It’s called the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason. Vitamin D is produced in your skin only in response to direct sunlight and the amount produced depends on the time of day, where you live in the world, and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose, the more vitamin D is produced.
Vitamin D performs several important functions in the body. These include the facilitation of a health immune system and the regulation of the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. A sufficient amount of vitamin D is required for physical growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. Insufficient amounts of vitamin D may put you at risk for developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
1. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune function
Research has shown that vitamin D supports the immune system and may reduce your risk of developing heart disease and infectious diseases, such as the flu.
2. Vitamin D regulates mood
Recent studies have determined that vitamin D may play an important role in regulating mood and reducing depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms. Researchers discovered that vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.
3. Vitamin D boosts weight loss and prevents heart disease
Adding vitamin D to your diet may help you lose weight while preventing heart disease. In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo. The researchers believe this is due to the appetite-suppressing properties of calcium and vitamin D. In another study, people who took a daily vitamin D supplement didn’t lose a significant amount of weight, but were able to improve their heart disease risk markers.