Direct sunlight, milk, and salmon are sources of vitamin D we have been told about since childhood; yet, studies confirm that one billion people worldwide lack adequate vitamin D levels. People with coloured skin or those with a plant-based diet seem to be especially at threat, as the sunshine and the modern lifestyle rarely provide us with adequate amounts of vitamin D.
“The sunshine vitamin” has a different nature from all the others. It is a steroid hormone created by our body after sunbathing or eating fish. Vitamin D benefits vary from healthy bones to depression management. It also contributes to physical strength, a robust immune system, and heart health.
Vitamin D makes us resistant to certain diseases, and its absence is one of the reasons behind many health conditions, including multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.
With Sanbera, many feel stronger and more energetic during the very first days, partly due to its vitamin D benefits and content. We understand vitamin D and how it works better with other essential vitamins and minerals, so, in our Essential Women& Essential Men, we have blended it with calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and all to provide your body with what it really needs and upgrade your quality of life.
What is vitamin D?
Like vitamin A, vitamin D is fat-soluble and can be stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissue. But unlike vitamin A, vitamin D overdose and build-up are very rare. Vitamin D has many roles in the body.
Nutrients perform with one another, and vitamin D’s critical role in the absorption of the minerals makes it essential to the entire body.
There are two forms of vitamin D; vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, can be found in some plants, mushrooms, and yeasts. Vitamin D3 is high in some animal products, including fatty fish and egg yolks.
Before you can benefit from vitamin D, your body has to transform it into calcitriol, the active form. In the first stage of the activation process, vitamin D is converted to calcidiol, which can be stored in the liver. In the second stage, it is mostly converted by the kidneys to calcitriol. Active vitamin D is present in the whole body and acts like a steroid. It binds with the cell receptors to interact with your genes and make changes. Calcitriol affects bone health by improving calcium and phosphorus absorption with other roles such as immune function and cancer prevention.
Bone and oral health
We all know vitamin D for this. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the liver. It is renowned for its critical role in bone-building and strengthening as the bones cannot mineralize without it. Bone growth is negatively impacted in children with suboptimal vitamin D values, and the deficiency leads to bone fragility in adults and the elderly. Along with calcium, the bone-building team aids in preventing osteoporosis, a sickness that decreases bone density to the point of easy fracture.
In the absence of vitamin D and calcium, the chances of tooth decay and gum disease increase. Aside from the bone-building function, vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory abilities and its effects on the production of anti-microbial peptides are essential for oral health.
Studies show that weak muscles and vitamin D deficiency are linked. We all need vitamin D to maintain good muscle strength, but athletes and the elderly need it even more. Elders are strongly recommended to take vitamin D supplements, as stronger muscles may prevent falls, which can be life-threatening in older ages. Vitamin D especially impacts the upper body muscles and is essential for preventing injuries.
Combats low mood, depression, and anxiety
Depression is so vividly present in recent years it could be the herald of the times. The modern lifestyle clusters our minds and immensely decreases the amount of our physical activity and outdoor time, even affecting our contact with the sun. These factors all contribute to low mood and depression.
According to recent research, vitamin D aids with mood regulation just like the sun. A study with over 7500 participants suffering from depression proved that vitamin D supplementation might affect negative emotions. Keep in mind that consuming higher doses of vitamin D only aids in mood regulation when the receiver is vitamin D deficient.
The relation between vitamin D deficiency and depression is unavoidable, and some scientists believe vitamin D deficiency to be one of the leading causes of the increase in depression rates. But more research is still needed to determine if vitamin D deficiency causes depression or is caused by it. A review in the 2017 neuropsychology journal proposes vitamin D supplementation to be a cost-friendly, accessible solution for vitamin D deficient patients with depression symptoms.
Healthy nutrition has proven to make a difference with low moods. All nutritional deficiencies can attribute to mental disorders since natural energy regulation relies on a healthy body. Building a healthy foundation is necessary to prevent mental distresses such as depression and anxiety. Sanbera products are designed considering nutrition integrity, the relations between different nutrients, and their effects on your mental health.
Fights against type 1 and type 2 diabetes
More research is still needed on this subject, but many experts believe there is a connection between vitamin D and type one and type 2 diabetes. A study published in the 2006 Diabetes Care journal showed that vitamin D does not lower the risk of high blood sugar levels on its own but there was a difference when combined with a daily intake of over 1,200 mg of calcium.
Robust immune system and protection against diseases
The covid-19 pandemic drew attention to vitamin D’s role in fighting infection and bacteria. There seems to be a link between the lower doses of vitamin D through fall and winter and an increase in the rates of common cold, flu, and respiratory infections.
A 2017 study researched the impact of vitamin D supplements in fighting a respiratory infection. The group who took daily or weekly vitamin D supplements was at a lower risk of acute infections, compared to the placebo group. Although more research is required, evidence shows that people with suboptimal vitamin D values are more at risk of severe covid-19 and have higher mortality rates.
Vitamin D deficiency increases the chances of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. A population-based study done in 2018 discovered a relation between low vitamin D levels and multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.
