What Are Three Benefits of Vitamin D?


Quick Answer

Evidence suggests that three benefits of vitamin D are that it reduces the risk of cancer, strengthens bone and muscle and decreases the chance of catching colds and flu. Less sunlight in winter and, therefore, less exposure to vitamin D causes increased health problems in northern climates, according to Care2.

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Full Answer

Vitamin D helps prevent respiratory infections and deaths in northern populations where there is less sun and, therefore, less vitamin D exposure. Research suggests that the immune response depends on vitamin D, especially since this vitamin increases cathelicidin, which combats germs that infect the lungs.

Vitamin D is necessary for normal development of bones and muscles. Research suggests that most elderly people who have hip fractures have a vitamin D deficiency. Weak muscles can cause people to fall and fracture or break bones. Vitamin D helps strengthen muscles, increase motion length and decrease fragility. According to Osteoporosis International, between 1,800 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D could greatly reduce the risk of falls in senior citizens. Elderly people are prone to develop weakened bones due to osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is useful for decreasing cancer risks. Research suggests that chances of developing cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, kidney, prostate and pancreas are decreased with vitamin D supplements or increased sun exposure. Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, of the University of California San Diego postulated that 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily would help decrease colorectal cancer, and 3,500 IU of vitamin D daily would help decrease breast cancer by approximately half.

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