3 Vitamin D Benefits You Should Know
Vitamin D—nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" due to its ability to be absorbed by the body through sunlight—is a major player in keeping the human body healthy.
Here are 3 vitamin D benefits you need to know about—including ways to get more of the vitamin in your daily diet.
1. Vitamin D can help strengthen muscles
Along with its bone-building abilities, vitamin D is also influential in strengthening muscles. Vitamin D may help increase muscle strength thus preventing falls, which is a common problem that leads to substantial disability and death in older adults.
2. Vitamin D can help prevent Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
While studies are not conclusive, vitamin D may be helpful for preventing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, says Newgent. One such study, published in 2006 in the journal Diabetes Care, found that while vitamin D on its own did not effectively lower the risk of an overabundance of sugar in the blood, a combined daily intake of >1,200 mg calcium and >800 IU vitamin D could effectively lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Vitamin D can help you lose weight
Dr. Boyd points out that obesity is a known risk factor for low vitamin D levels—which means more vitamin D may help with weight loss. One 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that, in overweight or obese women with low calcium levels, those who took a daily dose of calcium paired with vitamin D were more successful shedding pounds than those who took a placebo supplement, due to an "appetite-suppressing effect" of the combination.
If you find out you are deficient or lacking in vitamin D intake, there are a few key ways you can up your daily dosage—staring with getting around 20 minutes of sunlight several times a week, according to Newgent. "The major cause of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate exposure to sunlight, an increasing feature in modern life," says Dr. Boyd.
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