9 Facts Everyone Should Know About Vitamin D

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


Vitamin D is essential for maintaining your health, but many people don’t know just how important it is. Almost all of us at one point or another have experienced low vitamin D levels, whether we have realized it or not. Symptoms often manifest as poor energy, insomnia, compromised immune system, and mood imbalance. That’s why I want you to know these 9 facts about D. Everyone needs to know these, so let’s dive right in!

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

You probably already know that the best source of vitamin D is the sun, something all of us rarely get access to on a daily basis. Without appropriate sunlight exposure, our vitamin D status decreases and our health follows. Here are a few things you should know about vitamin D:

1. Most of Us Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D

In the U.K., not only is the recommended daily allowance (RDA) much lower than in the U.S., but also many people don’t realize how important this vitamin is for bone health. [1] Because of this, many kids and adults there don’t get enough. [2] But while U.S. RDA can sometimes be as high as 4000 IU, a higher guideline doesn’t mean all Americans will get enough either. Since you get Vitamin D from both diet and sunlight, make sure you’re getting enough.

2. Vitamin D is Insanely Good for Your Health

Some experts say Vitamin D not only helps in bone health but can also aid in heart, brain, and immune system function, even noting that lower levels can be associated with asthma. [3] Some suggest it could even protect against certain forms of cancer. [4] It’s fairly well established, though, that maintaining proper levels can stave off infections and prevent bone brittleness. [5] [6]

3. Vitamin D Can Cut the Risk of Breast Cancer

I’m not saying a vitamin D supplement will cure or prevent breast cancer but a recent study suggests spending some time in the sun each day can reduce your risk for breast cancer. This exposure stimulates Vitamin D production in your skin, and that alone could cut your risk for breast cancer in half. [7] Opt for around 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure per day without sunscreen.

4. Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of MS

In Scotland, where sun exposure is typically low, there’s a push to supplement the nation’s food with Vitamin D. One source of Vitamin D is from the sun. Because of this, much of the population is deficient, and some experts blame that deficiency for a high rate of multiple sclerosis—one of the highest in the world. Studies suggest there could be a link between the two, and that Vitamin D could offer some neuroprotective effects. [8]

5. Vitamin D Supports Verbal Communication

I wouldn’t have thought about this unless I’d read the study but a recent report suggests pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels are two times as likely to have children with language difficulties. [9] It’s important to remember that a developing baby relies entirely on the mother for vitamin D. This makes it doubly important for expectant mothers to get enough of the vitamin!

6. Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked to Autism

With sunlight as a main source for Vitamin D production, increased sunscreen use, declining vitamin levels, and rising autism rates have had many wondering if there could be a connection. [10] While one study noted that autistic children do, in fact, have lower vitamin D levels than non-autistic children, more studies must be done before drawing a conclusion of any kind. [11] Regardless, it certainly seems to show how important Vitamin D can be to brain health.

7. Low Vitamin D is Linked to Premature Death

In a worrisome discovery, low vitamin D levels have been linked to premature death. [12] Research has found that individuals with low blood levels of vitamin D had a doubled risk of premature death compared to those with a higher level. If you’re curious, your doctor can do a simple blood test so you can know your current levels of Vitamin D.

8. Low Vitamin D Boosts Risk of Dementia

I’ve already mentioned vitamin D’s suspected role in brain health. A recent study even suggests low levels can boost a person’s risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. [13] As we age, our skin becomes less able to convert vitamin D from sunlight, so while it’s too early to draw conclusions, these findings could lead to updated guidelines for vitamin D levels in those over age 65.

9. Fears of Skin Cancer May Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency

More evidence is stacking up for Vitamin D’s influence on health: one study even suggests it could protect us from high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke. [14] But fear of skin cancer is keeping people out of the sun, and that is leading to low levels of D. Consider getting your sun exposure in the morning or evening when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong.

