Vitamin D is a trending topic in the world of medicine at the moment, everyone is trying to know if their fatigue is caused by Vitamin D deficiency, and primary care physicians have made screening for Vitamin D levels a main part of the routine lab blood check, Vitamin D supplements are ones of the most commonly prescribed supplements now. Despite all that, Vitamin D is one of the cheapest vitamins you can get since your body is programmed to synthesize it on its own. All you have to do is sit in the sun and let your skin absorb the ultraviolet rays from the sunlight and your body will take care of the rest.
Vitamin D or calciferol is formed when your skin gets exposed to UV rays that trigger the process of Vitamin D activation, then in the liver Vitamin D is hydroxylated to form 25, hydroxycholecalciferol that goes to the kidney and becomes hydroxylated again to form the active form of Vitamin D or 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol.
You can also obtain Vitamin D from natural food sources, fortified foods, and supplements if necessary, as many people nowadays know that prolonged sun exposure can be harmful since it is one of the main causes of skin aging and skin cancer so they apply lots of sunscreens, wear clothes that cover up their skin, don’t go outside in peak sun times, and many people recently work from home or have night shifts so they may not see the daylight, or maybe they live in a place where they don’t see the sun very often and that’s when resorting to food and supplements is necessary.
Why do we Need Vitamin D?
- Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining calcium levels in the blood, it prevents hypocalcemia or low calcium concentration in the bloodstream which can cause tetany
- It promotes calcium absorption from the intestine to control calcium and phosphorus levels that are responsible for bone density and mineralization.
- Vitamin D improves dental health and fights against dental deformities by increasing its calcium content.
- It has an immunity-boosting role as people with low Vitamin D levels have been shown to suffer more frequently from infections and autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.
- Vitamin D is a major modulator in the body, it plays a part in regulating cell proliferation, growth, and apoptosis (cell death) and lowering the level of inflammation in the cells.
- It has a cardio-protective action through regulating the renin-angiotensin system that controls blood pressure as well as manages fibrosis and inflammation of blood vessel walls, so it prevents arterial stiffening from dyslipidemia and protects the heart.
- Vitamin D receptors have been found on brain neurons in the areas of the brain responsible for your psychological well-being and the development of depression and anxiety symptoms.
- It lowers your risk of developing multiple sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease that destroys the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve endings so it blocks neurotransmission between the brain and the rest of the body which causes drastic symptoms that affects the quality of life immensely.
- Plays a part in insulin production for the beta cells of the pancreas so it reduces insulin resistance in the peripheral tissues and improves glucose metabolism, reducing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes
- Vitamin D supplements have been shown to help people on diets and exercise plans to lose weight more effectively as it makes their bones stronger and elevates their mood motivating them to go on.