The bone and dental health benefits of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ are widely accepted in the medical community, and well known among the general population. Vitamin D is indispensible to maintaining bone function, and ensuring the absorption of vital minerals by your bones. In particular, Vitamin D helps maintain the optimum balance of calcium and phosphorus in the skeletal system. Vitamin D also plays an important part in protecting teeth from decay and gum disease. However, most people might not be aware that vitamin D has also a larger, overarching role in human health. Let’s look at some surprising benefits of this vital vitamin:
1) Immune health
It is the season of pesky summer bugs and untimely health niggles. Vitamin D keeps your immune system in great shape, and empowers your body to fight common bacteril and viral infections.
Vitamin D can help you bust those stubborn kilos. A 2014 study found that supplementation with vitamin D resulted in reducing waist circumference and body fat in overweight individuals in comparison to those who had taken a placebo.
3) Heart health
Vitamin D has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Studies have found a link between low bone density and cardiovascular density. Vitamin D might not just be protecting your bones – it might also be keeping your heart safe and sound in the process.
4) Reducing risk of chronic disease
Low bone mineral density and vitamin D deficiency have also been associated with diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and inflammation. Making sure that your body has adequate levels of this vitamin might be the key to slashing your risk of developing these aforementioned chronic conditions.
5) Fighting fatigue
Feeling constantly tired and listless? The culprit could be a vitamin D deficiency. Again, weak bones might be responsible in bringing your overall energy levels down. Optimal levels of this vitamin in your body will keep your bones in ship shape, and can help infuse more energy into your everyday life.
The best way to top-up your levels of vitamin D is to get 15-20 minutes of daily exposure to the noon sun. However, busy schedules and the indoor nature of work can make this difficult. It is no wonder that close to 80% of the Indian population is vitamin D deficient! Vitamin D is scarcely found in food sources, and supplementation is the best way to maintain the necessary levels of this nutrient. Though vitamin D supplements are abundant in the market, most of them are derived from inorganic sources – making them far less efficacious and less bio-available. The great news is that there are organic vitamin D supplements now available which are sourced from lichens – the only plant-based source of vitamin D.
So, to recap- regular consumption of the right vitamin D supplement, and making the effort to incorporate some sun exposure in your daily schedule could be the secret to great bone health, a fortified immune system, and wide-reaching overall health benefits.