Vitamin D deficiency affects 42 percent of American adults, and numerous studies have shown that it increases the risk of numerous health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
This vitamin is classified as a hormone, but it is actually a prohormone - a substance converted to a hormone within the body. Chemical alterations to vitamin D take place within the kidneys and secrete it as a hormone.
It is essential in numerous processes in the body, as it controls blood calcium levels, helps its absorption and utilization, inhibits the release of the parathyroid hormone, which is critical to bone health, fortifies the immune system, and much more.
BBC News says that vitamin D is important because:
"Its main function is to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are vital for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. In extreme cases, low levels can lead to rickets in children â where the bones become soft and weak and misshapen as they continue to grow.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia â causing severe bone pain and muscle aches. But there is a balance â too much vitamin D can lead to high levels of calcium in the blood which can cause heart and kidney problems."
Namely, it also prevents infections and illnesses, prevents diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and hypertension, reduces the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Mercola explains:
"A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.
According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers."
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