Notably, there are countless health benefits of vitamin D and this “Sunshine Vitamin” is produced when the skin is exposed to the sun’s UVB rays. Moreover, Vitamin D represents a fat-soluble compound or vitamin. In addition, vitamin D enables your body intake calcium and calcium remains crucial for bone density and strength.
Vitamin D absorbed from the sun, supplements, or foods remains biologically lifeless and must pass through two steps for activation.
- Therefore, the first step which takes place in the liver involves converting vitamin D into a compound called as ‘Calcidiol’.
- The second step takes place in the kidney and creates a chemical compound called as ‘Calcitriol’.
In essence, vitamin D is not a vitamin but is widely regarded as a pro-hormone.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Some of the health benefits of Vitamin D are
- Vitamin D builds healthy bones
- Vitamin D facilitates a crucial role in the management and regulation of phosphorous and calcium respectively. These two factors are extremely vital for bone strength and growth.
- You require vitamin D to intake calcium in the stomach and also to restore calcium lost through excretion via kidneys.
- Moreover, vitamin D deficiency in the body can cause rickets, a condition where the bones become brittle and soft.
- In essence, in males, vitamin D deficiency occurs as osteoporosis or osteomalacia. In osteoporosis, the patient suffers from muscular weakness and weak bone density.
- In general, osteoporosis mainly appears in older men and post-menopausal women.
- Vitamin D prevents cancer
- Vitamin D plays an important role in cell-to-cell information transfer or communication and in cell
- growth regulation.
- As per studies, calcitriol (vitamin D’s active form) reduces cancer growth by reducing the growth of fresh blood vessels in the affected area. As a result, vitamin D encourages cancer cell death and gradually decreases cell growth.
- In other words, vitamin D controls around 200 genes in your body and deficiency of it can cause serious trouble.
- Vitamin D facilitates healthy pregnancy
- Pregnant women lacking sufficient levels of vitamin D may get affected due to ‘preeclampsia’ and may opt for a ‘c-section’.
- Overall, lack of vitamin D in pregnant women indicates bacterial vaginosis and gestational diabetes mellitus.
- Guarantees healthy child
- Children fed with 2000 (IU) per day had healthy arterial wall condition than those who consumed 400 units daily.
- In addition, low levels of vitamin D increases the severity of eczema, atopic dermatitis, and asthma.
- Vitamin D builds the anti-inflammatory properties of glucocorticoids.
- Vitamin D reduces diabetes and regulates insulin levels
- In a study, infants who consumed a 2000 IU daily of vitamin D enjoyed the benefit of escaping type 1 diabetes.
- Insufficient levels of vitamin D in type 2 diabetes patients negatively affected glucose tolerance and insulin secretion.
- Aids Weight Loss
- According to a research study, people consuming vitamin D and calcium daily experienced swift weight loss.
- To sum up, doctors suggest that extra intake of vitamin D and calcium can act as hunger-suppressing agent.
- Fights Depression
- Vitamin D plays a role in preventing depression and regulating mood. People suffering from depression and anxiety were found to have low levels of vitamin D.
Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Getting sick frequently – Vitamin D directly deals with cells that fight infection. Therefore, a patient suffering from vitamin D deficiency will have a poor immune system.
- Tiredness and fatigue – Excessive tiredness and fatigue might indicate low levels of vitamin D. Taking required energy supplements may prove effective.
- Muscle pain – A study reveals that low levels of vitamin D and chronic pain are interconnected. Likewise, scientists believe that pain-sensing nerves and vitamin D cells interact with each other.
- Causes mental trouble – Depression and low levels of vitamin D are inter-connected. Moreover, studies show that improving vitamin D reduces depression.
- Slow Healing of wounds – Inadequate or lack of vitamin D may cause slow or poor wound healing due to surgery etc.
- Hair Loss – Particularly, in females, hair loss might indicate or alopecia areata may indicate vitamin D deficiency.
- Bone Loss – An analysis of low bone capacity may be due to lack of vitamin D. Therefore, getting enough vitamin D reduces this bone loss problem.
Main Sources of Vitamin D
The main sources of vitamin D foods are
- Egg Yolks
- Beef Liver
- Fortified foods such as cereals, soy milk, orange juice
- Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and tuna
Main Sources of Calcium
Foods that contain calcium are
- Calcium-fortified foods such as breakfast cereal or oatmeal
- Certain fishes like rainbow trout, perch, and sardines
- White beans
- Ladies finger or okra
- Dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese, and milk
Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D (IU per day)
- 0-6 months – 400
- 7-12 months – 400
- 1-3 years – Nil
- 4-8 years – 600
- 9-13 years – 600
- 14-18 years – 600 (males)
- 14-18 years – 600 (females)
- Males – 19 years and above – 600
- Females – 19 years and above – 600
- Males and Females above 70 – 800
- Pregnant Women – 600
- Lactating mothers – 600
Recommended Daily Intake of Calcium (mg per day)
- 0-6 months – 200
- 7-12 months – 260
- 1-3 years – 700
- 4-8 years – 1000
- 9-13 years – 1300
- 14-18 years – 1300 (males)
- 14-18 years – 1300 (females)
- Males – 19 years and above – 1000
- Females – 19 years and above – 1000
- Males and Females above – 1200
- Pregnant Women – 1000
- Lactating mothers – 1000