Benefits of Vitamin D (Calciferol)
To get the full benefits of Vitamin D, it is important to maintain consistent and optimum levels of vitamin D in the body. This is most easily achieved by getting sufficient exposure to sunlight, as there are few dietary sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient that has been found to have many significant health benefits. Recent research has discovered that it plays an important role in many bodily functions, as well as helping to protect against a variety of diseases and conditions. Some of vitamin D’s most important benefits include:
- Vitamin D strengthens and supports the proper function of the immune system. It is particularly important for helping the body to fight infections.
- It acts to inhibit the development of some types of auto-immune disorders, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
- Vitamin D functions to manage and regulate cell differentiation. The body uses differentiated cells to perform specialized functions in the body. It also helps to control the reproductive rate of cells. These processes ensure that cells grow properly.
- It functions in the body as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Vitamin D helps the body to correctly absorb calcium and phosphorus. It also aids the body to properly use these nutrients. It is a critical nutrient for maintaining the strength and health of bones and teeth, and inhibits calcium deposits from forming in areas where they shouldn’t form.
- Vitamin D functions to regulate and normalize blood sugar levels. Sufficient amounts of vitamin D protect against both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and high blood sugar.
Function of Vitamin D (Calciferol)
Vitamin D is an umbrella term which identifies a critical collection of micro-nutrients. It functions as a steroid hormone, which acts to switch genes on and off, as well as regulating cell function in the body.
There are three main types of vitamin D which our bodies utilize:
Cholecalciferol (Raw Vitamin D)
Inside the body, most vitamin D starts off in the form of cholecalciferol (also known as vitamin D3). There is a compound located in the skin called “pre-vitamin D.” Pre-vitamin D is manufactured in the liver. When this compound is exposed to UV-B rays (such as sunlight), it is converted into vitamin D3.
Calcidiol (Stored Vitamin D)
Calcidiol is a form of vitamin D that is stored in body tissues, such as fat, muscle, blood, and the liver . The liver produces reserves of vitamin D. The levels of calcidiol that are stored in the body controls how much active vitamin D our body can produce.
Calcitriol (Active Vitamin D)
Eventually, calcidiol undergoes a process where it hydroxylated in the kidneys by particular enzymes. This converts it into active form of vitamin D, known as calcitriol. Calcitriol functions as a powerful steroid hormone. This is the form of vitamin D which is used by the body.
Numerous studies have found that a deficiency of vitamin D is associated with various diseases and health disorders, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. When the body has sufficient quantities of vitamin D, it acts to strengthen and protect various organs and systems in the body. Vitamin D is known to support the health of the immune system and the nervous system, as well as bones, joints, and muscles.
Vitamin D has also been found to be able to regulate and improve mood. It also acts to reduce pain and inflammation in the body, as well as regulate and normalize blood sugar and blood pressure.
Exposure to sunlight is the primary process by which vitamin D is obtained through exposure to sunlight. People spending less time outside, in modern times, has contributed to an increase in people who are suffering from a chronic deficiency.
Vitamin D overdose is rarely seen. It is usually only possible by taking excessive amounts via supplementation.