Most of us know that we need a regular vegan vitamin D3 to support our health and avoid a deficiency. But are you aware of exactly why vitamin D3 is so important and which functions it helps to keep us healthy?
We're here to fill you in on the benefits of vitamin D3, from the systems it supports to exactly how it works to support them.
Vitamin D3 plays a significant role in improving bone, dental, heart, immune, and mental health. The recommended dietary intake of vitamin D3 for healthy adults is 15 mcg per day.
So if you're ready to learn more about the functions of vitamin D3, you've come to the right place. After all, we must understand precisely how vitamin D3 works to ensure that we're taking this nutrient seriously and doing everything we can to ensure proper intake.
What is vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3 is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies need to support many vital systems and functions.
For example, this essential nutrient plays a significant role in:
- Improving bone mineral density
- Improving dental health
- Supporting cardiovascular health
- Supporting immune function
- Improving mental health
But how exactly does vitamin D3 offer us these excellent health benefits?
Vitamin D is primarily known for its role in supporting healthy bones. This nutrient is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that studies show support bone mass and strength.
The role that vitamin D plays in increasing bone mineral density is so significant that research shows a deficiency in this vitamin may even cause:
- Bone fractures
- Mineralization defects
- Muscle weakness
Proper vitamin D intake is essential for preventing these issues and supporting bone development in adolescents and strengthening bones in older adults who need a little extra support.
In the same way that vitamin D uses calcium and phosphorus to strengthen our bones, it also helps to improve the health of our teeth.
A recent study tells us that vitamin D has been increasingly gaining attention for its use in supporting oral health and that vitamin D deficiencies are linked with a higher risk of the following:
- Tooth defects
- Caries (tooth decay)
- Oral treatment failures
To avoid these issues and maintain proper oral hygiene, we should meet the daily recommended requirement for vitamin D3.
Vitamin D also plays an essential role in promoting better cardiovascular health, as studies have shown that a deficiency in this nutrient may increase the risk of the following health issues:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
To avoid the side effects of poor heart health, we should take vitamin D3 with vitamin K2, as these nutrients work together to support the cardiovascular system fully.
For more information, check out our article: Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D3?
Immune system function
The immune system plays a primary role in preventing us from getting sick, and vitamin D is essential when it comes to ensuring proper immune system function.
One study examined vitamin D's effect on immune function and found that this nutrient impacted immune cells significantly. This means that maintaining adequate vitamin D3 is crucial in ensuring immune health and reducing our risk of developing autoimmune diseases.
Examples of common autoimmune diseases include:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Addison's disease
To avoid these conditions and other issues related to immune health, we can make an extra effort to intake the recommended amount of vitamin D3 by adding a dietary supplement to our diet.
Studies have shown that vitamin D may even play a role in brain health, which explains why a regular intake of this essential nutrient could be the key to better mental health.
One study showed that lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression when compared to a control group, which suggests that a vitamin D deficiency could be responsible for poor mental health.
Another study supported these findings, concluding that the same groups most at risk for a vitamin D3 deficiency were also at a higher risk for depression.
If you've been struggling with your mental health, it could be a sign you're not consuming enough sources of vitamin D3 to support a happy, healthy brain.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that we can't afford to exclude. From supporting a healthy heart and bones to improving mental health, this nutrient is a staple part of any healthy diet.
FuelOrganics offers a high-quality vegan D3 supplement designed to support a healthy heart, bones, and immune system.
- Bonjour JP. Calcium and phosphate: a duet of ions playing for bone health. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct;30(5 Suppl 1):438S-48S. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2011.10719988. PMID: 22081690.
- Lips P, van Schoor NM. The effect of vitamin D on bone and osteoporosis. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;25(4):585-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.beem.2011.05.002. PMID: 21872800.
- Botelho, J., Machado, V., Proença, L., Delgado, A. S., & Mendes, J. J. (2020). Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients, 12(5), 1471. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051471
- Danik, J. S., & Manson, J. E. (2012). Vitamin d and cardiovascular disease. Current treatment options in cardiovascular medicine, 14(4), 414–424. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11936-012-0183-8
- Martens, P. J., Gysemans, C., Verstuyf, A., & Mathieu, A. C. (2020). Vitamin D's Effect on Immune Function. Nutrients, 12(5), 1248. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051248
- Anjum, I., Jaffery, S. S., Fayyaz, M., Samoo, Z., & Anjum, S. (2018). The Role of Vitamin D in Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review. Cureus, 10(7), e2960. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.2960
- Anglin, R., Samaan, Z., Walter, S., & McDonald, S. (2013). Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(2), 100-107. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666
- Penckofer, S., Kouba, J., Byrn, M., & Estwing Ferrans, C. (2010). Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?. Issues in mental health nursing, 31(6), 385–393. https://doi.org/10.3109/01612840903437657