4 Surprising Health Benefits of Vitamin D – The Cheat Sheet

Vitamin D has several surprising benefits

Vitamin D has several surprising benefits Vitamin D has several surprising benefits | Source: iStock

It’s important to make sure you get the recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals each day so that you can stay healthy. One important vitamin you need every day is vitamin D. The necessary amount depends on your age. The Food and Nutrition Board has set a recommended amount of 600 IU (international units) for adults between the age of 19 and 70. There are two major forms of the vitamin: vitamin D2 (also known as ergocalciferol), and vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol).

You can obtain more of this vitamin when your skin is exposed to sunlight, through certain foods, and by taking vitamin supplements. It is key to overall health because it assists with the absorption of calcium in the gut. A lack of it can result in brittle, thin, or misshapen bones. You could also put yourself at risk for developing osteoporosis and diseases such as type 1 diabetes and Chron’s disease. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t get too much of a good thing. Too much in the blood could cause toxicity. Some signs of too much of the vitamin include constipation, loss of appetite, and nausea.

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On the bright side, consuming just the right amount of vitamin D can do wonders for your body. Here are four surprising health benefits.

1. Improved immune function

Research at UCLA supports existing studies showing a link between immune function and vitamin D. It has been found that those with low levels of vitamin D were more susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, infections such as tuberculosis may also be linked to a lack of the vitamin. Dr. Alan L. Rubin, author of Vitamin D for Dummies, said vitamin D is helpful when it comes to fighting infections. “Vitamin D affects the immune system, resulting in changes that suppress how much inflammation the immune system causes while fighting an infection,” said Rubin. So if you want to keep your immune system performing optimally, make sure to get enough of the vitamin either through food, sun, or supplements.

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