Vitamin D is known to be essential for the body to function properly. It strengthens the immune system, maintains the health of bones, muscles, as well as the heart and blood vessels. Recent research has also shown that vitamin D is linked to gut health, which is often referred to as the main organ of longevity.
In an experiment carried out with the participation of 80 women, it was found that after 12 weeks of taking 50,000 IU of the vitamin, the diversity of the intestinal microbiota was significantly improved.
The results of the work were published in Scientific Reports. It is important to note that the study participants consumed 50,000 IU of the vitamin per week, not per day. According to generally accepted standards, an adult should receive at least 15 mcg of the substance daily (600 IU). For people over 70, the rate increases to 20 μg (800 IU).
The study also found improved kidney and liver function, which is associated with increased blood calcium levels (the body uses vitamin D to absorb the mineral).
Having a diverse gut microbiota is key to overall health. For example, in a study published in Frontiers of Immunology, scientists found a clear link between the microbiome and the body’s immune system, finding that adequate vitamin D levels are a key marker of health for both functions.
According to a 2020 survey, 50% of the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency is highest among the elderly and obese. And although the symptoms of this condition are often indistinct, one can suspect its development by several main signs.
What else should we know about gut health?
Food choices are common causes of heartburn, bloating and constipation. If you experience these symptoms, start using a food diary to see if there are links between your symptoms and certain foods. Avoid fried foods and consume alcohol and caffeine in moderation, as they are not healthy in the long run. If you keep having gastrointestinal problems despite making wise food choices, consult your doctor.
Adequate sleep is essential for gut health. It is not uncommon for people with disturbed sleep to suffer from nausea, bloating, constipation and other digestive concerns.
Regular exercise is known to reduce stress levels and help maintain a healthy weight, which can have positive effects on gut health.
Antibiotics can wipe out both bad and good germs in the gut. Avoid taking antibiotics for conditions such as common colds or sore throats. These illnesses are usually due to viral infections that do not respond to antibiotics anyway.