What are the health benefits of vitamin D?


Quick Answer

Vitamin D promotes healthy bones by allowing for absorption of calcium, explains WebMD. Research suggests this vitamin may also reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and prevent colon polyps.

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Full Answer

A study at Boston University suggests that vitamin D may help lower blood pressure, according to WebMD. In this study, people with diagnosed high blood pressure were exposed to UVA and UVB rays, prompting their bodies to produce more vitamin D. Their blood pressures decreased into the normal range and remained normal nine months after the treatment. Researchers theorize that vitamin D reduces blood pressure by triggering the production of a hormone called renin.

Another study showed that taking oral vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of colon polyps by 40 percent in a group of older adults, explains WebMD. By stimulating the pancreas to make insulin, vitamin D also helps protect against diabetes.

The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 international units for people between the ages of 1 and 70 and 800 international units for people ages 71 and older, according to Mayo Clinic. Vitamin D supplements are likely safe when doses of 100 micrograms or less per day are taken. Those who suffer from headaches, immune disorders, skin disorders, liver disease or thyroid disorders should use vitamin D supplements with caution.

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