☀️Vitamin D – it’s actually not just one thing, but a group of fat-soluble compounds. The two main forms are vitamin D2 (that’s ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). They each have their own special roles and sources, but both are key to helping keep us healthy and strong.
"Vitamin D3" or cholecalciferol, is a unique and important form of vitamin D that's not broken down into other types. When you're looking for dietary supplements, D3 is a go-to as it's typically more effective than vitamin D2 in maintaining healthy vitamin D levels in your blood. So, take a peek at the bottle and ensure it lists “cholecalciferol” as the ingredient
Pro Tip: Choosing the right Vitamin D supplements can be a bit confusing as they're often sold in international units (IU), a measurement unique to vitamin D. While Chat GPT is a handy resource for quick information about appropriate dosages, remember it's just a starting point. Always verify the dosage and consult a healthcare professional to ensure the supplement and dosage are right for you.
Bones’ Best Friend
Vitamin D3 promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gut, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, particularly in older adults.
🧐 DYK: In the early 20th century, before vitamin D was discovered, sunlight therapy was used to treat children with rickets, a disease characterized by weakened, deformed bones
Fact ☑️: This study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that vitamin D supplementation could prevent osteoporosis and fractures in older adults. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2202106
Immune System Support
Vitamin D3 enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages — white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense — and decreases inflammation.
🧐 DYK: Higher vitamin D levels have been correlated with reduced risks of influenza, demonstrating the vitamin’s role in defending against respiratory infections.
Fact ☑️: Research in the Journal of Investigative Medicine highlights the role of vitamin D in enhancing the pathogen-fighting ability of monocytes and macrophages. PMID: 21527855
Vitamin D3 plays a role in maintaining muscle function and strength, potentially reducing the risk of falls and improving physical performance.
🧐DYK: Some studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation might enhance exercise performance by positively affecting muscle function. Additionally, Vitamin D plays a role in muscle cell growth and repair, contributing to muscle recovery after exercise or injury.
Fact ☑️: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has discussed the significance of vitamin D in maintaining muscle function and reducing the risk of falls. PMID: 32846760
Vitamin D3 is linked to the regulation of mood and may help reduce the risk of depression and other mental health disorders. Some research suggests it might play a role in cognitive function and may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
🧐 DYK: Vitamin D helps regulate the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in mood regulation and mental health.
Fact ☑️: A review in Nutrients discussed the role of vitamin D in mood regulation and reduction of depression risk. PMID: 24732019
Vitamin D and the "Heart Sun" Connection
It may play a role in cardiovascular health by regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Much like how sunlight is essential for plants, vitamin D (often produced through sunlight exposure) is crucial for heart health. An adequate level of vitamin D is vital for optimal cardiovascular function.
🧐 DYK: Some studies suggest that vitamin D can play a role in regulating cholesterol levels, contributing to overall cardiovascular health.
Fact ☑️: This study explored the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. 19593102