Vitamin D, is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is found in some foods, and is also made in the body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Vitamin D exists in several forms, each with a different activity. Some forms are relatively inactive in the body, and have limited ability to function as a vitamin. The liver and kidney help convert vitamin D to its active hormone form.
The major function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones, and promotes bone mineralization.
Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, soft, or misshapen. Vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, which are skeletal diseases that result in defects that weaken bones.
Vitamin D is crucial to fending off infections. This super-vitamin plays a key role in boosting the immune system and scientists have identified reduced vitamin D levels in winter months as a key factor in the increase of infectious disease cases.
In particular, research has found that it triggers and arms the body's T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses. Vitamin D is crucial to activating the immune defences and without sufficient intake of the vitamin, the killer cells of the immune system - T cells - will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.
These T cells activate and multiply at an explosive rate and can create an inflammatory environment with serious consequences for the body. Therefore vitamin D is crucial not only in fighting disease but also in dealing with anti-immune reactions of the body, like arthritis.
A review of 28 studies on the relationship between vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D and a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Vitamin D Fights cancer
Vitamin D affects virtually every cell in the body and is one of most potent natural cancer fighters. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from the bones to the brain.
The body's organs convert vitamin D in the bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. This is then used by the organs to repair damage, including that from cancer cells.
Theories linking vitamin D to certain cancers have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and more and more evidence is emerging hthat vitamin D plays a key role in the prevention of all types of cancer.
Vitamin D's protective effect against cancer works in multiple ways, including:
Optimize Your vitamin D Levels
Another option is taking a vitamin D supplement. Make sure to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the natural form of this vitamin, and not the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2.
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