There is no denying that for a long time now, Vitamin E and C have been known to be the supplement lovers’ darling. However, these vitamin superstars are slowly being dethroned by a long-neglected newcomer: Vitamin D.
Over the past few decades, extensive study and research in the benefits of Vitamin D have revealed a couple of pleasantly startling perks of incorporating dietary Vitamin D in one’s daily or weekly nutritional regimen. If anything, the significance of these benefits has been so noteworthy that the micronutrient has been lauded as being a miracle of some sort. Here is a quick primer to that.
1. Keeps cancer at bay
Strictly technically speaking, Vitamin D is a variation of a hormone. It is involved in the absorption and utilisation of calcium ( among an array of other vital elements ) from dietary sources. This means that almost every cell in your body requires a healthy dose of Vitamin D to function optimally and at full capacity.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum, this also implies that a severe deficiency of this micronutrient inhibits these important biochemical process and thus contributes immensely in the breaking down of cellular systems which can quickly aggravate to cancerous tumours.
In fact, according to a 2006 study, it is evident that there is a tangible relationship between a reduced risk of cancer and sufficient Vitamin D. The evidence collected during this research also proves that Vitamin D supplementation can significantly reduce cancer incidence in a society plagued with a history of severe deficiency of the same nutrient.
Also, given that Vitamin D is closely associated with the formation of healthy and dense bones, an acute deficiency can set precedence to the occurrence of different forms of cancerous ailments such as breast, ovarian, colon and prostate cancers
2. Boosts muscle size and strength
This one, without a doubt, comes as a surprise to many. We all know Vitamin D is a major player in the development and maintenance of bone skeletal tissue. But, apparently, an exhaustive study conducted back in 2008 extends these benefits to muscle strength and size.
In the research, subjects who received active supplementation of vitamin D demonstrated less muscle wasting and progressive weakness compared to those who did not get any form of supplementation. And this proves two or three things. For starters, Vitamin D plays a significant role in the development, maintenance and growth of the body’s muscular tissues. This stems from the fact the presence of Vitamin D is vital to the proper functioning of your muscle’s most basic unit – the muscle cell.
In addition to that, the evidence of progressive muscle weakening and wasting implies that Vitamin D is privy to normal muscle contractility. Lastly, treatment with a regular dosage of Vitamin D is strongly linked to greater muscle strength and size.
Therefore, if you’re looking to build muscle fast – especially in the aftermath of a long serious illness – you would be better served by integrating active Vitamin D supplementation with your daily diet.
3. It’s good for heart
Collaborative evidence picked up from a comprehensive 2010 study shows that Vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with the occurrence of several variations of myocardial diseases.
In this research, it was observed that mice that were subjected acute Vitamin D deficiency developed instances of myocardial dysfunction and hypertrophy. And this rhymes with the long-held myth that young children with rickets – who also suffered from adverse heart failure – could be successfully treated by introducing a healthy dosage of Vitamin D supplementation.
And in adults, it is evident that nearly all patients diagnosed with heart failure also exhibit an acute reduction of 25-hydroxyvitamin D quantities in their blood stream. In simpler language, this meant that their Vitamin D levels were below normal and the vice versa is also true.
In other studies linked to this 2010 research, Vitamin D deficiency was also cited as an independent risk factor for deaths resulting from sudden cardiac arrests and progressive heart failure.
Otherwise, several Vitamin D impacts of contractility, electrophysiology and the general physical structure of the heart suggest that the deficiency of this micronutrient in one’s bloodstream is a major causal factor for a myriad of myocardial diseases.
4. Sharpen’s your mental prowess; keeps your brain healthy
A study done by medical and nutritional scientists at the University of Wisconsin in 2012 unearthed the fact that the presence of Vitamin D deactivates and activates enzymes found in the brain and the attaching cerebrospinal fluid.
And this is the same fluid that is responsible for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and activating nerve growth. Another separate research from the same institution tends to suggest that Vitamin D reduces inflammation of the brain cells and protects neurones. These two can amount easily to the conclusion that Vitamin D plays a crucial role in keeping the brain prime and healthy.
Another related research conducted at the University of Manchester ( England ) found out that the cognitive performance of subjects who were on active Vitamin D supplementation was notably higher than those of subjects suffering from the deficiency of the same.
And considering that cognitive impairment is usually one of the leading precursors of Alzheimer’s and dementia, then it is safe to conclude that Vitamin D supplements can go a long way in extending the normal functional life of an elderly individual.
5. Strengthen’s one’s skeletal frame
One of Vitamin D’s primary function in the body is promoting and boosting bone health. This originates from the medical evidence that Vitamin D sets the precedence for the healthy regulation of calcium levels in the bloodstream, and as a direct result keeps one skeletal frame in the best shape possible their age and other related health conditions can allow.
And from a long-term perspective, this cam stall the onset of most age-related ailments that tend to wreck damage on one’s skeletal frame.
The bottom line
The best thing about Vitamin D is that it is almost free of charge. Normally, our skin cells can synthesise this Vitamin whenever we are exposed to direct sunlight for a few minutes. So you have no excuse for missing out on these remarkable benefits of Vitamin D.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family. After all, sharing is caring!
Author: Annie Jones
Annie Jones is the founder of BoostBodyfit. She is a huge fan of healthy eating and living! She creates the blog purely to share her experiences and expertise on health, nutrition, exercise and everything else between. She is also a mother of two where she balances between her passion and biggest joy in life. Say Hi to Annie on Twitter: @boostbodyfit.