Obtaining vitamin D can be achieved through dietary sources, but our bodies are also capable of producing it as a hormone. This remarkable fat-soluble vitamin plays a pivotal role in facilitating the absorption and retention of vital minerals like calcium and phosphorus, essential for the development and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. Beyond its bone-boosting benefits, vitamin D has been associated with a range of other potential health advantages, including potential cancer cell inhibition, immune system support against infections, and anti-inflammatory properties. Yet, amidst all its virtues, one intriguing question remains: Can vitamin D actually make you taller? Is this claim grounded in fact or merely a myth?
Varieties of Vitamin D
Vitamin D exists in various forms, but for those aspiring to increase their height, there are two primary types that matter most. Both of these forms of vitamin D, commonly utilized in fortifying foods and supplements, are classified as prohormones. The key distinction between them lies in their molecular structures. Although this structural difference may not significantly impact metabolism, the effectiveness of vitamin D varies considerably between its D2 and D3 variants, particularly at higher concentrations.
Furthermore, vitamin D3 stands out as the preferred choice, largely due to its close resemblance to the vitamin D synthesized naturally in our bodies when exposed to sunlight. Consequently, the shift towards vitamin D3 has gained momentum among manufacturers and consumers alike, making it the favored form in recent years for nutritional supplementation.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
Due to humidity and temperature changes, this vitamin is more susceptible. Supplements containing vitamin D2 can be more susceptible to deterioration over time as a result.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
When your skin is exposed to sunshine, vitamin D3 is produced. Nevertheless, use caution if you want to spend a significant amount of time in the sun without using sunscreen. Sunburns significantly increase skin cancer risk.
Despite this, plenty of people around the world receive very little sunlight. They either reside in a nation with little winter sunshine or work indoors. If this is your case, be sure to consistently consume a lot of foods high in vitamin D, or take supplements.
Sources of Vitamin D
In general, Vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil, salmon, swordfish, tuna fish, sardine, beef liver, egg yolk, and fortified food and drinks. It can also be obtained by exposing yourself to the sun in the early morning.
Vitamin D2 is mostly obtained from plants and fortified foods, such as mushrooms (grown under UV light), fortified meals, and nutritional supplements.
Only foods made from animal sources contain vitamin D3, including fatty fish, fish oil, liver, egg yolk, butter, and nutritional supplements.
Vitamin D and height
Little was known about the effects of vitamin D shortage in children and teens, even though it is general knowledge that vitamin D deficiency in grownups can result in bone-related disorders including osteoporosis and cancer.
Prior to the 19th century, few people understood the underlying causes of rickets, a common condition that stunts children’s growth by impeding appropriate mineralization of their cartilage and bones. After researchers discovered that sunlight and cod liver oil may treat this illness, they finally came to the conclusion that the cause of the issue is a deficiency in vitamin D. Since this discovery, vitamin D-rich foods and supplements have been provided to kids and teens all over the world to promote healthy growth and development.
When an individual reaches puberty, bone production picks in speed and reaches its peak. Following this, the process of making new bone starts to slow down and eventually ceases when the growth plates have fully hardened. Our body needs calcium to build and maintain healthy bones, and vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of this mineral. When we consume enough calcium and vitamin D, the additional calcium is held in our blood and used to rebuild our teeth and bones as needed. The body cannot efficiently retain calcium without vitamin D, even if it acquires enough of it.
Vitamin D helps children’s cells flourish because it controls the genes that determine a cell’s lifespan, which is good for the development of children’s cells as a whole.
Additionally, vitamin D lessens weariness and develops powerful muscles. In particular, children who received treatment with vitamin D supplements experienced less exhaustion and recovery from activity more quickly. Kids who lack vitamin D frequently feel lethargic and weak, which keeps them from engaging in physical exercise and impairs their ability to grow to their full potential.
Depending on your age, you require a different quantity of vitamin D every day. The following chart, in micrograms (mcg) in international units (IU), shows the average daily recommended dosages: (1)
|Birth to 12 months
|10 mcg (400 IU)
|Children 1–13 years
|15 mcg (600 IU)
|Teens 14–18 years
|15 mcg (600 IU)
|Adults 19–70 years
|15 mcg (600 IU)
|Adults 71 years and older
|20 mcg (800 IU)
|Pregnant and breastfeeding teens and women
|15 mcg (600 IU)
Health benefits of vitamin D
Strengthen bones and oral health
Vitamin D is responsible for calcium and phosphorus absorption which leads to healthy, dense bones and teeth, and prevents rickets and osteomalacia.
Active vitamin D levels were more significant in those with higher amounts of muscular mass and lean mass. This shows that this vitamin can improve the strength of your muscles. Vitamin D may contribute to increased muscular strength by protecting muscle fibers, which in turn serves to reduce the risk of falls.
Better cardiovascular system
In essence, the heart is a big muscle with vitamin D receptors just like skeletal muscle. Vitamin D controls inflammatory and immune cells that contribute to cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis. The vitamin also supports the maintenance of flexible and relaxed arteries, which assists in managing excessive blood pressure.
Prevent risks of diabetes
Lack of vitamin D may have a detrimental impact on the biochemical processes that result in the onset of Type 2 diabetes, including impaired pancreatic beta cell function, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood can lead to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Support immune system
Lack of vitamin D may put a person at higher risk for infections and autoimmune conditions such as type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
In controlling mood and lowering the risk of depression, vitamin D may be crucial. Anxiety, despair, and more acute fibromyalgia symptoms are all linked to low vitamin D levels.
So, does vitamin D make you taller? You probably have the answer by now. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in a healthy physique, which is a foundation for height development. Your bones and muscles can’t grow properly without a corrected body and mind. As long as your growth plates still have room to develop, you will be able to grow taller.