What you might not know about the sunshine vitamin

What you might not know about the sunshine vitamin

Did you know that vitamin D is a nutrient and a hormone? Many organs in the body have vitamin D receptors. So research suggests that the benefits of vitamin D extend beyond bone health.

Chronic inflammation, poor immune function, and depression are linked to vitamin D deficiency, which is much more common than you might think. Therefore, knowing your vitamin D status is crucial, especially if you are battling chronic inflammation, get sick easily, or can’t overcome your low mood.

Insufficient time in the sun and low levels of vitamin D in food contribute to vitamin D deficiency. So if you are not getting enough of this essential vitamin naturally, a vitamin D3 supplement can help you meet your body’s requirements.

Vitamin D Deficiency

A study examining “Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among US adults” found that 70.3% of the general adult population in the U.S. have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency, defined as less than 75 nmol/l of vitamin D circulating in their bodies1

The ideal vitamin D level to maintain bone health is only 50 nmol/l. However, higher levels are required for other systems in the body to benefit. For example, to ensure normal bone and muscle structure and function, we need at least 75 nmol/l of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. And the latest research on the vitamin shows that we require a minimum of 100 nmol/l to reduce the risk of conditions such as some cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, and diabetes2.

Numerous factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency, including3:

  • Insufficient absorption of vitamin D
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Being older
  • Not enough time spent in the sun
  • Darker skin color
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Living in areas where there is not a lot of sunshine
  • Using medication that affects the metabolism of vitamin D
  • Chronic liver disease

When UV light hits your skin, vitamin D3 is produced. So during winter, when the sun is lower in the sky and shines for a shorter time, there is an increased chance that you will develop a vitamin D deficiency4. So it’s crucial to test your vitamin D levels at least once a year. 

Functions Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has numerous functions in your body, including4,5:

  • Calcium homeostasis
  • The proliferation and differentiation of cells
  • Immune regulation
  • Prevention of skin, colon, breast, and prostate cancer
  • Cardiovascular health
  • The prevention and management of depression

Traditionally thought of as a vitamin, it has become clear that vitamin D is a hormone precursor. And many of the roles it plays in the body are linked to its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties6.

As a hormone, vitamin D is known to increase calcium absorption from the intestine, increase calcium resorption from urine, and regulate parathyroid hormone to regulate calcium metabolism7

The Impact Of Vitamin D On Inflammation And Immune Health

Numerous studies have shown a link between vitamin D insufficiency and inflammatory diseases such as acute infections, cardiovascular disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. And vitamin D has been shown to modulate the innate immune response to pathogens and the adaptive immune response to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases8

Researchers studied the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and c-reactive protein (CRP - an inflammatory marker found in your blood). And they found when vitamin D deficiency was corrected through supplementation, the level of CRP in the blood dropped. In other words, there was a reduction in systemic inflammation9.

The Link Between Depression And Vitamin D Deficiency

When your immune system is not functioning as well as it should, it’s not only your body that’s affected. Your brain, and therefore your mood, are also influenced by immune dysregulation and chronic inflammation10.

Similar to the link between CRP and vitamin D, there’s a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Low levels of vitamin D can affect your mood in three ways: mood-influencing vitamin D receptors in the brain, immunity and inflammation, and the neuroprotective properties of vitamin D11

So, if vitamin D levels drop in winter and symptoms of depression increase (seasonal affective disorder), and there is a known link between depression and vitamin D deficiency, supplementing with vitamin D in the winter months may be beneficial. PharmaNutrics Vitamin D3 Drops are a convenient way to meet your vitamin D requirements during the winter months and prevent seasonal low mood. 

Not All Vitamin D Supplements Are The Same

Registered Dietitian Brittany Bettingen, MS RD, has found vitamin D deficiency to be extremely common in her patients. She says: 

"Over 80% of my patients have suboptimal vitamin D3 levels, so it’s one of the most common supplements I recommend."

You must choose your supplement wisely because not all vitamin D supplements are the same. You must first determine what form of vitamin D your supplement contains, D2 or D3. Vitamin D3 increases plasma vitamin D levels more efficiently than vitamin D2. It is also essential that your vitamin D supplement is formulated with oil since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. And finally, a liquid supplement is preferable to ensure more rapid absorption of the vitamin12,13.

