The enormous health benefits of vitamin D are just now starting to be revealed. Vitamin D has been shown to help prevent many chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, breast cancer, colon and ovarian cancer.
In addition to these amazing disease-preventive abilities, vitamin D also:
Another important health benefit of vitamin D is its ability to regulate immune system activity. Your immune cells have specific receptors for vitamin D, which they need for the prevention of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel diseases, such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.
Vitamin D's anti-inflammatory effects are also beneficial for a wide spectrum of health conditions including hypertension, type-1 diabetes, and psoriasis.
Vitamin D Protects Against the Flu. One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is able to take root when your vitamin D levels are low. A person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections. This happens because they're not being protected by the natural antibiotics that are released by vitamin D. More about using vitamin D to beat the flu follows below.
Many Health Benefits of Vitamin D Yet to be Discovered. Just in the past few years, there's been a tremendous amount of new research published demonstrating the health benefits of vitamin D and the health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency.
It appears that vitamin D is a key factor for proper gene expression. Receptors for vitamin D have been found in almost every type of human cell, which explains why vitamin D offers health benefits in so many ways.
Worldwide cancer rates are directly connected with sunshine. People who live in higher latitudes, away from the equator, are more prone to developing common cancers, such as cancer of the colon, prostate, breast and ovaries. If you were to plot a map of the entire planet and the cancer rates by country, you would see that the farther away from the equator you get, the higher the rate of cancer is. This is consistent even across different cultures and economic levels.
To demonstrate just one example of this, the cancer rate in Iceland is 90 per 100,000 people per year. Areas in the tropics, meanwhile, have rates of about 25 per 100,000.
Vitamin D regulates cell growth. One of the primary health benefits of vitamin D is to help regulate cell growth, a primary factor in cancer formation. Not getting enough vitamin D inhibits your body's ability to keep cell growth in check, and, therefore, would allow cancer cells to grow more readily. That would explain the correlation between cancer and vitamin D levels.
An estimated 150,000 cases of cancer could be prevented in the United States alone by increasing vitamin D levels throughout the population.
In light of all the evidence about the benefits of vitamin D — and the consequences of vitamin D deficiency — it's foolish to disregard the reports of widespread deficiencies in most populations. Odds are that you, too, have low levels of vitamin D. If you aren't able to get more sun exposure regularly, it's easy and inexpensive to take vitamin D supplements; a month's supply is only a few dollars.
Use the information on my other pages on vitamin D to learn more about this essential nutrient and how to make sure you're getting enough of it for yourself.
Other pages on this website on vitamin D:
Other Great Resources for Vitamin D:
Grass Roots Health A consortium committed to solving the worldwide vitamin D deficiency epidemic.
Dr. Mercola's Lecture on the latest science on vitamin D.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need? Article by Dr. Mercola.