The importance of Vitamin D

It’s no secret that vitamin D is essential for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but do you know exactly what it does and why it’s so vital? Figures show that more than a third of the world’s population may have a vitamin D deficiency1 while those in North America were found to have the highest levels in the world.

The study from the British Journal of Nutrition highlighted how low levels of the nutrient could have potentially serious effects on health. In particular, the body requires vitamin D for healthy bones and muscles, so these are often the most affected by a deficiency.

This may mean rickets in children while in adults lower levels are commonly linked to several bone issues including:

  • Osteomalacia, the softening of bones2.
  • Osteopenia, a weakening of the bones3.
  • Osteoporosis – lower density and quality of bones4 or an increased risk of fracture are all associated with low vitamin D levels.

Getting plenty of this essential vitamin is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether this is acquired through sunshine, food (in small amounts) or supplements, or better still a mix of all three, not enough can be said about the benefits of a sufficient vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D also encourages the body to absorb calcium, so it’s a good way to ensure you’re getting the most out of any dairy products or calcium specific supplements in your diet. It may even be a good way to help your body during a bout of the common cold5, as studies have shown that vitamin D might help to support the immune system and therefore reduce pesky sniffles and other minor respiratory conditions.