Scientifically Speaking: Uncovering the Benefits of Vitamin D

Written by on May 20, 2013 in science, Scientifically Speaking with 2 Comments

If you’re connected to USANA in some way, you’ve probably heard us talk about how awesome vitamin D is. We’re always stressing the importance of this vital micronutrient, and for good reason.

Research shows that not only does vitamin D play a crucial role in the absorption and use of calcium, but it also supports a healthy, balanced immune system through its key role in the regulation and differentiation of immune system cells. Some studies even suggest that maintaining a healthy serum level of vitamin D may have a positive effect on healthy lung function.*

See, I told you it was awesome. But here’s the exciting news: we’re starting to uncover even more benefits related to healthy serum levels of vitamin D.

Collaborative research between USANA and The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) found that maintaining healthy blood levels of vitamin D helped people recover more quickly following a session of intense exercise.

Collaborative research between USANA and The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) found that maintaining healthy blood levels of vitamin D helped people recover more quickly following a session of intense exercise.

Because we’re serious about the science behind our products, USANA has worked alongside The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) for almost four years now on a groundbreaking study that examines the effects of vitamin D on the body’s muscle recovery process.

With the results finally released to the public, the study is receiving quite a bit of attention. The results were published in a recent issue of the journal Nutrients and presented at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston last month.

What the Study Found

Through USANA and TOSH’s collaborative research, scientists discovered that maintaining an adequate serum 25(OH)D concentration could attenuate muscular weakness after intense exercise.

So what does that mean in normal, non-scientist-jargon terms? Basically, maintaining healthy blood levels of vitamin D helped people recover more quickly following a session of intense exercise

Scientists uncovered this information by having the study participants incur muscle damage for several days through vigorous exercise. And because strength recovery is the most reliable method to access muscle damage, they would measure the participants’ muscle strength immediately, 48 hours, and 72 hours after their exercise.

Here, it was revealed that those with healthy blood levels of vitamin D had faster improvement in muscle strength.

So people who work their muscles on a regular basis — like athletes and those who exercise daily — might benefit from maintaining a healthy serum level of vitamin D. Healthy vitamin D levels could also benefit “weekend warriors” who participate in vigorous activities that cause muscle damage like mountain biking, hiking, or trail running.

If you’re unable to view the video, please visit the USANA YouTube channel

How to Increase Vitamin D Levels

There are three ways to increase the body’s vitamin D concentration: diet, sunlight, and supplementation. And the truth is, it’s difficult to significantly increase vitamin D levels through our diets. This leaves us with sunlight and supplementation.

Sunlight can be a win/lose situation for keeping the body healthy. Is it a great way to soak up some vitamin D? Sure, but at what cost to our skin? Extended periods of exposure to direct sunlight may be detrimental to our skin over time, possibly leading to various types of skin cancer.

And what about the assumption that our bodies only miss out on the sunlight during the winter months? Well, USANA and TOSH have actually already debunked that rumor earlier this year in a previous collaborative study.

The contribution of vitamin D from sunlight in the summer showed almost no significant increase when compared to the winter season. This could be attributed to sunscreen usage, covering skin with clothing, or because so many of us are trapped in an office all day during those peak vitamin D-producing hours. (What I’m trying to say here is that it might be a good idea to look into alternative ways to boost your vitamin D levels.)

If you’re unable to view the video, please visit the USANA YouTube channel

I hope now you understand just how important vitamin D is for your body. If you don’t know your vitamin D blood level, we suggest you get a simple blood test to find out.

We’re going to continue pushing this message in hopes that more people catch on and start taking the subject of vitamin D seriously. We might even be in the middle of more vitamin D research with our incredible collaborators at TOSH.

In the meantime, why not get out there and spread the word yourself?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Nick Peterson

About the Author

About the Author: As a copywriter in USANA's creative department, Nick loves the opportunity to flex his creative writing skills by regularly contributing to What's Up USANA — even if that means researching science- and health-related topics he might otherwise be completely unfamiliar with. He totally gets that there's no place on the blog for random pop culture and reality television facts … for now, that is. .

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  1. What’s Up from USANA | Studio 13 | May 20, 2013
  1. The connection between low Vitamin D levels and the amount of time we spend inside is glaring in New York City. About the only sunshine the average person gets is walking to the subway from their residence and then in reverse at the end of the day. After hours and hours inside an office “recreation” is spent at night inside a bar or restaurant which is usually dark. I say this all the time to my clients and for those who listen flu symptoms disappear. Congratulations to you and thanks for this great info.

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