Vitamin D3/Cholecalciferol: Is there anything it is not good for?
It is hard to believe that in a developed and sunny country, the prevalence of vitamin D3 deficiency has become so common. More and more evidence of disease related to the deficiency emerges. The rapid increase in the prevalence of certain diseases such as cancer, obesity, and inflammatory and autoimmune conditions is scary.
How does the humble vitamin play such a vital role in the prevention of so many illnesses? Vitamin D3 is not just a vitamin; it also acts as a hormone and cytokine (chemical “messenger”), playing a pivotal role in man biological processes including regulatory functions of the immune and inflammation responses, cell division, nervous system activity and bone structure maintenance.
Almost every cell in the human body appears to have vitamin d receptors (VDR), suggesting that a deficiency can potentially interrupt the normal function of every organ.
Immune Boosting Benefits – Historically, Vitamin D3 has been left out of the clinician’s repertoire when it comes to improving immune defences. This however, needs to change, with new research showing that simply improving one’s vitamin D status can significantly reduce the risk of colds, flu’ and other infections. In fact, vitamin D3 supplementation prevents 600% more causes of flu than flu vaccines.
What are the vitamin D3 benefits? Firstly , it is a key factor in the healthy production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial protein found in the immune cells and the epithelial cells of the skin, gastrointestinal tract (GIT), cervix, vagina, epididymis and lungs. Cathelicidin is released at sites of infection, rapidly killing pathogenic organisms and preventing their invasion.
Secondly, The benefits of vitaminD# arethat it helps to activate and regulate the immune system. Without it, immune cells are not effectively “switched on”. This means that immune cells responses to infectious organisms (antibody production and the development of immunology memory) are not initiated.
Autoimmune Disease the benefits of vitamin D3 also represents a possible tool in the prevention and treatment of autoimmune disease by directly and indirectly regulating the cells of the immune system.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one such autoimmune. An out- of- control immune system contribute to countless other unpleasant inflammatory disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and Crohn’s disease. In these conditions a vitamin D deficiency is often lurking in the background.
Depression Low vitamin D is also linked to chronic pain and inflammation, each of which can lead to depression.
Diabetes and Obesity An overweight individual id more likely to have low serum vitamin D3 than their leaner counterparts. Low serum Vitamin D3 can significantly impact on healthy blood glucose control and contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Musculoskeletal Benefits The benefits of vitamin D3 is well known for its role in musculoskeletal health. By stimulating the uptake of calcium into bones, it promotes a healthy skeleton and prevents diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis.
Cancer While vitamin D3 should by no means be considered a replacement for current cancer therapies, reliable evidence demonstrates the importance of sufficient vitamin D in reducing the risk of cancers (eg. colon, breast, lung, prostate and Ovarian).
As well, research suggests”sunning”yourself for 15 minutes 3 times a week without sun block and during the milder UV times – avoid between 11 am and 3 pm. After we absorb the sun ‘s rays we produce and benefits vitamin D from the good cholesterol in our body. This source of vitamin D can last up to 3 weeks. Another interesting fact is that the healthier levels of vitamin D in our bodies we sunburn less! We are also less likely to sunburn if our immune system is strong!
Infants and Breast Feeding Mums
The importance of vitamin D for infants and breast feeding mums. Babies spend almost all their time under wraps, indoors, in covered prams etc. With vitamin D3 deficiency being so rampant what change does the poor baby have at attaining and maintaining adequate vitamin D3 status? If breast feeding mum does not have enough of vitamin D3, not only is it detrimental for the health of the baby, but also for her. Unfortunately an increasingly level of woman suffer from postnatal depression, and this is linked with low vitamin D3 status.