One Final Thought

Vitamin D is crucial for the healthy body, but getting enough can be tricky as there aren’t too many foods that naturally contain the nutrient. With all we’ve heard about milk and healthy bones, you’d think dairy products would be a great source. While milk does contain Vitamin D, it might be time to rethink all you know about milk and bone health. One study suggests it’s not as helpful as originally thought when it comes to preventing bone fractures. [15] Since finding the right amount in foods can be tough, a vegan-friendly supplement like Suntrex D3™ is an easy way to always make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to support your health.

References (15)
  1. Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Factsheet: Vitamin D. Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
  2. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency. National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Department of Health and Food Standards Agency.
  3. Sutherland, E.R. et al. Vitamin D Levels, Lung Function, and Steroid Response in Adult Asthma. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
  4. Garland, C. F. et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. American Journal of Public Health. 96 (2).
  5. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal of Investigative Medicine.
  6. Cranney, A. et al. Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D in relation to bone health. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment. 158.
  7. John, E. et al. Sun Exposure, Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms, and Breast Cancer Risk in a Multiethnic Population. American Journal of Epidemiology. 166 (12).
  8. M. Cadden, N. Koven & M. Ross. Neuroprotective Effects of Vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis. Neuroscience & Medicine. 2(3).
  9. Whitehouse, A. et al. Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development. Pediatrics.
  10. Grant, W.B. & Soles, C. M. Epidemiologic evidence supporting the role of maternal vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for the development of infantile autism. Dermato-endocrinology. 1 (6).
  11. Mostafa, G. & AL-Ayadhi , L. Y. Reduced serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in children with autism: Relation to autoimmunity. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 9.
  12. Garland, C. et al. Meta-analysis of All-Cause Mortality According to Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. American Journal of Public Health. 104 (8).
  13. Littlejohns, T. J. et al. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Neurology.
  14. Liu, D. et al. UVA Irradiation of Human Skin Vasodilates Arterial Vasculature and Lowers Blood Pressure Independently of Nitric Oxide Synthase. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 134.
  15. Michaëlsson, K. et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 349.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • It was nice of him to exclude a comprehensive discussion of what constitutes enough, and how to determine it, even clinically.

  • surfer

    This articles contradicts itself (I see it has been changed when viewed in your browser but not as an email) by saying that the best time to get in the sun is in the morning and evening then at the end it says that if your shadow is longer than you then you are not getting enough vitamin D. The second statement is the true one as between the hours of 10 am ans 3 pm is the best time to lie in the sun as you get more UVB and less UVA which is the skin aging UV. You should expose as much of your body (naked is best) until your skin just starts to turn a bit red (do not burn) so the darker the skin the longer the time you require to get your vitamin D. Do not be afraid of skin cancer as the statistics are pumped up by the scare mongering medical profession by including any skin damage like sunspots (which can be repaired by applying hydrogen peroxide rather than surgery or freezing them off which leaves a scar) so they make more money. Statistics show that people who get skin cancers are those that do not go in the sun enough or those that get burned too often and that most skin cancers appear on parts of the body that do not usually get any sun. I live on the Gold Coast Australia, have fair skin and I lie naked for 20 minutes on each side in the middle of the day every day that it is not raining, even if it is cloudy. I have got my vitamin D from the sun for years now and haven’t had a cold or flue for over ten years while those around me drop like flies every year. Remember that a tan looks good and healthy because it is good and healthy.

  • Banner Health – Total Kid/Go K

    This blog was especially interesting to me as I have been chronically low in vitamin D, I am now on 50,000 units a week, but I never knew vitamin D affected so much in the body. I need to start taking this more seriously.

  • Shanna

    Great job! it makes me so happy to know that I am not alone! Haha! Here is America people HATES sun and LOVES lotion, its a shame how people here believes in a corrupt government, and try to say so, waist of time, nobody believes me.

  • ns

    50 to 80 is optimal levels of Vit D. Get tested people, I was 26 and had bone pain. Im now in the optimal levels and havent had so much as a cold in years. it is so good for the immune system

  • xanton

    How did you do it? Only d3?

  • Cecile

    Hurray for your knowledge I wish people would listen when expert study so hard to give us knowledge and all we have do is take it in

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