Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. You don’t “get” vitamin D, your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D actually behaves much less like a vitamin and much more like a hormone. That means vitamin D acts as a messenger rather than a participant in metabolism, potentially affecting everything from weight to how organs function.
Vitamin D receptors are found in nearly every cell, and as soon as D binds to a receptor, it turns genes on or off, prompting changes at the cellular level. Studies completed over the last two decades have proven that this process turns off cancer-causing genes, turns on immuno-protective genes, and even tells cells which vitamins and minerals to absorb.
Most supplements available come in the D3 form, which allows for the best absorption from the digestive system.
There are Vitamin D receptors and activating enzymes on the surface of all white blood cells. In 2017, a large analyses of prospective clinical trials showed that taking vitamin D reduces the odds of developing a respiratory infection by approximately 42% in people with low baseline levels.
Strong bones are a result of good vitamin D3 intake because it helps regulate and control the body’s ability to absorb phosphorus and calcium—two compounds that provide density and strength to the skeletal system and teeth. Children who lack Vitamin D develop the condition called rickets, which causes bone weakness, bowed legs, and other skeletal deformities, such as stooped posture.
Lower Blood Pressure
A study from Boston University found that those with high blood pressure experienced a drop in pressure when vitamin D levels were increased. D3 actively reduces the concentration of renin, an enzyme secreted by the kidney that has an affect on blood vessels.
When the skin is injured, a higher amount of vitamin D intake will enhance healing and better outcomes. Additionally, vitamin D promotes the creation of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide the immune system uses to fight off wound infections.