What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D3, also known as the "sunshine vitamin", is a fat-soluble nutrient essential for good health. Almost all human cells have vitamin D3 receptors, making it a key nutrient for cell differentiation and growth.
As it's synthesized in the body from cholesterol, vitamin D3 acts more like a hormone than a vitamin. It's involved in many physiological processes and has been found to influence around 3000 genes in the body.
It's best to consume vitamin D3 with vitamin K2 as they work synergistically to promote healthy calcium metabolism.
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Enhances the absorption and retention of minerals like calcium and phosphorus
- Supports strong bones and lowers the risk of fractures
- Enhances immunity and reduces respiratory infections
- Encourages a positive, balanced mood
- Promotes muscle strength and physical performance
How it Works
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), used in conjunction with vitamin K2, is most well-known for promoting strong bones and preventing fractures. It's particularly beneficial for older people, who are at increased risk for low bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis, and fractures. It enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption in the gut and prevents calcium loss.
Unfortunately, most people have sub-optimal vitamin D levels from being indoors for the majority of the day and not spending nearly enough time in direct sunlight. Additional risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include living in a cold climate, having a darker skin tone, and being vegan or vegetarian.
Besides getting more sunlight, the best way to boost vitamin D levels is via diet and supplementation. There are limited dietary sources of vitamin D, but it is obtained in small amounts from fatty fish, grass-fed butter, cheese, egg yolks, and organ meats. However, most people require extra support from a vitamin D3 supplement, especially if you're struggling with low immunity, sore muscles, osteoporosis, bone pain, or depression.
Vitamin D3 is a great supplement to keep on hand during cold and flu season. Receptors on immune cells allow vitamin D3 to interact closely with your immune system and strengthen your defenses. This may be why respiratory infections are more common during the winter when vitamin D levels are at their lowest.
Vitamin D3 supports brain function and mental well-being. Regular vitamin D3 supplementation has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, especially when taken during the winter months.
Additionally, healthy vitamin D levels are associated with greater physical performance and reduced risk of falling in older people. D3 supplementation is recommended to support fitness and muscle strength as you age.
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