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4 Benefits of the Sunshine Vitamin!
You might have heard of vitamin D but did you know that most of the world’s population is deficient in it? Over 1 billion people are vitamin D deficient and the rest are just close to satisfactory levels (1).
Vitamin D falls in the category of fat soluble vitamins which require dietary fat for it to be absorbed and stored in the body's adipose tissue and in the liver.
It falls in 3 categories, Vitamin D1 (Alfacalcidol), D2 (Ergocalciferol) and D3 (Cholecalciferol). The "sunshine" vitamin is synthesized naturally in your skin upon direct contact with sunlight when UV index is 3+ Vitamin D amounts in non-fortified food products is marginal but can be a good addition to increase your natural vitamin D intake. The preferred method of intaking vitamin D is via supplementation to avoid sun damage as your body can’t absorb and synthesize vitamin D if you apply sunscreen; which is a must when living in tropical climates. Wake up and shine with our Vitamin D3 yummy gummies which help you achieve your optimal intake of D3 with an addition of Vitamin B12!
Nature of Vitamin D is such that D3 is more efficient in terms of being absorbed in your body and increases vitamin D overall levels compared to D and D2. D3 also has a longer half life which means that it lasts longer in your body compared to D2!
Due to vitamin D being declared as a hormone thanks to its critical role in normal functioning of our body, It has many important functions and benefits:
1. Important for Healthy Bones
Vitamin D is linked with many different types of cells and minerals when it comes to bone health. Vitamin D when found in adequate levels in your body improves bone mineralisation process. It does this by increasing your intestinal calcium absorption rate to maintain ideal blood levels for calcium and phosphorus (2, 3).
Right intake of vitamin D is crucial for growth and development of bones and teeth. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause softening of bones in children causing rickets. Similarly, in adults a deficiency of vitamin D can cause osteomalacia which leads to weakening of muscles and poor bone density (4). Sometimes, a misdiagnosis of osteoporosis can also be due to long term deficiency of vitamin D! Higher intake of vitamin D was linked with reduced risk of osteoporosis, accidental fractures (falls, slips) in older adults (5).
2. Works against certain illnesses
Scientific literature has found common links between vitamin D levels and certain lifestyle, genetic and infectious diseases.
Recently in the pandemic, many researchers found that individuals with lower levels of this vitamin had higher chances of catching COVID-19 and had an increased risk of severity of this virus. Low levels were also associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (6, 7).
A study also found that low levels of vitamin D was associated with increased risk of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (8).
People deficient in vitamin D were more susceptible towards infectious and autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) and rheumatoid arthritis (9).
Reduced risks of certain types of cancers were found in association with higher doses of vitamin D however more studies are required to confirm this link.(10, 11).
Might help with mental health and regulate mood.
VItamin D has been proven in many studies to be playing an important role in reducing risk of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. It also regulates our mood as vitamin D is proposed to have an influence on our serotonin and melatonin levels which are our happy hormones and sleep hormones. (12, 13).
3. May support weight loss
Individuals with low levels of Vitamin D are more likely to be overweight or having higher than normal BMI levels (14). One study showed that participants who took vitamin D supplementation whilst following a caloric restricted diet plan lost more weight and body fat percentage compared to the ones who took a placebo and followed the same diet plan! (15). Extra dosage of Vitamin D and calcium might have had an appetite suppressing effect as a dated study stated that participants taking such a combination of supplements lost considerably more weight compared to their placebo counterparts (16). Due to such findings, scientists are urging for better quality and quantity of studies to find stronger associations between vitamin D and weight loss.
While there is abundance of sunlight in tropical parts of the world, we still find many being deficient in vitamin D. This is because people avoid stepping out in the sun to prevent sun damage and due to harsh UV index. While you can try to include foods rich in vitamin D, they’re not the best when it comes to achieving your RDA levels (recommended dietary allowance). Wake up and Shine with our Vitamin D3 + B12 to boost your energy and immunity!
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