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What are the Health Benefits of a Vitamin D Supplement?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Vitamin D is produced in the human body because of exposure to sunlight and can be found in foods such as fish, eggs and fortified cow’s milk. Despite the relative ease with which the body absorbs and creates this vitamin, research indicates that nearly half of the population is vitamin D deficient. Therefore, the majority of physicians recommend that everyone take a daily vitamin D supplement. This supplement can reduce the risk of developing rickets, osteomalacia and certain forms of cancer, and it can strengthen the immune system as well as provide other overall health benefits.

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading causes of rickets, a childhood disease that impedes the growth of bones. This is because the main function of vitamin D in the human body is to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood, which aids in the absorption of calcium, thereby creating and maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency also is linked to the bone-thinning disorder known as osteomalacia, which causes muscle weakness and fragile bones in adults. Both of these conditions can be avoided by taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

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Research has shown that taking a daily vitamin D supplement, whether in the form of a multivitamin or on its own, also can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, including colon cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Cancer patients who take a daily vitamin D supplement might notice a slight reduction in the progression of their cancer. Vitamin D also has been shown to strengthen the immune system by increasing the production of a peptide that fights bacteria, viruses and fungi. A lack of vitamin D is considered one of the major reasons that influenza is so common during the winter months, because of people’s lack of exposure to the sun.

Taking a daily vitamin D supplement also has been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease, thereby lowering a person’s overall cardiovascular risk. Taking vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 has been proven to increase life expectancy and improve both cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. Several studies have shown that taking a vitamin D supplement while pregnant increases brain development and decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The health benefits of taking a multivitamin that has vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 in it or taking a standalone vitamin D supplement are immense. As of 2010, doctors recommended that an adult younger than age 50 take 200 international units (IU) of a quality vitamin D supplement every day. Taking this vitamin continuously can increase almost everyone's life span and quality of life.

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