Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It also regulates inflammation and immunological function, among many other functions in the body. A sufficient intake of vitamin D can promote immune function and lower the risk of autoimmune disorders.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin; it is required to absorb calcium from the gut into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is mostly produced in the skin in response to sunlight and is also absorbed from food eaten (about 10%) as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Most people with a vitamin D deficiency don't display any symptoms. However, a persistent deficiency can result in hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the parathyroid glands produce an unbalanced hormone that raises the blood calcium levels, and hypocalcemia, a condition in which there is a calcium deficiency. These conditions can lead to secondary symptoms including
Secondary symptoms of Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Bone fragility, particularly in the elderly
- Bone pain
- Muscle weakness
- Back pain
- Hair loss
Additionally, if Vitamin D deficiency continues for long periods, it may result in complications, such as cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune problems, neurological diseases, infections, pregnancy complications, and certain types of cancers including breast, prostate, and colon.
Foods to boost Vitamin D
- Spending time in sunlight
- Consuming fatty fish
- Egg yolks
- Certain types of cheese
- Fish liver oils
- Canned tuna
Having Vitamin D levels at the appropriate level benefits an individual by boosting their mood, aiding in weight loss, reducing the risk of heart diseases, and preventing certain types of cancer.
Vitamin D has many potential benefits for everybody. Because it is difficult to obtain enough vitamin D through food alone, an individual should request a blood test and consider taking a vitamin D supplement only after seeking the advice of an expert.
(Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.)