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Vitamin D Promotes Mood Support, Muscle Health, Brain Function & More*

Image by Rawpixel / iStock
May 10, 2022

If bone health was vitamin D's initial claim to fame, let's call its role in immune health1 the 2020 comeback tour that put this essential vitamin back on the map.* And while calcium absorption2 and immune response are fantastic ways for vitamin D to support our well-being, we shouldn't sleep on the other amazing talents this vitamin has to offer.*

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The many ways vitamin D supports our whole-body health.

Vitamin D receptors3 are found in just about every cell in the body—meaning the sunshine vitamin plays a huge role in our health across many physiological systems. Here are six additional ways that vitamin D aids in whole-body health support:*

1.

Promotes muscle strength and function.

If you're looking to holistically support your musculoskeletal system during exercise (or day-to-day movement, for that matter), you may want to consider getting your vitamin D levels checked.

Sufficient vitamin D levels are crucial for maintaining healthy muscle mass4 throughout your lifespan and supporting the form and function of skeletal muscles5.* In vitamin D insufficient or deficient individuals (41% and 29% of the U.S. population6, respectively), vitamin D supplementation has even been shown to improve muscle strength.* 

Check on your vitamin D status—taking a look at your micronutrient intake might be the next step to reaching your fitness goals.

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2.

Supports antioxidant activity and longevity.

Promoting musculoskeletal longevity isn't the only way vitamin D can help bolster a long, healthy life—a recent 7Cureus7 study7 suggests that D plays a part in antioxidant activity, as well.* 

Evidence from the study indicates that individuals with sufficient vitamin D levels are more likely to experience healthy antioxidant balance, while those with deficient levels are more likely to see increased oxidative stress.* 

3.

Provides fertility and reproductive health support.

When it comes to reproductive health and fertility support, vitamin D is involved in everything from erectile function8 and sperm motility9 to conception10 and pregnancy11 (for both mama and baby).*

While still ongoing, this up-and-coming area of research suggests that both women and men can benefit from the reproductive support that vitamin D supplementation can provide.*

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4.

Maintains oral health and dental integrity.

It turns out vitamin D plays a massive role in both tooth and overall oral health—a fact that should not be shocking given its role in bone integrity and immune function but surprised us nonetheless.* 

Indeed, this essential vitamin plays a part in maintaining strong tooth enamel12supporting the oral immune response13, and promoting healthy gums14.* In other words: Vitamin D is the secret weapon your dentist might not be telling you about! 

5.

Helps promote a healthy gut.

Make way, probiotics—there's another gut-supporting supplement in town! While a high-quality probiotic is still our No. 1 tool for promoting a healthy GI tract, it turns out vitamin D plays a part in diversifying the gut microbiome as well.* 

However, it's worth noting that as much as vitamin D helps with overall gastrointestinal health, a healthy gut is also vital for proper vitamin D absorption—so make sure you're covering all your bases for optimal results!* 

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6.

Supports cognitive function and mood.

Vitamin D receptors are located throughout the nervous system, indicating vitamin D is a key player in supporting nervous system function and brain health.*

As it turns out, research evidence reveals that vitamin D sufficiency promotes overall cognitive functionbrain development15, and even mood balance—making it a powerful tool for your noggin when it comes to both function and mental well-being.* 

The takeaway.

Vitamin D has a role to play in just about every system throughout the body. While bone health and immune support may be vitamin D's best-known contributions to our well-being, this essential nutrient has so much more to offer.* 

To fully support your whole-body health, consider adding a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement—like mindbodygreen's vitamin D3 potency+ (hello, organic, sustainable D3 with built-in absorption technology)—to your daily wellness routine to promote sufficient vitamin D levels.* And for more supplement recommendations, check out our vitamin D roundup.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Morgan Chamberlain
Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor

Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.