How Important Is Vitamin D?

By Dr. Jake Marshall

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients to the human body. Read about the role it plays in the body and what problems can be caused by a Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin-D Deficiency

Vitamin D is essential in maintaining a healthy environment and normal physiology in the body. It plays a role in nerve, muscle, and immune function, and affects inflammation as well as cell growth and death. Most people these days are deficient in the vitamin, a condition with many consequences. To name a few, a deficiency in vitamin D can cause:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Psoriasis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease

A recent study showed that breast cancer patients with low levels of vitamin D have more aggressive tumors. The study was performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) where they tracked 155 women who had surgery for breast cancer between January 2009 and September 2010. The team examined the blood tests for one year and found an association between low vitamin D levels (less than 32 milligrams per milliliter of blood) and poor scores on every major biological marker used to predict a breast cancer patient’s outcome.[1. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/vitamin-d]

Now there are many studies linking vitamin D deficiency to disease, this is just one of the most recent with significant findings. Since vitamin D is very important to maintaining a healthy immune system, we can see the reason why a deficiency would cause such devastating problems like more aggressive tumors.

How it Works

“Vitamin D” refers to several forms of the vitamin. Two forms are important to humans: D2 and D3. D2 is synthesized by plants. D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Getting enough sunlight is a problem for most people these days, and usually we wear sun block which does not allow for proper absorption. Most sun blocks do not allow ultraviolet-B rays (UVB) to penetrate your skin, which is what facilitates vitamin B to synthesize.[2. http://www.pamelaegan.com/articles/vitamin-d3.htm]

We can either ditch the sunblock or we can get vitamin D3 via food and supplements.  Cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, sardines, egg yolks and beef liver all contain high levels of the vitamin.  It’s also in fortified milk, but it is unlikely you get  much benefit from it in this form.[3. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/652370.html]

What You Can Do

If these do not sound tasty or you are like every other American, always on the run, taking a supplement rich in vitamin D3 is always a good option. Maximized Living’s Vitamin D3 Complex includes 5,000 IUs of D3 as well as a healthy blend of probiotics. D3 Pro helps to strengthen your immune system, enhance your digestion and fat metabolism as well improve the health of your joints, bones, skin and teeth.