Vitamins and Minerals have an important role in our overall health. All the vitamins and minerals have their peculiar properties and every particular vitamin or mineral is necessary to keep us healthy in this way or another. Lack of knowledge regarding the importance of Vitamins and minerals may be dangerous for the health of a person. They are those type of nutrients which are necessary to our body in less quantity so they also are known as micronutrients. Deficiency of those vitamins can be harmful to our health. Talking about vitamins here, out of all the vitamins we mostly tend to give more importance to Vitamin E and vitamin C because of which they are more focused while there is less mention of Vitamin D. But in recent times, people are finally becoming aware of how important Vitamin D is to our health. All the vitamins are equally important and it is better to manage a balanced diet so that the body won’t lack in any essential vitamins including Vitamin D.
We have always known that Vitamin D has a crucial role to keep our bones and teeth healthy or it also is important for their development. The role of Vitamin D is to help the body in absorbing calcium with the help of which the bones and teeth become strong. When a person has grown old with age there may be lack of vitamin D in the body as a result of which he may suffer from problems like osteoporosis or osteomalacia in which the bones become softer. But this is not only why Vitamin D is important to our body. According to recent scientific researchers and studies, lack of vitamin D may increase the chances for various types of health problems like diabetes (type 1), or pain in the muscles and bones. Similarly, problems like breast cancer and various other types of cancer have also been linked up with lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D can be helpful in controlling the blood pressure and it has also properties to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. So, if you don’t like the regular food materials containing Vitamin D then you might be making a big mistake. It is a must that you include food in your daily diet which is rich in Vitamin D to build up a strong wall against different diseases.
Sunrays are an important source of Vitamin D. When we are taking a sunbath on a pleasant day then we are helping our body by supplying with a necessary amount of Vitamin D. When the sunlight falls on our skin, then vitamin D is produced in our skin as a result. It is a type of vitamin which is considered fat soluble. Vitamin D is believed to have an effect on over 2000 genes in the human body.
Uses and Health benefits of Vitamin D:
There are numerous known Health benefits of Vitamin D. It’s most commonly known benefit is that it helps to absorb the calcium and phosphorus in the human body because of which the immune system can work properly. For proper development and growth of our bones and teeth; we need vitamin D in enough quantity. Another health benefits of vitamin D is that it helps us to fight against different diseases.
If the body doesn’t get enough supply of vitamin D then it is certain that we may suffer from many problems related to the bones. The development of bones in small children may be disturbed. In case of adults, the bones and teeth may become weak. Abnormal conditions of the bones which are known as osteomalacia may occur in which the bones become soft. Similarly, osteoporosis may also occur in which the bones become very weak.
The main Health benefits of Vitamin D are as follows:
- Vitamin D boosts up the immune system and fights against diseases
Various scientific researches and studies have pointed out to the fact clearly that Vitamin D has an important role in preventing risks of multiple sclerosis. This was mentioned in the Journal of the American Medical Association in a report published in 2006. The circulation also published a report in 2008 in which Vitamin D has been credited to reduce chances of getting problems related to the heart. In another report published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, it has been mentioned that Vitamin D also protects us from getting Flu. In this way, Vitamin D has been known to be rich in properties which fight against many health problems.
- Vitamin D deals with depression
Depression is a very common problem these days. Many people knowingly and unknowingly are victims of depression. For those people, vitamin D can be beneficial. It has been reported in many researches that Vitamin D has the ability to lift up the mood and keep depression away from you. In various instances, people with depression were given Vitamin D supplements and it was noticed later that the symptoms of depression reduced them to a great extent. Just like that, studies were conducted on people who had fibromyalgia. It was noted that most people who had depression and anxiety were suffering from a deficiency of Vitamin D. So it is necessary to keep you properly supplied with Vitamin D to keep away from Depression related issues.
