We’ve heard about Covid-19 ad nauseum. But while most look to medicine for quick (passive) “fixes” such as vaccines, the fact of the matter is that the best weapon against viruses and infection is a strong immune system. Of that, there is no debate––the reason why underlying diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, or respiratory issues are so significant in determining risk, is because such diseases weaken your immune system.
Why is Vitamin D so important?
A major factor in building a strong immune system is making sure you have a robust supply of key immune system nutrients stored within your body. So what should be number one on your list? Vitamin D! Vitamin D is actually a group of secosteroids, the most important of which is D3––that’s why we see “Vitamin D3” on supplement labels. So moving forward, when we talk about Vitamin D, we are referring to Vitamin D3.
Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to increased risk and severity of viral infections. But there is much more to the picture. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to:
• Bone diseases (rickets, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia)
• Increased risk of cancers and viral infections
• Various autoimmune diseases, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.
Additionally, Vitamin D is also directly associated with muscle strength, mass, and function. And without adequate Vitamin D, intestinal absorption of dietary calcium falls to just 15%!
How common is Vitamin D deficiency?
Very. An estimated one billion people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D, making it one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin D is found naturally in very few foods, so many companies have begun adding Vitamin D to their products. Vitamin D is most commonly created in the body by the various layers of the skin with exposure to sunlight. That said, most people across the country unfortunately don’t get adequate daily exposure to sunlight.
What does the latest Vitamin D research show?
A number of studies have reported beneficial effects of Vitamin D as nutritional support when dealing with:
• Weight loss (scientists believe that supplementing Vitamin D with Calcium can play a role in appetite suppression)
How much Vitamin D do we need?
That all depends on who you ask. The Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences recommends
800 IU per day. But many anti-aging and human performance experts recommend much more to achieve “optimal levels” vs. “normal levels”. Anti-aging experts can typically recommend anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day. If you would like to know how much Vitamin D you should take personally, a sports nutritionist can help you dial in your levels.
When is the best time to take Vitamin D?
Generally, it’s best to take nutritional supplements with meals, when digestive and enzymatic activity is high. Vitamin D can be taken in a single, daily dose for convenience.
Can you take too much Vitamin D?
The short answer is yes. You can take too much Vitamin D, and it can become toxic. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that stays in your system longer so it can build up over time. That being said, this occurs rarely as the daily dosages would have to be excessive for months to occur.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.