The PharmaNutrics Vitamin D3 Drops tick all the boxes. Just three drops give you 1000 IU of vitamin D3, a conservative dose to avoid intoxication because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. And because it’s unflavored, it can be added to coffee, juice, smoothies, or any food or drink for easier consumption.

Conclusion

Whether you feel down in winter, get sick easily, or have an inflammatory disease, you may have insufficient levels of vitamin D in your blood. In addition, getting enough sunshine vitamin from the sun and your diet can be challenging. So supplementing with PharmaNutrics Vitamin D3 Drops can help you meet your body’s requirements for improved physical and mental health. 


References

  1. Liu X, Baylin A, Levy PD. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among US adults: prevalence, predictors and clinical implications. British Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2018 Apr 12 [cited 2022 Oct 3];(8):928–36. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114518000491 
  2. Bleizgys A. Vitamin D Dosing: Basic Principles and a Brief Algorithm (2021 Update). Nutrients [Internet]. 2021 Dec 10 [cited 2022 Oct 3];(12):4415. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13124415 
  3. Sizar O. Vitamin D Deficiency - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf [Internet]. National Center for Biotechnology Information. [cited 2022 Oct 3]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532266/ 
  4. Raza A, Syed JG, Muhammad Ali F, Danish Khan M, Ali Khan M, Haleem F, et al. Incidence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Different Seasons in the Adult Karachi Population Presenting in the Medical Outpatient Department with Generalized Body Ache. Cureus [Internet]. 2019 Jul 18 [cited 2022 Oct 3]; Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.5167 
  5. Janoušek J, Pilařová V, Macáková K, Nomura A, Veiga-Matos J, Silva DD da, et al. Vitamin D: sources, physiological role, biokinetics, deficiency, therapeutic use, toxicity, and overview of analytical methods for detection of vitamin D and its metabolites. Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences [Internet]. 2022 May 16 [cited 2022 Oct 3];1–38. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408363.2022.2070595 
  6. Menon V, Kar SK, Suthar N, Nebhinani N. Vitamin D and Depression: A Critical Appraisal of the Evidence and Future Directions. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine [Internet]. 2020 Jan [cited 2022 Oct 3];(1):11–21. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_160_19 
  7. Cesari M, Incalzi RA, Zamboni V, Pahor M. Vitamin D hormone: A multitude of actions potentially influencing the physical function decline in older persons. Geriatrics & Gerontology International [Internet]. 2010 Dec 6 [cited 2022 Oct 3];(2):133–42. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0594.2010.00668.x 
  8. Agrawal D, Yin K. Vitamin D and inflammatory diseases. Journal of Inflammation Research [Internet]. 2014 May [cited 2022 Oct 3];69. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S63898 
  9. Zhou A, Hyppönen E. Vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive protein: a bidirectional Mendelian randomization study. International Journal of Epidemiology [Internet]. 2022 May 17 [cited 2022 Oct 3]; Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyac087 
  10. Tubbs JD, Ding J, Baum L, Sham PC. Immune dysregulation in depression: Evidence from genome-wide association. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health [Internet]. 2020 Aug [cited 2022 Oct 3];100108. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbih.2020.100108 
  11. Menon V, Kar SK, Suthar N, Nebhinani N. Vitamin D and Depression: A Critical Appraisal of the Evidence and Future Directions. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine [Internet]. 2020 Jan [cited 2022 Oct 3];(1):11–21. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_160_19 
  12. Bilezikian JP, Formenti AM, Adler RA, Binkley N, Bouillon R, Lazaretti-Castro M, et al. Vitamin D: Dosing, levels, form, and route of administration: Does one approach fit all? Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders [Internet]. 2021 Dec [cited 2022 Oct 3];(4):1201–18. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11154-021-09693-7
  13. Šimoliūnas E, Rinkūnaitė I, Bukelskienė Ž, Bukelskienė V. Bioavailability of Different Vitamin D Oral Supplements in Laboratory Animal Model. Medicina [Internet]. 2019 Jun 10 [cited 2022 Oct 3];(6):265. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060265 
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