When mainstream media discusses “silent” disease killers they very rarely mention vitamin D deficiency. The majority of Americans are actually severely lacking in this critical nutrient. The funny thing is that vitamin D isn’t a vitamin at all.
It’s technically a steroid hormone which can only be obtained through sun exposure or supplementation. Sadly, our body is very poor at converting Vitamin D from the sun to the useable D3 that our body needs to influence gene expression.
Aside from the tremendous benefits that I’ll mention below, Vitamin D can also fight infections and boost immune system health as well as destroy bacteria.
Vitamin D and stronger bones
While calcium is important for both bone health and bone mineral density, vitamin D is the bone superstar. Not only does Vitamin D stimulate calcium to exert of all of its positive benefits but Vitamin D also boosts those same benefits. If you’re deficient in vitamin D your body actually slows down and stops depositing calcium into the bones.
Which is why, with aging, bone fractures increase yet your medical practitioner tells you that you have “soft bones” and to take calcium. For starters, many prescription medications weaken bone health so that's an area to pay attention. Vitamin D should be recommended since Vitamin D supplementation helps calcium to work more efficiently while also boosting bone itself.
Vitamin D and muscle performance
Vitamin D supplementation may improve muscle performance. Studies have shown that with varying degrees of Vitamin D deficiency, men experienced muscle weakness and muscle loss, specifically of type 2 muscle fibers which drives strength and power.
A Vitamin D study in overweight adults found that when they took Vitamin D in conjunction with strength training that they increase their explosive power significantly over the group that did not take vitamin D.
So is Vitamin D some magic performance supplement? Some research leads that way but muscle performance isn't a reason to take Vitamin D. You should take Vitamin D for everything else that it can do for you and whatever bump you get in the gym is a nice bonus.
Vitamin D and heart health
Individuals, of all ages, who are deficient in Vitamin D are at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, sudden cardiac death and heart failure.
Researchers speculated that since Vitamin D lowers blood pressure, it may increase the elastic properties of your arteries and increase glycemic control, both of which lower heart disease. One study even shows Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of having a heart attacked by 50 percent.
Vitamin D and autoimmune disease
Since vitamin D has strong immune system boosting benefits, it is very important for preventing or improving MS and inflammatory bowel disease
Vitamin D and fat Loss
Sufficient vitamin D supplementation in overweight individuals has been shown to increase beta cell function, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce whole body inflammation. Individuals with more vitamin D experienced reduced risks of type 2 diabetes.
What role, if any, does vitamin D have on fat loss for an athlete? Not much, though any improvement in insulin sensitivity is important. You’re better off taking Vitamin D daily for all of the other mentioned benefits.
One study concluded that low vitamin D levels “produces a toxic milieu by imitating metabolic and inflammatory cascades” . Basically having low vitamin D causes all type of nasty conditions with your metabolism.
How do you know if you are deficient in Vitamin D?
Recent acknowledgement of the problems resulting from low levels of vitamin D has caused many mainstream practitioners to being testing for vitamin D levels. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 32 percent of children and adults in the US are vitamin D deficient. Other studies confirm that estimate or even raise it higher.
When was the last time that you took a direct Vitamin D supplement? Vitamin D in your multi vitamin does not count.
If you answered that question with “ I have no clue” than you are likely deficient.
While your doctor may tell you that you are in the “normal” range with your vitamin D, the “normal” range actually isn’t high enough to provide any of the amazing Vitamin D benefits. Recent research puts the optimal levels at 50 to 70 ng/ml. The Life Extension Foundation backs those numbers up as well.
Vitamin D and sunshine.
To be clear, I do think that getting enough sunlight is vital for our health and peace of mind and research does back that up. The keyword is “enough” and if anyone tells you that you don’t need a Vitamin D supplement, ask them what they do for a living. Unless they spend 8 hours or so outside in DIRECT sunlight then they are just clueless.
Sunlight, real or artificial, has numerous brain boosting benefits and I personally wake up and turn on EVERY light in my house as soon as possible to help my body gradually and slowly wake up.
We also know that individuals living in colder climates are more than twice than likely be to deficient in Vitamin D because who really wants to go outside in the winter for 30 minutes?
Additional research has shown that using sunscreen or wearing sunglasses can stop your body from producing Vitamin D3 from the sunlight that you do receive.
How much Vitamin D is enough?
The Physique Formula Vitamin D3 is 5,000 IUs in stable non-GMO organic olive oil. This formula serves multi purposes and acts as a special purpose formula for individuals several lacking Vitamin D or athletes whom train multiple times per week. These individuals should consider taking 1 Physique Formula Vitamin D3 once per day or once every other day.
What if you fall into neither category? Take 1 Physique Formula Vitamin D3two to three times per week with meals.