7 Proven Benefits of Vitamin D (And How To Make Sure You Are Getting Enough!)

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body uses to support many different functions. It is categorized as an essential nutrient because the body cannot make it without access to direct sunlight or certain foods.

Want to know most about vitamin D? Here are 7 key ways that vitamin D benefits the body.

1. Helps Maintain Bone Health And Prevent Fractures

Vitamin D has been shown in several studies to be linked to healthy bones and bone density in a variety of ways.

It is involved in maintaining the proper levels of other vitamins and minerals that contribute to bone health, including magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, your bones are not able to absorb the amount of calcium that they should. Also, low vitamin D can have an effect on hormone levels, which lowers the amount of phosphorus – a key player in the mineralization of bone.

Over time, low levels of these vitamins and minerals can lead to osteoporosis, fractures, softening of the bone, and more. Several studies from countries around the world show that simply supplementing vitamin D can prevent or manage these issues by reducing the rate of bone aging and bone loss. The dosage used varies by study, with most of them using between 1,000-5,000 IU per day.

The benefits of taking vitamin D supplements were particularly noticeable in study participants over 65 years of age. Older adults with proper levels of vitamin D had better bone density and muscle health than those with low vitamin D. This reduced their risk of falling or suffering from broken or fractured bones.

2. Regulates Hormone and Insulin Secretion

Because vitamin D is necessary for adequate calcium absorption, it also plays a role in maintaining blood sugar levels. Calcium is needed to facilitate proper insulin secretion, which keeps blood glucose levels from getting too high.

Research shows that vitamin D may further protect the pancreas and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by reducing the inflammation that contributes to insulin resistance and protecting your beta cells. Beta cells play a central role in insulin secretion, and the death and dysfunction of these cells are believed to be a major cause of type 2 diabetes.

A recent study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology found that supplementing 5,000 IU of vitamin D for 6 months increased both insulin sensitivity and beta cell function, which helps slow the progression of type 2 diabetes.

Because of vitamin D’s effect on hormone regulation, it may be beneficial for other conditions related to hormone secretion. Recent research has linked vitamin D deficiency to several such conditions, including:

  • Thyroid disease and dysfunction
  • insomnia
  • Low testosterone
  • Enlarged prostate
  • PMS
  • Ovarian cysts

Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to help with many of these, but further research is needed.

3. Supports a Healthy Immune System

Research conducted within the last 15-20 years has shown that vitamin D helps regulate the replication of cells within the body. This may help prevent or lessen the effects of infections, viruses, autoimmune conditions, and inflammation.

Vitamin D seems to be particularly beneficial in protecting the lungs from injury and infection. A 2020 correlation study from Europe found that higher vitamin D levels correlated with significantly reduced rates of serious lung infections while lower levels of this vitamin were associated with a higher rate of respiratory infection.

There is also emerging research that indicates that immune cells contain receptors for vitamin D and that the vitamin plays a role in the functioning of some types of white blood cells – key players in our immune system that attack viruses and bacteria that find their way into our bodies.

4. Helps With Brain Function

Multiple studies have shown that vitamin D plays a role in our ability to focus, remember things, and make good decisions. Low levels of vitamin D tend to be associated with study participants that demonstrate poor problem-solving skills, difficulty retaining information, and trouble with tasks that require prolonged focus and attention to detail have shown that vitamin D also affects our ability to make decisions, concentrate and retain information.

It has also been indicated that there could be a link between vitamin D deficiency and many conditions related to brain and neurological function, including mood disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Further research is needed to determine whether it directly causes or puts you at an increased risk for these issues.

5. Helps Prevent And Manage Heart Disease

Vitamin D helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important for a healthy heart. Research is beginning to emerge that expands on this, connecting vitamin D deficiency to a significantly increased risk of both getting heart disease and dying from heart-related conditions.

Adequate levels of vitamin D may also reduce your risk of blood clots and strokes.

6. Might Protect You Against Cancer

Vitamin D’s role in regulating hormones, cell replication, and immune system function may help with cancer prevention and treatment. Emerging research suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D may slow tumor growth and prevent the occurrence of many types of cancer.

In addition, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, especially:

  • breast cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • pancreatic cancer

Current research shows mixed results on the direct benefit of supplementation on these types of cancer, but increased exposure to sunlight, which allows your body to make vitamin D, has been positively associated with reduced cancer recurrence and mortality in several studies

7. Supports Clear And Healthy Skin

Vitamin D supports skin health in many ways.

It helps with skin cell growth and repair, which helps prevent aging and promote wound healing. This helps maintain a healthy complexion and skin barrier.

Because it plays a role in preventing inflammation in the body, it may also reduce the occurrence or severity of redness and skin rashes, especially those connected to autoimmune conditions, like psoriasis.

