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Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D?

by Bart de Winter (DEWINTER Personal Training) June 01, 2020 3 min read

Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is known as the “sunlight vitamin”. This is because it is synthesized in the skin when exposed to radiation of the sun.

But what exactly is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D? - Molecular Structure

Vitamin D (D2; ergocalciferol, D3; cholecalciferol) is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to UV radiation, especially UV-B. It’s one of the 24 essential micronutrients that humans need to survive. Yes, you read it right, survive.

What are the benefits of vitamin D?

Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D? - Benefits

When you get enough vitamin D it has been proven to have a wide spectrum of health benefits as well as benefits that can specifically aid athletes. Which include:

  • Improved immune system and function
  • Stronger bones and optimal bone strength
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Improved neuromuscular function
  • Higher, more optimal testosterone production

What are the risks and dangers of vitamin D deficiency?

Video Credits: Dr Eric Berg

REAL deficiency of vitamin D occurs in many people – even people that are outdoors for more than half of their day tend to have deficits over 30% – has a huge list of risks attached to it:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Syndrome X
  • Autoimmune disease such as Crohn, MS
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia
  • Rickets
  • Breast cancer
  • Intestine cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • And more..

If you want to know if you have a deficiency, you can go to your doctor and get a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A deficiency is determined at a serum test value of 20-30 nmol.

Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D? - Test

How much Vitamin D do you need?

Research suggests that the health benefits of vitamin D equate to a value of 100 nmol, and for diabetics even higher. For maximum benefits of vitamin D, you want to try and get your serum value to 115 nmol. This equates to about 10-45 minutes of daily sun exposure (if you have full body exposure). The time is variable due to the skin tone of a person. People with darker skin need more exposure to the same results.

You can also use supplementation, this is something I highly recommend due to people not having enough sun exposure every day. The optimal serum value can be achieved by supplementation 2000 to 5000 IU (50-125mg) Vitamin D3 every day. A safe upper limit is 10,000 IU daily. In most cases, 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 each day will be sufficient and provide beneficial health benefits. But this will depend on a person’s body weight, skin tone, and sun exposure.

Should you take Vitamin D supplements?

Vitamin D For Health: What are the health benefits of Vitamin D? - Supplements

As mentioned above, a deficiency of vitamin D is really common. I recommend all my athletes and clients to take vitamin D3. In supplementation form, vitamin D3 is preferred over D2 (ergocalciferol) due to the fact D3 is used more effectively by the human body. If you are unsure it is best to contact your local health professional.

When to take Vitamin D supplements?

Since Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin it is best to take it with a meal that contains enough fat. Another option is to take it with Omega-3 fish oil soft gels. This way it will absorb a lot better. If you have any questions or feedback about this article or if you have any other questions about training, nutrition, mindset, and lifestyle, feel free to send me a message!

Bart de Winter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dewinterbart
Owner DEWINTER Personal Training
Licensed Personal Trainer & Lifestyle coach.


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