The spring and summer is coming and with it comes the sun! Finally! I absolutely love the sun.
Infact, I am going on holiday on Tuesday which has inspired me to write this post on Vitamin D and why our bodies need it.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for the absorption of calcium, promoting bone growth and health, and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Researchers call vitamin D a hormone because it acts as a chemical messenger in the body that regulates various functions beyond its traditional role as a vitamin.
Vitamin D is produced in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, and then it undergoes two steps of activation in the liver and kidneys to become an active form of the hormone, known as calcitriol.
Calcitriol acts as a hormone by binding to vitamin D receptors in various tissues throughout the body, including bone, intestine, kidney, and immune cells. This binding triggers a series of cellular processes that regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption, bone metabolism, and immune function.
Unlike other vitamins that act as co-factors in enzymatic reactions, vitamin D functions more like a hormone by influencing gene expression and signalling pathways. This unique role in regulating the body's physiological functions is why researchers classify vitamin D as a hormone.
Some benefits of vitamin D include:
Stronger bones: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.
Improved immune function: Vitamin D is important for immune function and may help reduce the risk of certain infections and diseases.
Reduced inflammation: Vitamin D has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Improved mood: Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and some studies suggest that increasing vitamin D intake may improve mood.
Some ways to get more vitamin D into your body include:
Sun exposure: The most natural and efficient way to get vitamin D is by exposing your skin to sunlight. Your body can produce vitamin D when your skin is exposed to UVB rays.
Dietary sources: Foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and cereal.
Supplements: If you are unable to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure and your diet, taking a vitamin D supplement may be necessary. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
So there you have it! Get out in the fresh air, go for a walk or a run, play sports outside, spend time with friends outdoors, book that holiday you have been saving for and improve your life with our favourite - Vitamin D!
See you soon.