The Role of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make. Vitamin D also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. A fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphate in the gut, and is essential to keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.

How Does Vitamin D Affect Our Body?

Vitamin D has multiple functions in our body which include:

  • In the gut vitamin D helps to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphate-both essential for healthy bones, teeth, and muscle function.

  • It increases the amount of minerals in your bones, which protects from a condition called osteomalacia.

  • Supports lung function and cardiovascular health.

  • Supports immune, brain, and nervous system health.

  • There is research that shows a significant relationship between depression and vitamin D deficiency (Cuomo, Giordano, Goracci, & Fagiolini, 2017)

How to Get Your Vitamin D Boost?

You can increase your vitamin D levels by getting more sun exposure (15-20 minutes + use sunscreen), eating foods rich in vitamin D, and/or taking supplements.

A few foods that are high in vitamin D include:

  • Oily Fish & Seafood (salmon, tuna, shrimp, sardines, herring and mackerel

  • Egg Yolk

  • Red Meat

  • Liver

  • Mushrooms (exposed to sunlight)

  • Fortified Foods (skim milk, whole grain bread, oats)

*If you suspect your Vitamin D levels are low please consult with your GP to get your levels checked, and do not supplement unless you have been told by a professional.

References

1. Cuomo, A., Giordano, N., Goracci, A., & Fagiolini, A. (2017). Depression and Vitamin D Deficiency: Causality, Assessment, and Clinical Practice Implications. Neuropsychiatry, 07(05). doi:10.4172/neuropsychiatry.1000255

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