What Are the 14 Benefits of Vitamin D?

Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2022

14 possible benefits of vitamin D

what does vitamin D do
Vitamin D has long been regarded as a critical nutrient for overall health and may include the following health benefits.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has gained popularity in the last decade. It is regarded as an anti-rickets compound and is thus added to various food sources such as dairy through mandatory fortification programs in the United States.

Vitamin D has long been regarded as a critical nutrient for overall health. It aids in the development of bone strength in our bodies and is required for muscle activity and by our immune system to fight infections.

Vitamin D has several advantages that include:

  1. Bone health:
    • Vitamin D promotes bone health. It aids in the formation and maintenance of strong bones by increasing calcium absorption, regulating calcium and phosphorus concentrations in the body, and regulating bone cells involved in bone remodeling.
  2. Healthy teeth:
    • According to recent research, people who did not get enough vitamin D had undesirable gaps in their dentin (the layer beneath the enamel on their teeth).
    • Because dentin accounts for 85 percent of the structure of a tooth, its damage can be quite serious.
  3. Hair health:
    • Researchers recently discovered that vitamin D can reactivate receptors in the hair follicles that appear to die, resulting in male pattern baldness.
  4. Muscle health:
    • Vitamin D is beneficial to muscle health because it promotes muscle function, strength, and balance.
    • Several recent studies have reported a link between vitamin D and muscle function, including recovery from exercise and daily activities. Moreover, they explain why lower levels can cause physical exhaustion.
    • Vitamin D is linked to increased muscle power, force, velocity, and jump height in children.
  5. Immunity and lung function:
    • According to research, vitamin D benefits may improve natural immune function and are required for a proper immune response.
    • More evidence from recent studies suggests that vitamin D may help prevent acute respiratory tract infections, such as colds, flu, and sinus infections.
    • According to a study from Boston researchers, vitamin D deficiency is linked to worse lung function and a faster decline in lung function over time in smokers. According to this study, vitamin D may protect against some of the effects of smoking on lung function.
    • Vitamin D regulates cell growth, neuromuscular function, and suppression of inflammation.
  6. Weight loss:
    • A recent study reported that in addition to the known immune-boosting benefits of vitamin D, increasing vitamin D levels are known to activate the production of leptin, which aids in weight loss by signaling our brain and stomach.
    • Vitamin D lowers insulin resistance, increases serotonin levels, boosts the immune system, controls appetite, and even helps with fat loss.
    • Higher vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet improved weight-loss success, according to research from the University of Minnesota.
    • Scientists discovered that as vitamin D levels in the blood increased, people lost nearly half a pound more on their calorie-restricted diet.
  7. Hypertension:
  8. Pregnancy:
  9. Brain health:
    • According to a British study, people with higher levels of vitamin D have better memory function and information-processing abilities than those with lower levels of sunshine vitamin.
    • Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the brain, including the hippocampus, and this nutrient may play an important role in our overall mental health.
    • Several studies have reported a link between low vitamin D levels and poor mood, as well as slower brain function.
  10. Heart:
    • According to a recent Copenhagen University study, people with the lowest vitamin D levels had an 81 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease, a 64 percent increased risk of heart attacks, and a 57 percent increased risk of dying prematurely than those with the highest vitamin D levels.
  11. Less risk of cancer:
    • According to research, regardless of the type of cancer or person’s nutritional status, the one thing most people with cancer have in common is a vitamin D deficiency.
    • Although more research is needed to draw firm conclusions, studies claim that taking 2,000 nanograms of vitamin D per day could help prevent cancer from spreading in the first place by preventing cells from dividing and spreading throughout the body.
  12. Autoimmune diseases:
    • Lower vitamin D levels are linked to an increased risk of almost all autoimmune diseases; however, research suggests that vitamin D may reduce the risk of type I diabetes.
    • Individuals with higher vitamin D levels have a lower risk of not only multiple sclerosis (MS) but also of dying from it (MS). As a result, vitamin D supplements must be included in the treatment plan for people with MS.
    • More research is needed to determine how much is needed to alleviate symptoms or prevent MS.
  13. Improved testosterone levels:
    • Testosterone (a male hormone) influences bone mass, muscle strength, fat distribution, and sexual drive. Men who took vitamin D supplements had higher testosterone levels than those who did not.
  14. Good for gut health:
    • According to new research, this vitamin can help regulate your gut health.
    • Although you should not try any treatment without consulting a doctor first, vitamin D supplementation may help regulate gastrointestinal inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as treat colitis (inflammation of the large bowel).

Vitamin D is essential for our bodies. It aids in bone and tooth health, immune system support, and lung and cardiovascular health and may be involved with other vital functions in our bodies.

A few studies have reported that people who have optimum vitamin D levels lived longer than those who did not.

2 types of vitamin D

Vitamin D is classified into the following two types:

  1. Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol:
    • Found in foods such as egg yolks and fatty fish
    • Your body makes vitamin D3 when it's exposed to sunlight
  2. Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol:
    • Present in some plants, such as some types of mushrooms, as well as yeast

Although both types are beneficial, vitamin D3 is more effective in terms of increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels.

For maintaining healthy vitamin D levels, a daily intake of 1,000 to 4,000 IU is usually considered adequate; however, it differs depending on your age. In some cases, people may require a much higher dose, especially if their current levels are very low or they have limited sunlight exposure.

The optimal vitamin D blood level is unknown, but it is thought to be between 20 and 50 ng/mL. There is a lot of debate about how much vitamin D the body requires based on age.

Does taking vitamin D supplements help fight COVID-19?

According to research findings and robust data, optimal levels of vitamin D may help fight against COVID-19

  • Several studies, according to the findings, reported the role of vitamin D in lowering the risk of acute viral respiratory tract infections and pneumonia.
  • Sufficient vitamin D levels in the body help reduce these risks and the need for supplemental oxygen in people with COVID-19.
  • Optimal vitamin levels aid in the control of COVID-19 complications such as cytokine storms and the premature release of proteins into the body. This may reduce the risk of death in people with COVID-19 even further.

In conclusion, optimal vitamin D levels, which also imply a strong immune system, reduce the severity and mortality associated with COVID-19 infection. However, the majority of the evidence for the claim has come from observational studies, which do not prove causation. 

Experts warn people to be wary of consuming a large number of supplements in the hope of obtaining benefits that may or may not exist.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

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Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Vitamin D: Vital Role in Your Health: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/vitamin-d-vital-role-in-your-health

Vitamin D: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/


Vitamin D Myths 'D'-bunked: https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/vitamin-d-myths-debunked

A Year In, Here's What We Know About Vitamin D For Preventing COVID: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/04/14/985863133/a-year-in-heres-what-we-know-about-vitamin-d-for-preventing-covid