• Lydia Ojuka Riley

Vitamin D- Health Benefits

Dispite living in the northern hemisphere and being dark skinned, I consistantly have higher than average vitamin D levels. This is because I take great care in making sure I optimize this vitamin. It is involved in literally hundreds of chemical processes in the body and is one simple way to optimize overall health.

What is Vitamin-D?

In spite of it being termed as a Vitamin, Vitamin-D is actually a type of pro-hormone. It is not created by the body itself but must be supplemented with the diet. However, unlike the other vitamins (like Vitamin A for vision, Vitamin B-1 for energy, Vitamin C for iron levels in the body) which depend on the standard body functions, the synthesis of this prohormone is dependent upon the Sun. The Sun has to hit the body for 5-10 minutes for at least 3-4 times a week in order to synthesize the Vitamin-D.

According to a recent study, it is observed that Vitamin-D deficiency has impacted a major part of the globe (most part of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and North America), especially for people, who are not exposed to the sunlight and/or sitting at home all day.

Roles of Vitamin-D in the Body

Maintains the integrity of the lungs and the heart. Regulates Insulin levels in the body, which prevents Diabetes. Helps to maintain the proper shape and strength of the muscles and bones.Importantly, it supports the immune and the nervous systems and maintains the proper having health of the brain. Additionally, helps prevent the cells from turning carcinogenic. This is because people studies have shown that people who are exposed to sunlight more than the people living in northern latitudes have a reduced risk of their cells turning cancerous!

Health Benefits of Vitamin-D

Healthy Bones: Needless to mention, Vitamin-D has always been the core hormone that boosts the bones and the fibers connecting the bones. It maintains the calcium and the phosphorus levels in the blood, something which is of utmost importance. The deficiency of Vitamin-D can cause rickets in small children. Reduced Risks of Flu and Diabetes: Vitamin-D is extremely beneficial when it comes to regulating insulin and keeping Diabetes at a bay. The chances of flu also decrease, thanks to the reduced risk of Influenza A, which is curbed by the hormone. According to a recent study, infants, who have been administered Vitamin D units per day had an 88 percent reduced chance of succumbing to Diabetes. Regulates Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is something that a lot of people neglect because of the low impact that it has on the body at the initial stages. In order to prevent people from having high blood pressure, a study showed that children with 2000 units of Vitamin-D per day had lower arterial pressure than children who were administered 400 units per day. Helps during Pregnancy: Pregnancy is an extremely delicate phase for every woman in their lifetime. A Vitamin-D deficient pregnant woman runs the risk of undergoing a C-section instead of a natural delivery because of the preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a phenomenon associated with high blood pressure in pregnant women, which can result in further complications. Since Vitamin-D regulates blood pressure, a pregnant woman should maintain the necessary levels of Vitamin-D in their body. Cancer Prevention: When it comes to preventing the growth of cells in cancerous tissues, calcitriol (an active form of Vitamin-D) helps immensely. Studies have also indicated that having a high amount of calcitriol is extremely beneficial when the cells or tissues turn rogue.

FYI: The Ideal Vitamin-D Intake

Although the intake for Vitamin-D can vary for different individuals undergoing different phases in their life, here is a list to help you get a general idea about it (updated by U.S. Institutes of Medicine). However, my homeopathic Doctor recommended me to take up to 5 x's the recommended dose.

Infants (0-12 months)- 400 IU (10 mcg)

Children (1-18 years)- 600 IU (15 mcg)

Adults (19-70 years)- 600 IU (15 mcg)

Adults over 70 years- 800 IU (20 mcg)

Pregnant Women- 600 IU (15 mcg)

Note: One microgram of Vitamin-D is equal to 40 IU (units).

To sum it all up, Vitamin-D is the quintessential hormone that our body needs in order to increase its overall functional efficiency. Sunlight, paired with other Vitamin-D tablets can easily maintain the required levels in the body. From regulating pressure to maintaining insulin, one should never compromise on Vitamin-D.

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