Spring is here! As we feel the warmth of the sun as it peeks through winter and the flowers and trees show signs of beautiful things to come, we find ourselves turning our faces towards the sun, soaking in the warmth and the feeling of new beginnings.
With the sun comes an essential vitamin for our health, vitamin D. We thought it would be fun to dive into understanding a little more about this important vitamin and how it supports our health.
Fun Facts About Vitamin D
- There is a vitamin D receptor attached to the nucleus of almost every cell in the body
- Sunlight is the best form of Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D is fat-soluble (like A, E, and K) and is absorbed well with fat and stored in the liver and fatty tissues
We’ve all heard that Vitamin D is good for us, but how does this really work in the body, and why does it work?
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in the repertoire of vitamins your body needs, and it regulates hundreds of immune and biological sessions in our bodies. Mood, bone and body pain, kidney stones, muscle weakness, and tenderness in the body are all regulated by a person’s vitamin D level.
Did you know that there is a Vitamin D receptor in the nucleus of almost every cell in the body?
That’s right! Vitamin D levels are essential for supporting all cellular functions and support the body’s immunity levels.
It is thought that if you could only take one supplement, vitamin D would be THE ONE. Just make sure you have the cofactors for it…
The Importance of Cofactors
One of the keys to taking vitamin D supplements is to be sure that you consume vitamin D with fat. Like most supplements, vitamin D requires additional cofactors for the body to properly process it. Fat is one of the cofactors needed to help vitamin D be absorbed.
Remember drinking vitamin D enriched milk as a kid? Ever wondered why vitamin D in milk is so important? Well, it’s because of cofactors that help with absorption.
If you did not have the vitamin D with your milk, you would need to consume 20x more calcium to get your daily required value!
The body needs calcium for many bodily functions (bones, teeth, squeezing muscles, and cardiovascular health), and vitamin D helps calcium absorb into the body. In short, vitamin D helps get calcium where it needs to go in the body.
Without a functioning liver or fat, vitamin D will have a difficult time being absorbed in the body.
There is synergy between A, D, E, and K2 . All the body’s fat-soluble vitamins can increase each other’s degradation in the body. It is also thought that vitamin D should be taken with additional fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). For example, when a person receives a large dose of vitamin D, the body thinks it has all of these fat-soluble vitamins and releases enzymes to break down mega-dosing for all of the fat-soluble vitamins resulting in potential deficiencies for A, E, and K. In short, when taking vitamin D, be sure to consume the other fat-soluble vitamins with it.
Most of the population (75%) of people living on earth are deficient in Vitamin D. Why?
Many factors can prevent the absorption of vitamin D. Gut damage (leaky gut), age, skin pigment, excessive exposure to the sun, genetics, chronic infection, and metabolic issues (diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease) all increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
What’s the best way to get vitamin D?
The best form of vitamin D is from sunlight. The sun provides UV rays, and then the skin converts it into cholecalciferol, and Vitamin D is often known as cholecalciferol.
The body then takes this form and processes it in the liver. Then the kidneys convert the vitamin D into the active form and sends it to the lungs, where it is then dispersed throughout the body.
So Just Remember…
When you see that sun shining outside, take a moment to turn your face towards it Take a deep breath. Think of new beginnings. Be thankful for the warmth and the Vitamin D!
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