One vitamin critical for health is vitamin D3. However, about 40 percent of the U.S. population may be deficient in D3. This vitamin helps prevent many diseases and health problems. It is important for lowering the risk for enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Plus, D3 is one of the best anti-aging nutrients out there.
Vitamin D3 is commonly called a vitamin, but since our bodies can synthesize it from exposure to sunlight, it is actually a hormone (also called cholecalciferol).
We can get this substance from diet and through supplementation. This hormone affects many different areas of the body, including your weight, appetite, and even your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
As you age, your vitamin D production per hour of sun exposure goes down, while the incidence of hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and go up. That is why it is important to get enough vitamin D as grow older, and why regular lab work to determine your levels is required to know your actual needs. In general, people over age 50 need higher amounts of vitamin D than younger people.
You are at greatest risk for vitamin D deficiency if you:
- Live in a northern latitude, or in a place that gets little sunlight.
- Are over the age of 50.
- Have a dark skin pigmentation.
- Suffer from kidney disease.
- Have liver damage.
- Are obese.
- Live in a nursing home.
- Suffer from celiac disease or another inflammatory bowel condition.
Vitamin D For Prostate Health
Adequate vitamin D levels can support prostate health in several ways. Some studies have found that a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of prostate cancer and that men who have prostate cancer are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D than men without prostate cancer. Other studies have found that vitamin D helps men lower their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. Another way vitamin D can help prostate health is by lowering the risk for enlarged prostate.
Vitamin D For Colorectal Cancer
There has been much research on the association between vitamin D and other cancers, such as colorectal cancer. A study conducted by cancer prevention experts found that a high intake of vitamin D could reduce colorectal cancer rate by two-thirds. When researchers in Scotland measured the vitamin blood levels of people with colon cancer, they found that vitamin D, in particular, reduced their risk of dying by 50 percent.
In this study, people possessing the top levels of vitamin D in their bodies had half the risk of succumbing to cancer compared to other folks in the research.
Vitamin D For Heart Health
Vitamin D and cardiovascular health are closely related. Not only can vitamin D lower your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, according to one study, it can lower your risk for a heart attack by 33 percent and heart failure by 20 percent. Another study found that patients with very low levels of vitamin D were almost 75 percent more likely to have a stroke and more likely to die than those with adequate levels.
Vitamin D For Bone Health
Vitamin D is important for helping the body absorb calcium and phosphate for stronger bones. Vitamin D also helps bones grow and repair themselves. Without enough vitamin D, you may lose bone, be more likely to break bones, and experience an increased risk of falling and breaking your hip.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of vitamin D for bone health. When compared to a placebo, vitamin D showed a 75 percent probability of being better for preventing fractures. Taking a vitamin D supplement can increase bone density by 20 percent in just a few months.
Vitamin D And Diabetes
Vitamin D controls your blood sugar and helps balance your insulin levels. Adequate vitamin D may lower risk factors for diabetes by improving insulin resistance and sensitivity. A large study in England found that people with high blood levels of vitamin D had a 50 percent reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Vitamin D And Back Pain
If your back hurts, you’re not alone. Serious back pain is a global epidemic. The problem: You and millions of other people don’t get enough of the anti-back pain vitamin. Research at the University of Minnesota has shown that many people suffering back pain have barely any vitamin D circulating in their blood.
Vitamin D And Cavities
Vitamin D can significantly shrink your chances of suffering painful cavities in your teeth. Research at the University of Washington showed that vitamin D was associated with an approximately 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay.
Vitamin D And Fibroids
Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomata, are noncancerous tumors of the uterus. They often cause pain and bleeding in premenopausal women and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States. But researchers have learned women can lower their risk of this painful problem by more than 30 percent when they take vitamin D.
Vitamin D And An Aging Brain
One particular vitamin that is crucial to keep your brainpower from dimming as you grow older is vitamin D. Without this nutrient, your risk of Alzheimer’s climbs and your thinking abilities are more liable to slip.
Vitamin D And Other Conditions
Additionally, vitamin D influences other areas of health. Many people with neurological problems, autoimmune disorders and sleep problems are low in vitamin D. Low levels of D may be associated with a higher risk of depression, obesity, Crohn’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.