15 Sep Vitamin D3: What You Need to Know
Vitamin D3 is not necessarily a vitamin as we generally think of vitamins. It is actually a hormone, generated by the body in response to sun exposure.
D3 supplementation is free! Just 20 minutes a day of sun exposure on untanned skin is basically what is required to optimize your levels. However, as we age our ability to make Vitamin D3 from sun exposure diminishes.
There are many other benefits of Vitamin D3:
- Anti-cancer. There are numerous studies showing that optimal levels of D3 decrease the risk of up to 20 major cancers including melanoma, breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.
- Great for the heart. Studies show that low levels of D3 increase the risk of heart attack 2.4 times compared to optimal levels. Men have 6X the risk and women 3X the risk of hypertension with suboptimal D3 levels.
- Great for the bones. Long considered a staple in bone health, Vitamin D3 plays a huge role in calcium metabolism and is important in the battle against osteoporosis.
- Prevents frailty and falls. In addition to strengthening the skeleton, Vitamin D has been found to prevent falls in the elderly, more in men than women but low levels are definitely associated with frailty. A recent NFL study found more muscle injuries in those with low vitamin D3 levels.
- Decreases inflammation. Control of systemic inflammation is one of the keys to health and longevity and optimal D levels play a role in keeping inflammation in check.
- Prevents autoimmune disease. There are a number of autoimmune diseases that are positively impacted by having an optimized vitamin D3 level. Multiple Sclerosis is one such disease where there is a strong correlation between low D3 levels and the disease. Much of the anti-inflammatory link of D3 also has to do with helping to prevent autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid, lupus etc can possibly be prevented with optimal levels.
- Prevents the flu. Rather than getting the flu vaccine. Not to get into the politics and nuances of vaccines but research shows that D3 levels are lowest in the winter months (less sun exposure) and coincidently flu is most common during this time period, there is quite possibly a connection.
- D3 has been demonstrated in studies to help modulate and improve insulin resistance. This means that optimal D levels may even help prevent and modulate type 2 diabetes.
- Vitamin D3 affects 2000 genes in the body. Bottom line it is important to optimize your Vit D3 levels.
- Optimal levels 60-80. Generic recommendation 5000 IU Vit D3 daily.