How A Quality Vitamin D Supplement Can Help Promote A Healthy Gut*
Probiotics are great, but they aren't the be-all, end-all for gut health. Diversity is key for a healthy gut microbiome, which is why eating a diverse diet filled with lots of different fruits and veggies is often recommended for enhancing gut health.
One essential vitamin that's near impossible to get from diet alone? Vitamin D. And as it turns out, this famous vitamin is pretty critical to overall gut health.
How vitamin D helps modulate gut health.
Vitamin D receptors (VDR) are found throughout the body, which provides us with valuable insight into where, exactly, we can reap the essential vitamin's health benefit (hint: pretty much everywhere—including the gut!).
If you've done any research on gut health, you already know how important a well-functioning GI tract is for supporting optimal immune function (since the bulk of our immune system is actually located in our gut1!). As it turns out, vitamin D plays a key role in critical immune defenses—and, in turn, helps optimize overall gut health.*
"The vitamin D pathway is important in the regulation of immune responses and gut health. There are different genes regulated by the vitamin D receptor that can affect the integrity of the gut barrier and the immune defenses in the gut,"* Adrian F. Gombart, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute, previously told mbg.
But immune function isn't the only aspect of GI health vitamin D supports! In a 2020 cross-sectional analysis2 published in Nature Communications, researchers found that men with higher concentrations of the active, hormone form of vitamin D showed greater gut microbiome diversity (which is a key indicator of optimal gut health), including the kind of gut microbiota that produce the postbiotic butyrate.*
Are you getting enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D status and gut health are a classic chicken-and-egg scenario—without sufficient vitamin D, your gut microbiome isn't as healthy as it could be. And without a healthy gut, vitamin D doesn't get absorbed as well.
According to a 2016 study published in 3Frontiers3, vitamin D deficiency is associated with gut bacteria disruption, meaning gut health isn't so easily obtained with suboptimal vitamin D status. Luckily, the study also found that sufficient levels of vitamin D may improve gut health.*
If you're not sure what your current vitamin D status is, unfortunately, the odds are stacked against you: A shocking 29% and 41% of American adults4 are deficient or insufficient, respectively, in vitamin D. (And those are conservative estimates considering those cutoffs aim low, and higher levels of vitamin D status are supported by science and doctors.)
So, how can you benefit both your gut health AND your vitamin D absorption rate if your current D status is less than ideal?
How a daily vitamin D3 supplement can help.
Choosing the right daily vitamin D supplement can help support both vitamin D sufficiency and a healthy gut.*
That said, not all vitamin D supplements are created equal. Here's what you should look for:
- A daily dosage of at least 5,000 IU—experts agree most of us need that much to achieve truly optimal levels.
- The most bioavailable form—vitamin D3—instead of the less effective (aka inferior) vitamin D2.
- Optimized bioavailability is key for proper absorption—as a fat-soluble vitamin, it needs a little fat to properly absorb.
Already feeling overwhelmed with the many vitamin D supplements on the market? We've got you covered.
mbg's vitamin D3 potency+ delivers 5,000 IU of algal-derived vitamin D3, plus a trio of organic oils (avocado, olive, and flax) to ensure optimal absorption, so you can achieve (and maintain!) sufficient vitamin D status and bolster your gut health.*
If you're looking to comprehensively support your gut (and whole-body!) health, ensuring that your vitamin D levels are sufficient is critical.
Thankfully, taking a high-potency vitamin D3 supplement that prioritizes bioavailability, like mbg's vitamin D3 potency+, can help you achieve and maintain sufficient vitamin D levels.* To which your gut says, thank you.
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.