IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN D EXPLAINED
One of the most important Vitamins for our health, Vitamin D, is lacking in many people today. The “sunshine vitamin” as it is also called, is naturally synthesized by the body from the absorbed ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is developed in the body as a response to the sunlight. This biosynthesis process can be inadequate due to problems like poor dietary intake, absorption, or in some cases, poor exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D is very useful for our overall health and can be stored in the body fat until it is needed, but it isn’t that easy to get enough of it into our body. Vitamin D’s main feature includes maintaining the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in our blood, which results in making the bones stronger. With a deficiency of Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus may not be absorbed efficiently by the body and the bones won’t get enough of it, which eventually makes them weak and brittle, leading to injuries. It can be boosted through the intake of several supplements and foods.
Vitamin D is basically a prohormone, a precursor of a hormone. Vitamins in general are nutrients that the body is unable to create, but Vitamin D on the contrary can be produced by the body.
Vitamin D is important because it
- Helps prevent bone fracture
- Promotes healthy bones and teeth
- Prevents chances of osteoporosis or low bone density
- Decreases the chances of cancer like colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, etc. by influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development
- Decreases the risk of diabetes in young people by regulating insulin levels
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and heart failure
- Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
- Supports immune, brain, and nervous system
- Supports lung functioning and cardiovascular health.
- Improves mood as well!
These were the benefits of Vitamin D to our body. Now let’s see the problems due to the deficiency of Vitamin D-
- Weaker bones, prone to breaking
- Rickets can be developed in children, which prevent their bones to grow properly and delay their growth. It may also result in causing the problem to their immune system
- Adults, on the other hand, are prone to osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which are the key culprits for low bone density and make them weaker and brittle
- Increased chances of cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune problems
- Chances of neurological diseases
- Complications in pregnancy
Also Read, Vitamin D Deficiency: A Global Concern
Vitamin D is really essential and should be checked eventually through the specific medical test if the symptoms are evident. Some of the symptoms are-
- Back pain
- Bone pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Regular sickness
Amount of Vitamin D needed
As per the experts, in absence of enough exposure to sunlight, then children and adults need about 800 to 1000 units of Vitamin D every day for a healthy body. While at the same time, older people of age more than 65 years may need more than 1000 units of Vitamin D in a day because of their minimum interaction with sunlight, and due to that their bodies won’t absorb the vitamins the way it used to. Exceptions are those who are already facing a deficiency of Vitamin D. In those cases, they need much more than 1000 units a day to recover and maintain the 1000 per day record.
However, too much of anything is unhealthy and so is Vitamins. Some people may intake as much as 2000 units per day. A Vitamin D overdose can result in sickness with nausea and vomiting along with irregular heartbeats.
Sources of Vitamin D
Although there are additional supplements for Vitamin D, still the best source for Vitamin D is sunlight. Also, too much sunlight can result in severe diseases like skin burns and even skin cancer in extreme cases while very little exposure to sunlight can affect the amount of Vitamin D in the body. Moreover, a 10 to 15 minutes exposure to direct sunlight, twice a day, is enough to maintain the Vitamin D level in the body. Exceptions would be made if you’re using a sunscreen lotion because that stops your skin from absorbing the sunlight and results in a deficiency.
Vitamin D supplements are easily available at stores and supermarkets, but few supplements are only available by prescription of doctor suggested for someone going through deficiency of Vitamin D.
Few foods that can be a good supplement of Vitamin D
- Cod liver oil
- Salmon, cooked
- Tuna fish
- Egg yolks
- Fortified milk, cereals, and juices
These are the outlined information about Vitamin D and how it is useful for our body. The content here is not completely relatable to every person, as we have mentioned, exceptions are always there. For better knowledge about the same, consult a doctor and get you Vitamin D checked.