Wait, I thought there was just one vitamin D?
Actually, vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. It’s a family of fat-soluble nutrients that share similar chemical structures. Beyond being produced in your skin as a result of direct sunlight, vitamin D is absorbed through our diet. The most commonly found in your diet are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. While both a part of the vitamin D family, D2 and D3 are different in multiple ways.
What’s the difference?
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, regulates bone growth and plays a role in immune function. When someone says vitamin D, we often think of the sun. While it’s true that our skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, those who spend most of their time indoors or live at a high altitude need to resort to getting the recommended amounts from their diet and supplementation. Vitamin D3 is found mostly in animal sourced products such as oily fish, egg yolks, and butter while vitamin D2 is found mostly in plant sources such as mushrooms or fortified foods such as milk. Both vitamin D’s are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream; however the liver metabolizes vitamin D3 better.
What does this mean?
Well, when the body processes vitamin D, it metabolizes it into compounds known as calcifediol. Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and the levels of it in your blood reflect your body’s stores of vitamin D. Physicians test your calcifediol levels to check for vitamin D deficiencies. Studies show that vitamin D3 yields more calcifediol than vitamin D2, with some studies suggesting that a single dose is nearly twice as effective as its counterpart. Due to this, it is suggested you consider supplementing your diet with vitamin D3 over D2.
What will it do for me?
Vitamin D has several important duties, such as regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and promoting normal immune function. It is so vital to your daily function, that being vitamin D deficient can lead to soft bones or brittle bones, fatigue, being sick more often and more! Now that you know the basics on why vitamin D, specifically vitamin D3, is so important let’s take a look four benefits of vitamin D3 you might not know about!
1 Protects Your Heart
Research suggests that having a deficiency in vitamin D3 increases the risk of heart disease or heart attack. Studies also show that vitamin D3 helps regulate blood pressure, preventing hypertension and ultimately supporting long term heart health.
2 Boosts Your Mood
When absorbed into the body, vitamin D3 activates neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that affect brain development and overall function. A change of vitamin D3 levels in your body can affect the production and release of these neurotransmitters, therefore affecting your mood. Low levels of vitamin D3 have been linked to depression or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a mood disorder featuring depressive symptoms, occurring during the times of the year when there is relatively little sunshine. While this is not to say that supplementing with vitamin D3 will cure depression, studies show that vitamin D3 deficiencies have been known to impair or prolong recovery from depression.
3 Preserves Your Memory
Studies show that older adults with lower vitamin D3 levels are at greater risk for losing their memory and cognitive abilities faster than those with higher vitamin D3 levels. A recent study found that the risk for cognitive impairment was up to four times greater in those who had vitamin D3 levels below 25 when compared to those who had levels 75 and above. Supplementing with vitamin D3 can help prevent or delay the risk of dementia, memory loss, and help manage your overall thinking process.
4 Soothes Your Stomach
Vitamin D3 helps regulate the inflammation levels in your gut, soothing your stomach and aiding digestion. It is common to see those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) have low levels of vitamin D3 in their system, which may result in increased inflammation and therefore exacerbate their symptoms.
Vitamin D3 is a very important nutrient to the body with a long list of health benefits; however, it is difficult to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from the foods we eat. The high-quality formula in Vivid Health Nutrition High Potency Vitamin D3 provides a long list of health benefits that include supporting and maintaining strong bones and teeth, promoting healthy metabolism, cardiovascular, heart, colon, & immune system function as well as regulating blood pressure, fighting depression, reducing stress and more.