Vitamin D3 benefits

Most Americans do their best to stay healthy and fit. Unfortunately, all the conflicting information out there – on television, in magazines, on the internet, and even from the pens of experts in medical journals – can make staying healthy the right way a difficult and challenging task. For example, most of us know that we need plenty of vitamins and minerals every day in order to maintain the health and regularity of all the systems of the body, from the nervous system right down to the reproductive system and skeletal system. But what we often don’t know is the exact right combination of vitamins and minerals we need. And part of that stems from confusion about what each vitamin and mineral does for our body. Other fears stem from overdose. Not enough iron in our blood can cause terrible conditions like anemia, but too much iron – such a drinking from an iron contaminated well – can actually lead to illness and neurological effects. Today though, we are going to take the mystery out of at least one vital vitamin, and that vitamin is vitamin D3.

We have all heard of vitamin D. It’s the vitamin that we get from exposure to the sun. In fact, the need for vitamin D is important in the human evolutionary cycle. Because dark skin blocks out vital vitamin D, people who are historically from hot and extremely sunny places developed dark skin in order to prevent damage from too much sun exposure. On the other hand, in cold places where the sun rarely shown, people evolved with light skin. People with light skin were thought to be hardier and thus thought to be naturally selected because their light skin allowed them to soak up all the available sun, and thus all the available vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 also comes from sunlight. It also has a longer more scientific name, Cholecalciferol. (With that long winded name, it is easy to see why scientists and regular folks prefer to call it plain old Vitamin D3.) Vitamin D3 allows the body to do all sorts of useful things, such as control phosphorous, calcium, bone metabolism and neuromuscular function, further, it’s the only vitamin that the body can manufacture using just the power of one of our planet’s most natural and bountiful resources – sunlight – alone.

Vitamin D3 is integral to something that’s important to all of us – bone health. Getting enough vitamin D3 can actually significantly help prevent fractures. Further, bone health isn’t the only thing that vitamin D3 is good for. Vitamin D3 can also provide other health benefits and may help with such disparate conditions as back pain, cancer, bone insulin resistance and pre-eclampsia (a condition some women develop during pregnancy.)

Interestingly, getting enough vitamin D3 can also help alleviate symptoms of depression. We have all heard of conditions such as Seasonable Affective Disorder (SAD), which finds that people who get less sunlight in their lives are actually prone to depression. This is why sometimes people who live above the arctic circle in places that are dark six straight months out of the year are sometimes prone to depression and even psychosis. But apparently Vitamin D3, because it is naturally related to the life giving and depression lifting sun, can actually help people overcome feelings of depression related to excessive darkness or SAD.

Vitamin D3 is an interesting and important vitamin and one that you should inquire about with your primary care physician, especially if you are worried about your bone health or are experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. Just be sure to get a check up before adding any new elements to your diet, as significant dietary changes may bring on or complicate existing health problems.

Last updated on Jul 20th, 2010 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses for “Vitamin D3 benefits”

  1. Jenan S. Shamoun says:

    I have MS since 1989. I walk with a cain. I drag my right leg. I’m weak!! Will D3 help?

    • Dennis Mapes says:

      I would try 2 to 3 doses per day of 5000 IU of vit D-3 with 1200 mg of absorbable calcium and 1200 mg of fish oil. Hope that it helps. Dennis

  2. Chuck Gwin. says:

    Will taking 5000 IU. affect your blood pressure ?

Comments are closed