Deficiency Signs And Symptoms

Most people in the developed world are deficient in vitamin D. How can you tell if you are? The most definitive way to know for sure is to have a blood test done to check your vitamin D levels. However, if you have any of these signs and symptoms and often don’t get daily direct sun exposure, you most likely are deficient.

  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Frequent infections
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone fractures
  • Chronic pain
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Skin problems, like eczema and psoriasis
  • Worsening of PMS or hormonal disturbances

How can you increase your vitamin D levels?

The most beneficial and natural way to make sure you get enough vitamin D is to ensure that you get enough exposure to sunlight. The recommended amount if you have fair or medium-toned skin is about 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, without wearing sunscreen. If you have darker skin or live in an area that doesn’t get much direct sunlight, you may need an hour or more of sun exposure a day to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.

You can also increase your intake of vitamin D by eating certain foods or taking a vitamin D supplement.

Foods And Supplements

If you are unable to get the necessary amount of sunlight most days, you can still get the benefits of vitamin D by eating vitamin D-rich foods or taking a good quality supplement.

What foods are good sources of vitamin D?

  • Liver and cod liver oil
  • Fortified dairy products
  • Fortified dairy alternatives, such as soy milk or almond milk
  • Some types of fish, including trout, tuna, mackerel, wild-caught salmon, sardines, and halibut
  • Egg yolks, particularly from pastured eggs
  • Mushrooms and other fungi that have been exposed to UV light

What is a good quality vitamin D supplement?

There are two types of vitamin D supplements, vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is a vegetarian supplement created from yeast, while vitamin D3 is derived from animal sources. Vitamin D3 is the most active form and is similar to what our bodies naturally produce from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 is approximately three or four times more effective in the human body than vitamin D2.

The recommended dosage for supplementation is as high as 5,000 IU for adults and 2,500 IU for children.

The most economical option is Vitamin D3 pills. If you are like me and prefer to not have to swallow pills, there are other forms commonly available, such as gummies and chewables.

A more natural way to supplement vitamin D is cod liver oil pills or liquid. You want to be sure that it is pure cod liver oil from wild cod. Some companies use farmed cod or add fillers or other oils.

Although rare, vitamin D toxicity is possible when supplementing at doses higher than recommended. If you are currently taking medications to treat epilepsy, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, or have kidney disease, do not take vitamin D supplements without first talking to a healthcare provider.


Vitamin D is beneficial for so many bodily systems and processes. Because so many of us don’t get enough vitamin D, we must try to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight per day or be sure to get enough vitamin D from foods and supplements. I like to take cod liver oil or a chewable vitamin D supplement a few times a week, even more often in the winter to be sure I get enough of this essential vitamin.

Do you have any questions about the benefits of vitamin D? You can ask questions or share your experience in the comments

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5 thoughts on “7 Proven Benefits of Vitamin D (And How To Make Sure You Are Getting Enough!)”

  1. Hello Delaney

    Thanks so much for sharing your post on vitamin D.

    I recently visited my doctor for my yearly checkup then a few days later, a letter arrived in the mail with a Vitamin D prescription, I was surprised but looking back, it`s no wonder that I lack Vitamin D.

    I`m one of those people who prefer indoors and do not go out unless I have to, given that the winter is just behind us, I was more indoors than I could have thought.

    Luckily, I do not have any of the symptoms you mention like memory and concentration or Asthma but looking closely, I realize I have issues with insomnia and mood swings,I guess I just did not give it much thought.

    Your post has really opened my eyes to conditions I just ignored because although I got a prescription to get Vitamin D drops, it was just a prescription and the doc did not explain anything when he sent the prescription.

    I really appreciate you sharing this, really informative, well explained, and easy to understand.

    • I’m glad you found this post helpful, and I hope that the vitamin D drops your doctor sent you are working out well for you. Now that the weather is warmer, maybe you can enjoy sunshine and fresh air more often as well.

      Like you, I had no idea that I had a deficiency until my doctor mentioned it.

  2. HI there

    Oh wow, what a great article.  

    You have made it easy to understand by dividing it into 7 proven benefits. 

    I knew about bone health and immunity as a lot has been written during the pandemic.

    You taught me about the necessity of Vit D to regulate hormone and insulin production.

    Brain function is a really common problem and if Vit D does help with our ability to focus, remember things and make good decisions what an easy natural treatment!

    best wishes Sheen

    • Thank you!

      Yes, I was surprised too by some of the benefits I uncovered while researching it. I had always heard that it’s good for bone health and immunity too.

  3. I knew some of the basic benefits of Vitamin D but I had never read such a detailed article about all its benefits and it seems there are many more than I originally thought. Especially with helping in brain functionality, this is the first time I hear about this. It shows how much we need these vitamins with many of them doing more good than we even know.


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