Benefits of Vitamin D
About 1 billion people across the globe are vitamin D deficient whereas 50% of the world population has vitamin D insufficiency. The benefits of vitamin D are so powerful and mind boggling that vitamin D has been considered as a “PROHORMONE OR MULTI-FUNCTION HORMONE” because it is immensely responsible for processing and impacting various processes in the body. This blog will give you the TOP 5 BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D. Top 11 High Vitamin D Foods
The Power of Sunlight
The Sun is an incredibly strong, inexpensive, unpolluted and almost omnipresent source of vitamin D and regular exposure to it can significantly increase the vitamin D levels in your body. The sunlight does not carry vitamin D in itself but when the sunlight falls onto the skin, the 7-dehydrocholestrol present in the skin absorbs the UV B radiation and converts into previtamin D3 which in turn isomerizes into vitamin D3.
So, basically exposure of the skin to sunlight initiates vitamin D synthesis in the body. This is why it is always suggested to expose as much skin as possible to the sun so as to increase the vitamin D production. The sunlight provides adequate vitamin D and in most instances it provides extremely high amounts of vitamin D, which you will get to know as you proceed further in the blog. 10 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Vitamin C
Powerful Benefits of Vitamin D
1. Bone Health
One of the most crucial benefits of vitamin D is that it is essential for calcium absorption and bone mineralization and is positively associated with BMD(Bone Mineral Density).
It maintains the adequate calcium and phosphorus levels, maintains the correct ratio between them and also helps in the absorption of them. That is why people who are calcium deficient, no matter how much calcium they intake, if their vitamin D levels are improper then their body will not absorb vitamin D properly.
As low vitamin D levels can hinder the absorption of calcium, because of that the most common bone diseases found are osteoporosis(Bones become weak and brittle) and osteomalacia(Bones become soft) which can lead to severe fractures even through minor traumas.
2. Mental Health
Research has shown a very strong link between vitamin D and depression psychiatric issues. However, more research is required to establish a conclusive outcome because studies are a bit varying and conflicting. Top 5 Incredible Benefits of Ashwagandha
- A study published in the journal, Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism indicated that daily vitamin D supplementation decreases the cortisol/cortisone ratio and also ameliorate CVD(Cardiovascular Disease) risk factors.
- Another study published in January 2020 in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine reviewed a total of 61 articles which showed a relation between vitamin D and depression, though the directionality of the relation remains unclear.
- But one study in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in November 2021, conducted a systematic review which did not confirm a positive influence of vitamin D on mental health, however showed a little influence on depression but not on any other mental issues.
3. Physiological Benefits
This section of the article will extremely surprise you, because it contains the most mind boggling benefits of regular intake of vitamin D on your physicality and physical health.
1) Testosterone Booster
If you are suffering from male hypogonadism(Low testosterone levels), then the first and one of the most important pills which will be given to you by the doctor would be vitamin D supplement. Why? Because vitamin D is strongly recommended to improve testosterone levels significantly. Though some studies are conflicting. Also vitamin D levels have been directly and strongly linked to the strength and muscle size of an individual.
- A randomized controlled trial was done under the Hormone and Metabolic Research which resulted that the vitamin D supplementation on 200 nondiabetic subjects, out of which 165 participants(54 men) completed the trial showed a pretty drastic increase in total testosterone, bioactive testosterone and free testosterone levels.
- But another randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed no significant increment in testosterone and androgen levels. But these people were already suffering from low testosterone levels.
- Also as mentioned earlier in this blog, vitamin D reduces the levels of cortisol in the body and cortisol and testosterone are inversely related, which means decreased cortisol levels will induce a potent rise in testosterone levels.
2) Immunity Booster
Many of us have seen, especially in India that our parents in old times and still many of the people today, keep the pillows, blankets and even the pulses stretched out on the roof top under the sunlight because practice cleans and disinfects them. The same happens within our body. Sunlight being a natural disinfectant, intake of vitamin D through sunlight obliterates the impurities, bacteria and viruses inside the body and blood vessels.
That is why people often notice that their urine turns yellow after taking sunlight because of the toxins being flushed out of the body. Multiple studies have proven that regular exposure to sunlight increases the immunity of an individual multifold.
3) Disease Prevention
Due to the amazing potential of vitamin D amplifying the immunity manifold, the scientific researches have come up with astonishing proofs of how it can prevent multiple severe diseases. Vitamin D has been proven to prevent cardiovascular disease, hypertension, tuberculosis, auto-immune disease, diabetes, various types of cancer and so on. 6 Amazing Benefits of Watermelon
- A study in the Aging and Disease journal in May 2017, indicated that postmenopausal women who increased their vitamin D intake by 1100 IU of vitamin D3 reduced their relative risk of cancer by 60%-77%.
Exposing yourself to the sunlight can amplify your health in every sense and it will be the biggest favor which you will do for your body. There is a major vitamin d inadequacy and as well as deficiency in the world’s population and because of which as you get older the problems you suffer through aging become severe. Today modern science is also proving the astonishing health benefits one can reap from the sun exposure.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS(FAQs)
Q1. How much vitamin does sunlight exposure give?
Ans. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight can even produce to 10,000 IU vitamin D. But the amount of vitamin d production depends on the amount of skin exposed, angle of the sun, place where the person is living, etc.
Q2. How much time should you expose yourself to the sun?
Ans. On an average it is recommended to spend 10-30 minutes under the sun to have maximum benefit. But again it depends on the individual because of the factors such as the skin color of the individual, day time, etc.
Q3. How much skin should be exposed while taking sunlight?
Ans. It is always better to expose as much skin as possible to the sun while still being decent. The more you will expose the skin, the more vitamin D your body will produce. A study showed people who exposed 22% of the body to the sunlight were able to get sufficient vitamin D.
Q4. Should you apply sunscreen while exposing the body to the sunlight?
Ans. No, you should not apply the sunscreen while taking sunlight. The studies have shown a slight effect on the vitamin D production due to the usage of sunscreen while taking sunlight as it blocks the UVB rays which is required for the skin to synthesize vitamin D. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology slightly proves this theory.
Q5. At which time of the day taking sunlight is best?
Ans. It is always best to take sunlight in either at morning time or evening time because the sun rays are not also harsh and the chances of sun burn and skin issues decrease. It is advisable to avoid the afternoon time because the sun rays are too harsh. Also according to the time, the time you spend will also fluctuate. If you take sunlight at afternoon time, then your time span will decrease because the UVB rays are high so the body will take less time to produce vitamin D.
Q6. How often should you expose your body to the sunlight in a week?
Ans. It is better to expose your body to the sunshine vitamin D regularly but 2-3 times a week is a must.
Q7. Is taking sunlight harmful? Can it cause sun burns or skin cancer?
Ans. No, taking sunlight is not harmful at all given that you are taking it on the right day time and in the prescribed limit. Only too much exposure of sunlight can cause issues, which is very rare in this era where people are not even meeting their recommended vitamin D requirement.
Q8. What is the recommended dosage of vitamin D for a normal individual?
Ans. The recommended dosage of vitamin D for a normal individual who wants to be healthy and maintain proper vitamin D levels is 1000iu-4000iu, to be specific 2000iu per day is a sweet spot and good enough.