Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin
Nowadays, you must be hearing a lot about Vitamin D health benefits and the tests to evaluate Vitamin D levels in our body as deficiency of this vitamin can be fatal and can give birth to numerous diseases.
We all know that vitamin D comes from the sun. However, our exposure to the sunshine has decreased with our modern lifestyles.
Recent studies suggest that more than 50% world population is deficient in Vitamin D as in this modern era our exposure to sunlight has decreased tremendously.
Health Benefits and Deficiency Symptoms – Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, as our body needs sun exposure to produce this essential vitamin.
The most vital role of Vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous and facilitate normal immune system functions. It is also essential in maintaining healthy bones and teeth and protecting us from multiple diseases apart from boosting our immune system.
We need vitamin D to absorb calcium in the intestines and otherwise, calcium will be excreted through the kidneys causing calcium deficiency.
The many health benefits of Vitamin D include protection and relief in Autoimmune disorders, Bone disorders, Depression, Diabetes, Heart diseases, Hypertension, Influenza, Obesity, Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid arthritis
A fair-skinned person with full body exposure to the sun can synthesize up to 20,000 IU of vitamin D3 in 20 minutes; whereas Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in the elderly, infants, people with dark skin and people living at higher latitudes or who get little sun exposure.
Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, a disease characterized by a severely bow-legged appearance triggered by impaired mineralization and softening of the bones. Vitamin D deficiency has been seen amongst most of the hip fracture patients.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as Osteomalacia or Osteoporosis. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density, muscular weakness, and twitching.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, autism, and fibromyalgia.
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and keeping depression at bay.
Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease.
How do you get it?
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency
Vague body aches and pains, low bone density, muscle cramps and twitches, calcium deficiency (Low calcium levels in the blood), low immunity and fatigue are common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency. Those who are deficit experience frequent mood changes and irritability and a dull ache in the sole of the feet.
How to treat Vitamin D deficiency?
If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements.
Foods that contain vitamin D
Fatty fish, like tuna, salmon, Egg yolks, COD Liver Oil, Eggs, foods fortified with vitamin D, like some Dairy products like Milk, Butter Milk, and Cheese, Juices and cereals.
Do I need a supplement?
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements in appropriate doses can help. Always opt for vitamin D3 when you decide to take vitamin D supplements and consult your doctor for optimal dosage as per your requirement.