Heart health and blood pressure control
A 2019 review suggests vitamin D supplementation as a possible treatment for hypertension. Suboptimal vitamin D status is linked to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. Even a short period of vitamin D deficiency might increase the risk of hypertension and lead to organ damage. It is not known if low vitamin D levels lead to heart disease or emphasize the present chronic condition.
The relationship between vitamin D and heart health is complicated, especially since many animal products containing vitamin D are also high in cholesterol and other nutrients that might increase blood pressure. Vitamin D supplementation and the consumption of plant-based sources seem to be better choices for people at risk of hypertension.
Easier weight loss
Scientists believe low vitamin D and calcium levels motivate obesity. Overweight people appear to be more at risk of vitamin D deficiency. According to a study by the British Journal of Nutrition in 2009, overweight or obese women who took calcium and vitamin D supplements could lose weight much easier than the placebo group. While both groups were following diets provided by nutritionists, the combination of vitamin D and calcium provided an “appetite-suppressing effect”, aiding the first group with weight loss.
This study is not the only one showing a relation between vitamin D supplementation and weight loss, but more research is needed. Vitamin D deficiency may not cause obesity directly but may promote it.
Lower risk of cancer
The lower death rates in the sun-kissed southern regions led researchers to study the role of vitamin D in preventing and battling certain cancers. Although more research is required on the subject, higher levels of sunlight decrease the cancer risk.
The research was largely focused on cancer the most human data is available, including colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
The connection between cancer and vitamin D has attracted the attention of many organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, also known as NCI.
Research on vitamin D and cancer correlation has a long way to go, but preventing vitamin D deficiency is a safe and in-reach measure.
Vitamin D appears to be anywhere the sun shines. But a lot of sunlight is needed to provide your required daily dose of vitamin D, and the sun doesn’t necessarily shine all the time. Many regions, such as the northern parts of Europe or America, do not have a bright sun. Your skin pigmentation also impacts your vitamin D absorption, making African Americans the most vitamin D deficient group in the United States, followed by Latinos.
To take in an adequate amount of vitamin D, a fair-skinned person needs to bathe directly in the sun for a few hours, several days a week. Of course, darker skins would require more sun time. Adequate amounts of vitamin D cannot be absorbed through only the hands and the face. Instead, you need a big part of your skin to be in contact with sunlight.
Some experts recommend 20-30 minutes of sunbathing before applying sunblock for the best results. On the other hand, many dermatologists believe that the risks of skin damage and skin cancer are not worth the sun’s vitamin D properties. If you are pale-skinned or have a family history of skin cancer, the sun might not be a suitable vitamin D source. If you are dark-skinned and live in a cloudy region, the sun might not be sufficient for your vitamin D needs. Vitamin D supplementation could be an alternative for both of these groups, anyone who does not have the opportunity to sunbathe or for when the colder seasons arrive.
While the Vikings and the old English could supply their vitamin D by consuming fish every day, most of us cannot or do not want to do so. Most consumable vitamin D food sources are animal products, and yet usually the amount of vitamin D they provide is the needed amount for only a single day. Over the past decades, many developed countries solved their country’s “silent vitamin D epidemic” by fortifying cereals, orange juice, or milk with the vitamin; but that might not be enough.
Some vitamin D food products include:
- canned tuna
- cod liver oil
- beef liver
- egg yolk
- regular mushrooms and ultraviolet-treated ones
- milk (fortified)
- some cereals and oatmeal (fortified)
- yogurt (fortified)
- orange juice (fortified)
When to take vitamin D supplements?
The world is dealing with what the scientists call “The silent vitamin D deficiency pandemic”. It is difficult to obtain enough vitamin D with a modern lifestyle, and people usually show no signs of deficiency until later stages. The only way to know if you are vitamin D deficient is to be tested for it.
However, certain groups are more at risk of deficiency than others, including people with plant-based diets, higher skin pigmentation, or those who live in cloudy areas with not much sun.
There is a lot of debate around the required dose of vitamin D, but generally, most experts believe that adults from 18-70 years need around 15 mcg of it.
It might be wise to supplement during the colder seasons if you are in a high-risk group. It is important to note that all nutrients, especially the fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins depend on each other for good performance, and a higher intake of one might bring the need for a higher intake in another. The intake of vitamins A and K, especially vitamin K2 which most people are deficient in, should also be optimized along with vitamin D. Adequate calcium and magnesium levels are also crucial for vitamin D performance.
With all these factors considered, consuming a supplement that provides all your required daily nutritional values is the best option. Sanbera products are vegan, organic, and sustainable. We respect human bodies, just like we respect the planet, and understand the requirements for bringing out the healthy, powerful, and happy in all bodies.
We only use the most scientifically validated ingredients with the highest bioavailability. Our vegan plant-based formulas are proven to deliver optimal results that last. Click here for a recent study by Dr. Marc D. Emerson on patients' biomarkers before and after taking Sanbera: a case study on Healing The Self.
In just a few weeks, our customers start to notice improvements in immunity, energy, skin, hair, nails, sleep, focus, & more.