The issue of whether vitamin supplements are safe is a controversial one. However, it appears that a vitamin D3 supplement is among those few extra sources which can be recommended, because it proves not only to benefit bones, as it was previously thought, but also can help repair damage to blood vessels resulting from hypertension and other factors.
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Why do I need vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3 is famous for its interesting way of production: it is produced by skin when it is exposed to sunlight. That is why more than 1 billion people do not have enough of it: some of us live in regions where there the amount of sunny days per year is insufficient to provide us with a lot of sunshine. Besides, being exposed to sunlight for a long time can be dangerous, so it is recommended that everyone limits the time spent outdoors during the day.
Still, this vitamin is required for absorbing phosphorus and calcium, as well as promoting proper functioning of the immune system. Bones and teeth do not develop normally in case of vitamin D3 deficiency. Osteoporosis and osteomalacia are among those diseases which are associated with not having enough vitamin D3.
Yet these are not the only functions of this vitamin. It appears that there is more to vitamin D than meets the eye – it is capable of repairing endothelial cells and thus helping the cardiovascular system work properly.
What new data do we have?
Investigators from the Ohio University have recently revealed that this vitamin can be especially beneficial to the category of people who were diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease or are at risk of developing one.
They found that D3 can affect endothelial cells – that is the cells that are used as lining in blood vessels. If a person suffers from hypertension or diabetes, his cardiovascular endothelial cells get damaged constantly, which leads to problems with blood circulation. It appears that vitamin D3 is capable of restoring these cells and repairing the damage done to them.
According to the investigators, one of the most wonderful things about the discovery is that there is no need to develop new drugs, as we already have such supplements. Another important aspect is that vitamin D3 is cheap and available in most countries, which makes it an inexpensive way of helping your body keep the blood vessels healthy.
Nowadays medicine offers no ways of restoring endothelial cells, and the researchers noted that the new information can be especially valuable, because the solution is widely available, natural and easy to use.
Where do I get vitamin D3?
One of the best natural sources of D3 is fatty fish. Salmon, which is a nutritional hero of many an article, contains significant amounts of vitamin D3, for example. Another source of D3 is egg yolks, but mind your yolk intake so as not to consume too much cholesterol. Oysters are an alternative to fatty fish, though the latter seems to be a better option, as it is packed with loads of nutrients.
If you live in a region where there is enough sunshine, don’t skip daily strolls. Don’t forget to cover your skin if you are going to expose it to sunlight for a long time, though.
While vitamin D3 supplements appear to be one of the few supplements that can really be recommended to many people, it is a good idea to consult your GP first in order to avoid toxic effects.
Not so fast!
However, one should beware of getting excessive amounts of vitamin D, because such intake is associated with various side effects. The vitamin is fat soluble, and it can build up and reach the level at which it becomes toxic. Too much vitamin D in the body can lead to elevated calcium levels in the blood, nausea, forgetfulness, vomiting, digestion problems (including diarrhea and constipation), bone loss, and kidney failure. Remember that moderation is a thing that is key to taking supplements properly.
6 Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D – Healthline.com
Nanomedical studies of the restoration of nitric oxide/peroxynitrite balance in dysfunctional endothelium by 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 – clinical implications for cardiovascular diseases – Dovepress.com
Understanding vitamin D deficiency – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov