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects who were taking a placebo supplement. The researchers concluded that the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect that made people feel fuller faster.
Ward off vision damage
As we age, our vision starts to slip because of age-related macular degeneration: An increasing blurriness that starts near the center of the eye and impedes our ability to see clearly. Although not much can be done about this fact of life, recent studies have shown that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream can help you maintain better vision.
Vitamin D keeps our muscles functioning and strong by helping them absorb calcium in the body. In fact, a vitamin D deficiency might cause muscle abnormalities like cramps, spasms, and twitches. To support the muscular system, make sure levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream are high.