One of the hottest supplements today is vitamin D, and specifically vitamin D3. More and more research is showing all the benefits of Vitamin D. There are two types of vitamin D, vitamin D2 and D3, but it is vitamin D3 that has garnered all the attention for its benefits.
Vitamin D is actually a group of fat-soluble prohormones that can be obtained from exposure to sunshine, foods, or supplements. All the buzz about this powerful vitamin began several years ago when research started to come in showing the powerful benefits of this vitamin, especially vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
The basic function of vitamin D is to facilitate calcium and phosphorus absorption from food into the intestines and then into the bloodstream and help in bone growth and keep bones strong. One of the main reasons for making sure you received enough vitamin D was to prevent the diseases of rickets and osteomalacia. The minimum requirement for vitamin D has been 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D for many years but in 2010 the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) was modified to different amounts according to ages, with infants remaining at 400 IU, while adults going up to 600 IU and elderly people to 800 IU. This amount has been under sharp criticism recently as still being too low and many scientists are calling for higher levels help make better use of the amazing benefits of this vitamin.
While vitamin D is not prevalent in a lot of foods, it can be found in various fish like sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring, along with cod liver oil and eggs. The main way most people receive their source of vitamin D is through sun exposure or foods that have been fortified with vitamin D. A minimum exposure of 10 minutes of sunlight should be enough to keep you from getting a vitamin D deficiency but now more scientists are saying research is showing that higher doses are needed to help the body optimally.
The latest research is showing positive benefits of higher doses of vitamin D3 in strengthening the immune system, helping the cardiovascular system, reducing inflammation in the body, assisting in neuromuscular functioning, and helping prevent certain cancers.
What does this mean for you? One of the best things you can do is get your blood level of vitamin D checked to make sure you are not deficient. If you are then you need to make sure you are getting about 20 minutes of sunshine daily, or taking a vitamin D supplement.
Besides the RDAs, many health professionals recommend supplemental doses ranging from 1,000 IU’s to 3,000 or 4,000 IU’s of this amazing vitamin. Different health practitioners vary in what dosage you should be taken and the amount you take should be dictated by how deficient your blood levels are.
So go get a blood test to check your vitamin D levels, and if you are low, then increase your dosage.