- Vitamin D is helpful in losing weight
It has been proven in many scientific studies that addition of Vitamin D in the daily diet is helpful in getting your weight under control. So if you are trying to get your heart in good health and also to keep your weight maintained then the body should not be short in vitamin D. In one of those kinds of researchers, it was noted that regular supply of Vitamin D didn’t help to lose weight but it was indeed helpful to decrease risks of heart problems. In another research regarding the benefit of Vitamin D, it was seen that people who took vitamin D and calcium supplements lost more weight in comparison to people who did not take it. Regular Consumption of food rich in calcium and vitamin D is also known to suppress the appetite which ultimately helps in controlling weight.
How to get vitamin D?
The natural process of getting vitamin D is that the body creates Vitamin D when we are exposed out in the sun. To get a regular supply of Vitamin D, people with fair skin can get into the sunlight at least 10 minutes a day. Beside the natural process of getting vitamin D from the sunlight, it can also be absorbed by the body from different types of food. In many places where there is no proper sunlight for most times of the year, people can also take Vitamin D supplement to fulfil the deficiency.
What may cause Vitamin D deficiency?
There are certain things and our own reasons because of which we may have to face a shortage of Vitamin D. The most affecting factors are our changed lifestyle and the environmental factors. One of the most common causes of vitamin D deficiency is environmental Pollution. Similarly, overuse of sunscreen can also prevent the body from absorbing necessary sunlight to produce vitamin D. Most People spend their time indoors because of which they may not get sunlight. People with dark skin also have a problem to absorb the sunlight. And in today’s world, there are tall buildings everywhere because of which the people may not be exposed to necessary sunlight at most of the times.
These are the main reasons for causes of vitamin D deficiency so we should also depend on alternate sources of Vitamin D. The symptoms of Vitamin D can be noticed in the people for further treatment. The signs and symptoms in adults are as listed below.
- Fractures in the legs, pelvis and hips by small stress.
- Difficulty in doing physical activity like climbing stairs, standing up from the floor and severe pain in bones or muscles.
- Always getting a feeling of tiredness or not feeling well.
Diagnosis and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency
The diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency can be made by the Physician. A simple blood test may be conducted to know about the deficiency. The doctor can also recommend X-ray reports to know if there is any kind of weakness in the bones caused by the deficiency of Vitamin D.
If you are diagnosed with deficiency of Vitamin D then you may be advised by the Doctor to take supplements of Vitamin D or eat food rich with the vitamin D. In case of severe deficiency the doctor may recommend a high dose to fulfil the shortage. It is also necessary to get enough vitamin D in a natural way from the sunlight. Similarly, you have to include food rich in vitamin D in your daily diet.
Which food contains Vitamin D?
There are very fewer food items which contain vitamin D. But there are many such food items in which vitamin D is added later. However, food rich in vitamin D includes Salmon, Sardines, egg yolk, shrimps and fortified milk. Other food items are also available like fortified yoghurt, fortified cereals and fortified orange juice which have vitamin D. There may not be regular sunlight all the time so getting vitamin D through Sunlight may not be possible. In such situations, we can get vitamin D from the food that we eat.
How much vitamin D does the body need?
Several studies indicate towards different conclusions regarding the exact amount of vitamin D necessary for the body. In a normal situation, the blood has 50 to 100 micrograms per deciliter level of blood serum. So the need of vitamin D may depend on the level of blood serum. Similarly, a new recommendation for vitamin D has been made by the reports of The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It is measured in IU per day. IU is the standard measure to find out about the intake and deficiency levels of vitamins and minerals. The IU recommended may be different from person to person. In children and teens, 600 IU may be recommended while in adults’ up to the age of 70 also need at least 600 IU. But adults over the age of 70 need 800 IU. Many other studies have indicated that at least 2000 IU is needed every day for an adult.
It is advised that you seek consultations with your doctor to determine any kind of deficiency regarding Vitamin D. If you have any such symptoms that it is best to take appropriate measures as per the doctor’s advice.