I have always absolutely loved prescribing vitamin D to nutrition patients because of the multiple health benefits, including bone health, heart health, thyroid health, immune support and oral health. There is also some incredible research on how adequate vitamin D can support mood. Let’s take a closer look at this incredible vitamin…
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin used by the body for many important processes. Our bodies synthesise vitamin D naturally through adequate exposure to sunlight, or through dietary sources, such as oily-rich fish such as salmon, mackerel, and herring, sun-exposed mushrooms, eggs and dairy products. We love this Cauliflower Pizza recipe for a food-based hit of vitamin D.
How about a supplement?
Around 50% of the population has vitamin D insufficiency as they are not getting enough of this important vitamin through sun exposure and diet alone, which is where a quality supplement may be helpful.
I’m so excited to have just launched our very own JSHealth vegan Vitamin D + Bone + Heart Health formula. It is a “Foundation” range vitamin for a reason, as it really is essential for good health and wellbeing. This therapeutic formula is a great addition to your supplement routine to ensure you have all the vitamin D you need.
5 of My Favourite Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and bone mineralisation, which is positively associated with bone mineral density for healthy, strong bones.
One of the main functions of vitamin D is to increase calcium absorption from the intestines for the development of the bone matrix. Without enough vitamin D, the body absorbs no more than 10-15% of calcium from the diet. When there is enough vitamin D, the body absorbs 30-40% of dietary calcium.
Research shows that lower levels of vitamin D can negatively impact neural activity in the brain. Vitamin D has been linked with the production of serotonin (the happy hormone) and low levels of serotonin are evident in those with depression. This suggests that vitamin D may improve mood could help relieve symptoms of depression.
Low vitamin D is linked with increased risk of cardiovascular conditions and is also linked with high blood pressure, which is why having enough vitamin D is so key for heart health.
Vitamin D plays an important role in immune responses and immune system cells are able to synthesise and respond to Vitamin D.
- Laird E, Ward M, McSorley E, Strain JJ, Wallace J. Vitamin D and bone health: potential mechanisms. Nutrients. 2010;2(7):693-724.
- Bikle DD. Vitamin D and bone. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012;10(2):151-159.
- Christakos S, Dhawan P, Porta A, Mady LJ, Seth T. Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011;347(1-2):25-29.
- Khazai N, Judd SE, Tangpricha V. Calcium and vitamin D: skeletal and extraskeletal health. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2008;10(2):110-117.
- L. R. Harms, T. H. Burne, D. W. Eyles, and J. J. McGrath, “Vitamin D and the brain,” Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;25(4):657–669.
- Kheiri, B., Abdalla, A., Osman, M. et al. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular diseases: a narrative review. Clin Hypertens 24, 9 (2018).
- Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011;59(6):881-886.