Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in several functions of the human body. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is normally produced in the body during direct exposure to sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that can also be obtained from foods and supplements. However, some people may not get enough vitamin D and experience vitamin D deficiency.
Those with vitamin D deficiency may experience constant fatigue, bone or muscle weakness, and, in severe cases, bone fractures. For this reason, doctors often recommend vitamin D supplementation to treat vitamin D deficiency. Apart from treating vitamin D deficiency, what are the benefits of vitamin D?
Promotes bone health
One of the main functions of vitamin D is to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. Vitamin D is necessary to help the body process and absorb calcium. With adequate vitamin D, the body can use calcium to build, strengthen, and maintain bones and teeth. Without vitamin D, the bones may be more prone to fractures.
Supports immune system health
Vitamin D is known to help support the immune system in fighting off disease. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased incidence of respiratory tract infections. In addition, taking vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of developing a respiratory tract infection. White blood cells, the powerhouses of the immune system, express vitamin D receptors on their cell surface, which may suggest the importance of vitamin D in enhancing the function of the immune system.
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression, according to a meta-analysis. Researchers found that people with depression also had lower levels of vitamin D. Another study found that vitamin D receptors in the brain may also play a role in depression. While the effect of taking vitamin D to treat depression requires more research, vitamin D levels may be important to monitor in those who are fighting depression.
Manages blood pressure
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. However, more research is needed to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can effectively lower blood pressure. Studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation may be effective for lowering blood pressure in those who already have low vitamin D levels. Still, researchers suggest there is an indirect link between vitamin D levels and blood pressure.
Aids weight loss
Adequate vitamin D levels may be associated with improved weight management. For instance, some studies have found that low levels of vitamin D are linked to a higher body fat percentage than normal. People with low vitamin D levels have also been found to exhibit a higher body mass index than normal. Vitamin D supplementation may promote weight loss, although more conclusive evidence is needed.
Getting the right amount of vitamin D
Adults typically need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. While most adults are able to get the recommended daily intake of vitamin D through their diet, others may need supplementation. For those who receive a vitamin D prescription, a prescription savings card, like the one from Inside Rx, may help save on the cost of the prescription.
Inside Rx is a prescription discount card that can help uninsured or underinsured consumers save on prescription medications. To see if your prescription is eligible for a discount, search your medication or prescribed vitamin/supplement in the search bar. The card can be used at over 60,000 pharmacies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To compare prices at the pharmacies nearest you, just enter your zip code when you search! When you get to the pharmacy, simply present the Inside Rx card at check out and see if you can save up to 80% off brand and generic medications and even prescribed vitamins and supplements!.
Vitamin D can improve or hinder your health in a number of ways. Don’t let price deter you from getting your required amount of vitamin D prescribed by your doctor, let Inside Rx help!
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