The 7 Best Benefits of Vitamin D [And How to Get More]

Updated on July 21, 2021
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Vitamin D is good for your health and necessary for the human body. Here are some of its benefits and some tips on how you can get more in your diet. Vitamins and nutrients are essential to your health. They work together to help your body function the way it’s meant to function.

Aside from the big hitters like vitamin A and vitamin C, there are others that you should know about.

Vitamin D is incredibly important to your body, and you should make sure you’re getting enough of it in your day-to-day life.

Below, you will read about seven of the benefits vitamin D has for your health, as well as a few ways you can get more of it in your diet. By the time you finish, you’ll never neglect this sunshine vitamin again.

1. Lowers Your Risk of Depression

Vitamin D mimics the effect of sunlight to lift your mood.

Studies have shown a connection in vitamin D supplements and an improvement in symptoms in people with depression.

Just like sunshine, it boosts your mood by signaling the brain to emit serotonin, the feel-good hormone.

On a similar note, Vitamin D can ease the symptoms of seasonal depression by getting more of it into your system during the wintertime when there is less sunlight available.

2. Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles

Vitamin D supports calcium so that it can do its job more efficiently.

By promoting calcium absorption in your gut, Vitamin D aids your body in the process of normal bone mineralization. It also helps to prevent a loss of bone density that could make your bones brittle.

In much the same way, vitamin D keeps your muscles strong. This is especially important for the elderly, as it helps prevent falls.

One study showed that older women who took vitamin D along with calcium reduced their risk of falling by 49% compared to those who only took calcium.

3. Decreases Your Risk of Heart Disease

Vitamin D is an important supplement to use if you’re trying to prevent high blood pressure and hypertension.

It’s theorized that vitamin D reduces the production of a hormone called renin, which may play a role in causing hypertension. By keeping this hormone under control, you can ease your high blood pressure.

Because high blood pressure is such a large factor in heart disease, lowering it will help prevent issues in your cardiovascular system.

4. Lowers Your Risk of Some Cancers

While the evidence is still in flux, there have been some promising results linking vitamin D with a reduction in the risk of some cancers, as well as lowering the risk of death due to cancer.

It’s been observed that death rates for certain cancers were lower in people that live in sunnier areas. This may be due to the fact they’re getting more sunlight and thus more vitamin D.

There has also been some proof in studies showing that those who have developed cancer had a 25% lower death rate when taking vitamin D as opposed to not.

5. Supports Your Immune System

Vitamin D helps to keep your immune system balanced and aids in fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses.

In fact, if you already deal with an autoimmune disease, a deficiency of vitamin D can make the state of it worse than if you were getting the recommended amount.

There has also been some evidence to support the theory that getting plenty of vitamin D can reduce your risk of catching viruses like the flu as well as respiratory infections.

Definitely make sure you’re keeping up with your dosage around flu season!

6. Helps Prevent Diabetes

There are some observational studies that suggest an increase in vitamin D can help prevent diabetes. It does this by increasing insulin sensitivity, boosting beta cell functioning, and reducing inflammation.

All of these factors can reduce your risk of diabetes and help you manage it.

7. Aids in Weight Loss

Taking a daily supplement of calcium and vitamin D can help suppress your appetite, making it easier for you to lose weight.

It makes your brain feel more satisfied and happy, so you don’t have to eat more.

Obese people usually have lower levels of vitamin D and need to supplement it to see its effects. Studies have shown that, on average, overweight people who use vitamin D supplements lose seven pounds more than those who don’t.

How Much Vitamin D Should You be Getting?

Depending on your age, there are different levels of vitamin D you need for your body to function properly. It has recently been discovered that we should actually have more IUs (international units) of vitamin D than previously recommended.

Up to 70 years old, you should be getting 600 IU of vitamin D a day. After age 70, that increases to 800 IU a day.

Here are a few ways you can get more vitamin D every day:

Change Up Your Diet

There are plenty of D-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet to get yourself to the right level. You just have to be mindful of what you’re eating and make an effort to have as many of these foods as possible.

Some amazing sources of vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish 
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified foods (milk, yogurt, orange juice)

Go Outside in the Sun

Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. By exposing your skin to UVB rays, your body is able to create this vitamin naturally.

The amount of vitamin D your body absorbs from sunlight depends on a few factors:


The closer you live to the equator, the closer you are to the sun. That means you are able to get more sunlight and more vitamin D. As you get further and further away from the equator, you start getting less sunlight.


As you age, your body gets less efficient at producing vitamin D, so you’ll probably have to supplement it.

Skin Tone

It can take as little as ten minutes of sun exposure for those with lighter skin tones to get enough vitamin D. People with darker skin tones have more melanin in their skin, so they need more exposure.

Skin Products

Covering up and wearing sunscreen may block most, if not all, of the sun’s rays from making contact with your skin. Therefore, you may not get vitamin D from the sun.

Keep in mind if you’re keen on soaking up some rays.

Take a Supplement

For most people, a vitamin D supplement is the best way to get it in their system. 

Sometimes, the other options just don’t work for you, and that’s perfectly fine! You can still get plenty of vitamin D this way.

When you’re looking for a supplement, get a vitamin with D3 instead of D2. It’s much more effective at raising levels in the human body.

Most people are good to go with 1,000–2,000 IU as a safe daily dosage for maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D in your blood. But if you’re unsure, have your vitamin D levels tested to see if you are low and need a larger dose than normal.

In Conclusion

Vitamin D provides you with so many amazing benefits that it’s hard to deny how essential it is to your health. You shouldn’t just be aware of vitamin D, you should be absolutely sure you’re getting as much as you need.

There’s no time like the present to start incorporating D-rich foods, supplements, and activities into your daily life. It’s a lifestyle change you can really feel good about!

Author Bio:

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Angus Flynn is the business manager for Chatham on Main, a luxury apartment community in Chatham, NJ.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.