All vitamins are nutrients and some are called essential nutrients because they can only come from sources outside of the body, such as food or supplements. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are only needed in small quantities such as magnesium, sodium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Macronutrients, on the other hand, are nutrients needed in larger quantities like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble or lipid-soluble vitamin required by the body for a variety of functions. Vitamin D is a micronutrient found in the body in two forms. The first is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] or calcitriol, which is a hormone made by the kidney. Most vitamin D is found in the second form 25-hydroxyvitmain D [25(OH)D] or calcidiol, which is not a hormone.
The body makes Vitamin D naturally through exposure to sunlight. In the summer months, when our skin is exposed to sunlight regularly, we can maintain normal Vitamin D levels. During the winter months, however, most people need to take a supplement to maintain appropriate levels.
I supplement with Vitamin D3 that also contains Vitamin K2-mk7. This is to help ensure that the Vitamin D3 does not get to toxic levels. Vitamin D toxicity results in high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination. In other words, you feel really bad.
I get Deal Supplement's brand from Amazon on auto-ship, as it is the most economical, and I take 5,000-10,000 IUs per day.
Top 5 Benefits of Vitamin D
Bone Health. Many of us grew up with the milk commercials highlighting how Vitamin D in milk “does the body good” and is great for bones. This is because of Vitamin D’s ability to promote calcium-phosphorus absorption in the gut and enable calcium mobilization in bone.
When my youngest son broke his leg, Vitamin D3 with K2-mk7 was a regular part of his supplement regimen to speed healing.
Inflammation and Autoimmunity. We discussed Vitamin D3 supplementation as a treatment for autoimmunity in this.
This 2012 article gives a good overview of how Vitamin D3 is a key factor linking innate and adaptive immunity and how Vitamin D3 insufficiency is linked to immune disorders, including inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D3 supplementation has been in the news most recently in relation to Covid-19. This peer-reviewed paper from 2022 links Vitamin D3, inflammation, diabetes, and Covid-19, where diabetics low in Vitamin D3 have a higher mortality rate from Covid-19. More on Covid-19 and Vitamin D3 can be found at https://c19vitamind.com/.
Sleep. In a peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in May 2022 in Nutrition and Health, researchers found that Vitamin D supplementation significantly improved sleep quality. Another study published in 2021, Basic and Clinical Neuroscience found that cognition, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness in an adolescent girl population were all improved by high-dose Vitamin D supplementation. This is due to Vitamin D’s ability to modulate various cellular signals important for sleep and brain function.
Muscle. Vitamin D3 and muscles? Really? Yes! This study showed that people who supplement with 3 grams of β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) and 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 and didn’t exercise had a nearly identical increase in muscle as a group who did exercise and a group who both exercised and supplemented. I talk about this study more in this blog.
Cancer. Vitamin D3 is known to be linked to the prevention of cancer, but is it a treatment for cancer? I don’t often talk about supplements treating cancer because I cannot due to FDA regulations. But Mara Labs products do not contain Vitamin D3, so in this instance, I can.
Yes, Vitamin D3 is a treatment for many types of cancers! This is mainly seen in prospective, longitudinal studies where people with cancer who supplement with Vitamin D3 live longer.