Little-Known Health Benefits of Vitamin D

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 04/03/2014

There’s no question that the health benefits of vitamin D make it one of the most important nutrients you need. Adequate vitamin D levels protect you against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, and more. Yet, many doctors are still giving their patients misinformation when it comes to this critical nutrient.

Little-Known Health Benefits of Vitamin D

What You Need To Know About the Health Benefits of Vitamin D

  1. With 15 minutes of safe sun exposure a day, it’s impossible to get all the vitamin D you need from sun exposure. In fact, up to 85 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient. 

  2. There are two basic forms of vitamin D: D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is the form your body makes naturally with sun exposure, and it’s the most bioavailable. So, if you have a choice between vitamin D2 and D3, choose D3.

  3. Being vitamin D deficient can contribute to diabetes by impairing insulin synthesis and secretions. In fact, of the 23 million Americans with diabetes many are vitamin D deficient

  4. Those “senior moments” can be worsened by a lack of vitamin D. In a European study of 3,369 men ages 40–79, low levels of vitamin D were associated with poorer scores on cognitive tests.

  5. The health benefits of vitamin D help to protect you against cancer, including prostate, breast and colon cancers. 

What’s the best way to ensure you’re not vitamin D deficient? What I tell my patients is they need to shoot for 2,000–4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 a day if they’re healthy. You can also take 5,000 to 7,500 IUs daily if you’re compromised with a chronic illness, or even an illness of uncertain cause like fibromyalgia. You can continue that higher dose regimen for 2-3 months to get the optimal health benefits of vitamin D. 

Now it’s your turn: Do you take vitamin D?

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