The brain and body operate in some mysterious ways, but there are simple and easy solutions for optimizing our health and happiness using Vitamin D.
Our brains and bodies haven’t changed in thousands of years, with the latest estimates suggesting that our brains haven’t changed in roughly 40,000 years. Some studies suggest our brains have even shrunk by 10% over this time!
How is this possible? And what does it mean for those of us living during these unprecedented times? It looks like we need to get back to the basics to understand
Your brain and body are composed of trillions of cells (3.72 x 1013, to be exact) that are continually changing and replaced by new ones. While some cells may get replaced daily, others take years to turn over. Heart cells and neurons rarely, if ever, turn over and get replaced.
So what are the significant factors that determine cellular growth and repair? Damage to our cell’s DNA, the longevity of disease, and genetic makeup can all play a significant role, mostly because the presence of inflammation heavily influences these factors.
The biggest culprit of poor health in our society is trauma and chronic inflammation, but luckily for us, Vitamin D is a master controller of these processes.
Vitamin D Controls Inflammation
Vitamin D deficiencies are estimated to affect 50% of the human population worldwide. Yet, while most people associate Vitamin D with sunshine and bone health, the effects of this coveted hormone span throughout the brain and body via inflammation and immune function regulation.
Immediately following a brain injury or concussion, a massive neuro-inflammatory cascade causes an array of activity throughout the central nervous system. Trauma causes an increase in pro-inflammatory mediators, altered mitochondrial function, and triggers adverse structural changes to the brain’s neural networks. We also see structural changes in the neck and spine, which can further complicate a patient’s presentation and overall prognosis.
Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in regulating inflammation following traumatic events, making it even more essential to ensure adequate Vitamin D supplementation and use following these types of injuries.
Supplementing Vitamin D in Aging Populations
As we age, our ability to synthesize Vitamin D via the skin decreases, potentially leaving us vulnerable to bone loss and an inability to fight off infections. Luckily for us, Vitamin D supplements are readily available and easy to administer to increase our blood and cellular levels.
Vitamin D replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments for the elderly for the reasons listed above. It’s also one of the easiest supplements to purchase at the store or online, making it an easy solution to the aging population’s everyday problems. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) ranges from 400-800 IU’s depending on your age, overall health status, and country in which you live. Keep in mind; the RDA is the minimum amount of a vitamin needed to prevent and avoid disease, so most providers will use varying levels of these supplements to get Vitamin D levels back into the healthy range.
Curious to see how much you should be taking? The best part about Vitamin D is that we can run a simple blood test to determine its concentration inside cells because it is stored in our fatty tissue as a fat-soluble vitamin. A majority of doctor’s offices can run these tests at an affordable rate and can continue to monitor your Vitamin D levels over time with repeated tests. Just remember that not all supplements are created equally, so be on the lookout for ones that have a GMP label and are third-party tested.
Get Your Vitamin D!
As you can see, Vitamin D does a lot more than maintain bone health, as it is a significant driver of immune function and controlling inflammation. If you’re curious to read more about Vitamin D, be sure to check out all of the references listed within this article. They all point to peer-review published literature on Vitamin D.
Now get out and get your daily dose of Vitamin D!