Most people have heard of Vitamin D, often called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies naturally make it from the sun. It is a necessary nutrient that helps us absorb calcium and keep our bones strong. What most of us don’t know is that Vitamin D is not just one, but a combination of nutrients with similar chemical structures. The most common forms for supplementation are D2 and D3, with the latter being the more potent version.
This is because even though both are equally absorbed into the bloodstream, only D3 can be metabolized properly by the liver and, in turn, raise the amount of D3 in the body. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is found in some foods such as fatty fish (salmon or tuna), egg yolks and beef liver. While supplementation to maintain strong bones is associated with menopausal women, the benefits of cholecalciferol go far beyond that.
Support for Healthy Bones
We’ll start with the obvious benefit of Vitamin D3; strong bones. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that our body requires to absorb calcium and ensure it is not excreted through the kidneys. It also aids in keeping healthy phosphorus levels in the blood, which is also a component in strong bones. It is necessary for people of all ages, and some research indicates that those who lack sun exposure or regularly use sunscreen may need supplementation.
Supports Health Insulin Sensitivity
Some research shows children who get adequate Vitamin D have less chance of developing blood sugar issues. These same studies also indicate that supplementation was just as effective as sunshine.
Helps Improve Mood
Research has shown for years that people who experience depression are deficient in Vitamin D. It is believed that the lack of sunlight, which helps the body manufacture D, leads to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is marked by depression. This left researchers to question whether the vitamin deficiency actually caused the depression or if other factors were involved, but now it is believed that supplementation does help. Here’s why.
Recently, some small studies have shown that patients suffering from depression did benefit by taking a D supplement. Researchers generally agree that nutrient levels play a role in mental well being and areas of the brain that have Vitamin D receptors are found in the same brain regions associated with depression. This is a promising extra benefit for those who use a cholecalciferol supplement.
Promote Health Weight
In one study, dieters who supplemented with Vitamin D and calcium lost more weight than those taking a placebo. (1) Another connection to weight loss is this vitamin’s ability to reduce parathyroid hormone, which may promote health weight management.
These are just some of the health benefits from supplementing a diet with Vitamin D, or cholecalciferol. Adding coconut oil can greatly increase the body’s absorption while taking a liquid vitamin ensures it quickly enters the bloodstream. Maintain bones, immunity and overall health by adding this valuable supplement to your daily fitness regimen.
1 Major, G., Alarie, F., Doré, J., & Tremblay, A. (2008). Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: Potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control. British Journal of Nutrition, 101(5), 659-663. doi:10.1017/S0007114508030808