Vitamin D has many important functions for our bodies. For example, it regulates cell growth and strengthens our bones. It also stops the proliferation of abnormal cells which prevents us from getting cancer. Scientific studies show that the risk of getting cancer is significantly reduced by vitamin D, especially the colon cancer.
Vitamin D not only protects us from getting cancer, it can also delays the ageing of our bodies and prevents us from heart diseases as well as high blood pressure. Moreover, vitamin D can strengthen our immune system and protect us from chronic diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. By knowing such multiple benefits of consuming vitamin D, you would probably ask how could we get more vitamin D?
Our body cells can actually produce vitamin D by themselves. Apart from that, we could also get vitamin D from our diet. About 90% of our vitamin D is produced by our body cells. Exposure to sunlight, more precisely the UV radiation is the source for our body cells to produce vitamin D. Therefore, we actually can produce more vitamin D in the summer than in the winter.
We found an interesting article concerning the vitamin D contents in insects and its influences. Although the metabolism of vitamin D in insects and the physiological role of vitamin D for insects are still unknown, the studies found out that insects generally produce lower concentrations of vitamin D in their bodies. The scientists believe that it is because those insects are not exposed to sufficient ultraviolet B (UVb) sources or to sunlight. Therefore, those insects mainly get their vitamin D from their feed.
The scientists which wrote this article conducted three experiments:
From this result, we notice that we can influence the vitamin D content in our mealworms by various factors including the exposure to the UVb irradiance; the level of the UVb irradiance and the duration of the UVb exposure. This can help us boost more vitamin D content when we are growing our own mealworms at home!
D. G. A. B. Oonincx, P. van Keulen, M. D. Finke, F. M. Baines, M. Vermeulen & G. Bosch (2017): Evidence of vitamin D synthesis in insects exposed to UVb light. Scientific Reports 8, 10807.