Vitamin D Does More Than You Think

Vitamin D

We’ve all heard it before. Our Moms have been telling us for years.

“Make sure you’re taking your Vitamins!” they say.  “You’ll get sick if you don’t take enough Vitamin C!” she will say.

OK, maybe not all Moms harp on the subject all the time, but mine sure did. I never paid much attention until I really started researching different Vitamins and what their benefits were to the human body. Today, I’m going to outline some of the beneficial effects of Vitamin D that have just been discovered relatively recently in the scientific community.

So, What Does Vitamin D Do?

First, let’s start with what we’ve been told growing up. We’ve known that Vitamin D is responsible for healthy bones by controlling the absorption and distribution of calcium in the bloodstream. The truth is though, that Vitamin D does much more than that! In fact, Vitamin D plays a key role in functions that drastically affect your day to day life. Let’s go through a few of them.

It is important to note that Vitamin D is actually a fat soluble vitamin that acts as a hormone. By acting as a hormone, Vitamin D directly controls the expression of approximately 1,000 genes in the human body. This discovery has spurred a huge burst of attention to Vitamin D deficiencies and supplementation, as Vitamin D is even more important that we originally thought. Since Vitamin D controls the expression of these genes, that means if you’re deficient, these genes will either malfunction or not be expressed at all.

By acting as a hormone, Vitamin D directly controls the expression of approximately 1,000 genes in the human body.

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Vitamin D and Aging

It has also been proven that Vitamin D plays an important role in telomere length. What are telomeres? To put it simply, telomeres help to prevent and repair damage to your DNA. Without them we could not repair DNA, thus we wouldn’t be able to survive. As we age, telomeres get shorter and shorter.

Telomere Shortening

This affects their ability to repair strand breaks in DNA. Studies are finding that Vitamin D correlates with longer telomeres lengths, therefore Vitamin D is extremely important in preventing premature aging. One study found that Vitamin D levels affected telomere length so much, that it was equivalent to 5 years of aging in a normal human being. Vitamin D could quite literally add years to your life when taking in the proper dose and frequency.

It is important to note that unlike other Vitamins, there is a such thing as too much Vitamin D. The main difference between Vitamin D and others like say…B Vitamins is that Vitamin D is fat soluble. This means that the body stores excess Vitamin D in fat reserves. Having too much Vitamin D has a variety of dangerous side effects so it’s important to monitor your intake if you’re supplementing and not take too much.

A number of factors affect your Vitamin D levels. For example, the more body fat you have, the more is stored in that body fat. The more that’s stored in body fat makes Vitamin D levels less bioavailable (or easily used). Simply, the more fat you have, the more Vitamin D you’re likely to need to reach adequate levels. Dark skin is also another factor for decreased levels of Vitamin D. Darker toned skin contains more melanin than lighter, which makes it much more difficult to absorb Vitamin D from the sun (the main way Vitamin D is absorbed). Races with darker skin tones may well need to increase their Vitamin D intake. Genetics also play a huge role in absorption of Vitamin D. For these reasons, it is important to talk to your Doctor before starting any Vitamin D supplementation program.

In summary, Vitamin D plays a crucial role in a full spectrum of human health including gene expression, bone health, brain health and preventing the aging process. Starting a Vitamin D supplementation regimen may very well be appropriate for most people. It has been shown that 60-70% of Americans are either deficient or borderline deficient in Vitamin D. Speak to your doctor today about the benefits of Vitamin D and whether or not you should be taking it daily.

60-70% of Americans are either deficient or borderline deficient in Vitamin D.  @HealthHaxor

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Stephen Ralph
Stephen Ralph
Stephen is the Founder of Health Haxor, an active duty USAF service member, online entrepreneur and fitness buff. In between a busy schedule Stephen is an active contributor to Health Haxor and regularly posts articles related to men's health, fitness and nutrition.
Stephen Ralph

@healthhaxor

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