Vitamin D is important for developing and maintaining healthy bones while offering positive effects for your cardiovascular system, endocrine glands and immune system. Some studies have established a connection between a deficiency in vitamin D and an increased risk of breast and colorectal cancer.
Other studies have linked the levels of vitamin D with autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. The benefits of vitamin D were unknown in the past because it is also a hormone. Vitamin D is important for numerous body processes. There are receptors located in as many as forty different tissues including the pancreas, immune system cells, heart, brain and muscles. Vitamin D is just as important as exercise for fighting off heart disease. According to studies, it helps prevent diabetes and lowers blood pressure.
When this is combined with the potential for helping prevent the common cold and memory loss, it is no surprise weight gain in the abdomen can potentially be prevented with this amazing vitamin. Vitamin D can even help prevent prostate cancer.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Eating Less: When you have adequate levels of vitamin D, more leptin is released by your body. This is the hormone that tells your brain you are full. When you have less vitamin D, you have less leptin. This means you are going to eat more. A study revealed individuals consuming a breakfast rich in vitamin D and calcium decreased their appetite for 24 hours. Insulin resistance has also been linked to vitamin D. This results in overeating due to hunger.
Burning Fat: When your blood contains an adequate level of vitamin D, your fat cells work more slowly when producing and storing fat. When your levels of vitamin D are too low, your calcitriol and parathyroid hormone will both increase. This is undesirable because your body will collect and store additional fat as opposed to burning it off. Vitamin D can help with fat loss all over your body. This is especially true for your stomach. Studies have shown the majority of weight loss due to vitamin D is in the stomach.
One possibility is vitamin D may work with calcium to decrease your production of cortisol. This is a stress hormone causing your body to store abdominal fat. Your stomach will receive the most benefits from this vitamin in regards to weight loss.
Lean Body Mass: A deficiency in vitamin D can result in increased fat mass and muscle weakness. A study conducted in 2010 showed a lack of vitamin D can cause an increased infiltration of fat in muscle. Vitamin D is extremely important for maintaining lean body mass, muscle and preventing fat from developing in muscle.
Reducing Insulin Resistance: Consuming supplements and foods rich in vitamin D is proven to decrease your resistance to insulin while improving your insulin sensitivity. This means the symptoms of diabetes can be counteracted by your body. A deficiency in vitamin D has been connected to insulin resistance. This can result in overeating and hunger.
The Power of Muscle: A study conducted in 2008 revealed an optimal vitamin D level improves the development of power in muscle. Vitamin D is important for providing your muscles with the ability to create force and contract. A higher concentration of this vitamin produces more power than lower levels. This is the reason power and force have both been linked to vitamin D.
Improving Heart Health by Losing Weight: Studies have shown a diet containing dairy with vitamin D and calcium increases weight loss by seventy percent when compared to a diet with less of these nutrients and the same amount of calories. Studies have shown high levels of this vitamin increase the benefits achieved through weight loss. The cardiovascular risk markers such as triglycerides are improved.
Muscle Strength: Vitamin D supports numerous target organs and skeletal muscles. A lack of vitamin D often causes weakness in the muscles and abnormalities in relaxation and concentration. This negatively impacts muscle force production.
Balancing Calcium Levels: The right level of calcium is necessary for healthy nails, teeth and bones. Vitamin D helps your body easily assimilate calcium while making certain it is used correctly. Whether your body has too much or too little calcium, vitamin D ensures and efficient and even distribution of this mineral throughout your body. This normalises the reaction of your body.
If there was no vitamin D in your body, you would be unable to absorb calcium. This vitamin is extremely important for the ability of your body to effectively absorb the necessary calcium. This means vitamin D helps with the procedure essential for providing strong bones.
Managing Blood Pressure: If you are not interested in taking prescription medications to decrease your blood pressure, vitamin D is a necessity. This vitamin has been shown to help you feel happier and calmer. This is what will decrease your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Assisting the Cells: Your cells perform better due to vitamin D. It provides nourishment for the different cells in your body. This enhances a feeling of happiness and calm while decreasing your risk of disease. The functions in your body are optimised which makes it easier for you to begin each day.
