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Foundation Five: Vitamin D

Mountains of research show that achieving healthy vitamin D levels is one of the easiest ways to prevent disease, promote long-term health, optimize body composition, and reduce injury and illness rates. 

Why You Need It: 

Vitamin D deficiency is rampant at all latitudes due to sunscreen use (SPF 15 reduces vitamin D synthesis by 98%). You’re pretty much guaranteed to have low D unless you actively seek out daily sun exposure without sunglasses or sunscreen. 

Mountains of research link vitamin D deficiency to heightened risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, and obesity. What follows are just a few reasons everyone should get enough D:

  • Vitamin D is a key player in achieving optimal body composition by supporting metabolic rate and preventing fat infiltration into muscle. 
  • A healthy vitamin D level is necessary for a robust immune system. It’s also protective against musculoskeletal injuries and fractures. 
  • It is associated with muscular strength and power. For example, a recent study found that overweight adults who took vitamin D in conjunction with a strength training program increased their explosive power significantly more than a group that didn’t take vitamin D. 
  • The likelihood of having depression and other brain/mood disorders is significantly higher in vitamin D-deficient individuals, most likely because vitamin D enhances the metabolic processes in brain neurons, protecting the brain from oxidative degeneration. 
  • Vitamin D has been linked with fighting numerous cancers including lung, breast, colon, and prostate. In the case of lung cancer, supplementing with vitamin D may help offset elevated levels of an enzyme that is associated the development of aggressive lung cancer tumors. 
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