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What exactly is ‘D’ Vitamin?

Firstly before pointing out some of the health benefits of vitamin D, its important to mention that vitamin D is not considered a ‘true’ vitamin to start with. The reason for this is because we do not actually need to food sources to attain it.

Image Fitness UK What is Vitamin D
Natural sunlight allows the body to create vitamin D to be used by the body accordingly. Furthermore, it is very difficult to source adequate levels of vitamin D via the consumption and assimilation of foods.

It has been examined that anywhere between 40%-90% of the population is deficient in vitamin D depending of ethnicity (darker skin pigment acts as a natural sunblock) and season. Such low levels have been linked to certain cancers, pro-inflammatory responses, weight gain, lower levels of immunity and decrease in muscle strength. With that in mind it is advised to go to your GP or Functional Medicine Practitioner and ask them to test your 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] levels tested as this is the active form that the body can readily use. It has been suggested that the reference range of Quest and Lab Corp is commonly 30 to 75nmol/L. Unfortunately current experts are advising that the need for vitamin D is much greater than 75nmol/L.

So why is it so important to have adequate levels of vitamin D?
1. Low levels of vitamin D is associated with increased fat mass in both genders of all ages.
2. There are vitamin D receptors on insulin cells which mean that when vitamin D levels are low pancreatic cell function is decreased as a result negativity affects insulin sensitivity.
3. Vitamin D is directly involved in protein synthesis. If vitamin D levels are low there will be increase in intra-muscular fat.
4. Low vitamin D is correlated with low testosterone in men. This in turn can negatively affect body composition.
5. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reproduction and hormonal balance in women.

The aforementioned points with regards the importance of having a surplus of vitamin D are only a small number of the many positive affects. For a more in depth read on vitamin D, look up Dr.Michael F.Holick, who is one of the leading researchers in the world with regards vitamin D.

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