The easiest solution for the majority of health issues currently known is vitamin D. This should be a daily nutritional staple for every diet. You can optimise your level of vitamin D by getting enough exposure to the sun each day. When this is not possible, your best option is taking vitamin D supplements.
The Importance of Sunlight
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, the vitamin D in your body is activated. This produces a type of vitamin D that will remain in your bloodstream for twice as long as when you consume it in a supplement or food. The issue with sunlight is skin cancer. For your body to produce enough vitamin D, you would have to be in the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. every day without using any sunscreen. Even if the issue of skin cancer was removed, the amount of vitamin D your body can produce is dependent on the sunlight for each location.
Individuals north of the equator will most likely produce just ten to twenty percent of the amount of vitamin D in April as opposed to June. By the time December comes around, very little vitamin D can be produced by the skin. Even if you live in a city that gets a lot of sunlight, there is no guarantee you will produce enough vitamin D. UVB rays are filtered by air pollution. This means fewer rays are getting through to your skin. This is the reason you can still be vitamin D deficient no matter how much sunlight you receive.
Taking vitamin D supplements is a good idea. The recommendation is 600 (IU) international units of vitamin D each day in either supplements or foods. This may still not be enough because this recommendation is for bone health. This does not include what is required to benefit your pancreas, heart, immune system, brain and muscles. Some experts believe men require between 1,000 and 2,000 IUs in addition to a diet high in vitamin D. One society revised the recommended dose of vitamin D to between 1,500 and 2,000 IUs per day to remain in good health.
The elevated recommendation of vitamin D is really just a place to start. If an individual is overweight with a (BMI) body mass index of more than 25, they most likely require additional vitamin D. Vitamin D is trapped in body fat. The more excess weight, the more vitamin D becomes trapped. This means there is less vitamin D in the bloodstream. When an individual is obese with a BMI exceeding thirty, they require between two and five times more of this vitamin than lean individuals. The amount of vitamin D required for individuals who are carrying extra weight but are not obese is not clear.
Most experts believe these individuals require between 2,000 and 4,000 IU to be safe. The other issue in attempting to receive all of the vitamin D your body needs from supplements is you may not receive all of the fat-burning benefits. When you consume foods rich in vitamin D, you are also getting complimentary nutrients. This is important for weight loss.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Fatty Fish: Fatty varieties of fish including mackerel and salmon have four times more vitamin D when compared to leaner varieties like white fish. Oily fish also provides your body with omega-3 fatty acids. This works with vitamin D to help inhibit the growth of cancer cells while enhancing your weight loss. The protein in fatty fish will also help suppress your appetite.
You can effectively supercharge your vitamin D by selecting wild-caught salmon as opposed to farm-raised. A study showed only 25 percent of the vitamin D found in wild-caught salmon is contained in the farm-raised version. The reason wild salmon has so much more vitamin D is that they eat plankton rich in nutrients. Farm-raised salmon are fed pellets very low in vitamin D.
Eggs: Eggs are similar to fatty fish because they contain protein, omega-3s and vitamin D. This is the reason why consuming one egg with your breakfast can decrease your appetite all day long and decrease your calorie intake. This can lead to a 65 percent improvement in your weight loss.
Dairy: Milk products contain both vitamin D and calcium. This decreases your fat-storage hormone levels. Dairy also contains a lot of an amino acid called leucine. This enhances your fat-burning capabilities while stimulating your muscle growth. The leucine and vitamin D may be the reason why sources of dairy have double the effectiveness of enhancing weight loss as calcium supplements alone.
You can increase your intake by choosing dairy products fortified with vitamin D. All milk products contain 100 IUs of this important vitamin in every serving. Other dairy products such as yogurt depend on the manufacturer. Certain brands of yogurt contain thirty percent of your daily requirement of vitamin D in a six-ounce serving. Other brands have not been fortified. The same is true of orange juice and cereal. Your best option is to read the labels to ensure you are making the best choice.
If you have any questions on the above or would like some advice on how we could help you with your fitness goal, don’t hesitate, visit our gym and try one of our small group personal training sessions.
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