“Sunshine” Vitamin D acts as a Life Saver – Health Benefits Of Vitamin D, Sources & Dosage

Health Benefits Of Vitamin D
Health Benefits Of Vitamin D

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Tiredness and fatigue – Excessive tiredness and fatigue might indicate low levels of vitamin D. Taking required energy supplements may prove effective.
  3. 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.
  4. Causes mental trouble – Depression and low levels of vitamin D are inter-connected. Moreover, studies show that improving vitamin D reduces depression.
  5. Slow Healing of wounds – Inadequate or lack of vitamin D may cause slow or poor wound healing due to surgery etc.
  6. Hair Loss – Particularly, in females, hair loss might indicate or alopecia areata may indicate vitamin D deficiency.
  7. 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
  • Cheese
  • 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
  • Soybeans
  • Collards
  • Ladies finger or okra
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese, and milk

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D (IU per day)

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 400
    • 7-12 months – 400
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – Nil
    • 4-8 years – 600
    • 9-13 years – 600
    • 14-18 years – 600 (males)
    • 14-18 years – 600 (females)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 600
    • Females – 19 years and above – 600
    • Males and Females above 70 – 800
  4. Pregnant Women – 600
  5. Lactating mothers – 600

Recommended Daily Intake of Calcium (mg per day)

  1. Infants
    • 0-6 months – 200
    • 7-12 months – 260
  2. Children
    • 1-3 years – 700
    • 4-8 years – 1000
    • 9-13 years – 1300
    • 14-18 years – 1300 (males)
    • 14-18 years – 1300 (females)
  3. Adults
    • Males – 19 years and above – 1000
    • Females – 19 years and above – 1000
    • Males and Females above – 1200
  4. Pregnant Women – 1000
  5. Lactating mothers – 1000

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