Vitamin D is on a roll these days. We have long known that the sunshine vitamin is critical for bone and muscle health. Ongoing research reveals that vitamin D may also support a wide array of functions and have health benefits that go beyond this classic role in bone development. For example, it is known to regulate immunity, support heart functions and reduce inflammation. Recently, a lot of studies have come out suggesting that vitamin D may help lower the risk of upper respiratory infections, asthma and allergies in both adults and children.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed how most sunscreens are full of potentially hazardous chemicals. Not only is it a fat that these products offer an incomplete protection against sun damage, they even contribute to skin cancer, which ironically is the main reason why you are applying sunscreens in the very first place.
The sunshine vitamin needs no introduction when it comes to making your bones healthy and strong. Besides its well-known role in helping your body absorb calcium, vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating both adaptive and innate immune system responses.
While scientists are still in the dark about what exactly causes autism, genetics and environmental factors (early exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, infections and other toxins) are cited as some of the main risk factors. Complications experienced in pregnancy and delivery may also make a new-born more susceptible to develop this neurodevelopmental condition.
Vitamin D, mostly known for its role in helping the body absorb calcium and thus contributing towards bone health, has far more to offer. As more studies stream in and shed new light on various health benefits of vitamin D, we now know that vitamin D plays an incredible role in regulating the immune system. And part of this credit goes to vitamin D’s ability to stimulate the production of natural antibiotics in the body.
Vitamin D’s primary function is to maintain healthy bones. It regulates the absorption of bone-healthy minerals, calcium and phosphorus. However, emerging studies and research suggest that Vitamin D could have a bigger, integral role in our health. It helps our brain, heart, lungs, hormones and immune system to function well. Simply put, Vitamin D is excellent for our overall health, and not just bone health.
Most of us are aware of the powerful combination of calcium and Vitamin D when it comes to maintaining strong, healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. However, there are other nutrients that take equally active and critical roles in bone health. When we focus on the benefits offered by a specific nutrient or a micronutrient, we often discount the fact that nutrients – well, most of them - simply don’t work alone.