Featured Image Caption: Vitamin D Health Benefits
Vitamin D functions similarly to many hormones in the body. Many cells in the human anatomy have a receptor for vitamin D, unlike many other types of vitamins. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, some of the cholesterol in the body is converted into vitamin D.
Certain fortified dairy products and fatty fish products contain vitamin D, but most people struggle to obtain sufficient vitamin D from their diet alone. The average adult should get between 1500 and 2000 IUs of Vitamin D daily.
Many people will need vitamin D supplements to obtain their daily recommended vitamin D intake.
Vitamin D can reduce the risk of depression, MS, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bone loss, hair loss, muscle pain, and certain forms of cancer. It also helps in boosting the immune system and may even help people lose weight. Certain drugs, such as steroids and statins, may impede your body’s ability to metabolize vitamin D.
Being overweight, not getting enough sunlight, having dark skin, being a senior, and suffering from Crohn’s or Celiac’s disease may also lead to vitamin D deficiencies unless certain actions are taken.
Here, we will discuss the myriad benefits that vitamin D provides.
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
You may feel ill all the time, similar to how you would if you have a cold or the flu. Some people may be diagnosed with generalized fatigue syndrome because they feel lethargic most of the time.
You may have trouble focusing and may suffer from recurring infections. Cuts and other wounds may take longer to heal, and you may also suffer from lower back pain or even bone pain on a chronic basis.
Moreover, depression may set in if the deficiency is severe. You may feel anxious, fidgety, and irritable for seemingly no good reason. In addition to general aches and pains that seem to have no logical explanation, you may also start shedding large amounts of hair as well.
The symptoms above may be completely unrelated to a lack of vitamin D. If you are currently suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, talk to your doctor.
A vitamin D deficiency can easily be diagnosed with a simple blood test, and taking vitamin D supplements may help provide you with rapid relief. Vitamin D supplements are also very affordable, with a 100+ capsule bottle often costing roughly $5.
You can also choose to take vitamin D supplements in a standard capsule, a tangy chewable pill, or even a spray that can be sprayed on the tongue.
What are the Benefits of Taking Vitamin D Supplements?
Vitamin D helps in the optimal maintenance of phosphorus levels in your bloodstream. It also helps regulate calcium levels to ensure that your bones are healthy. Children who lack vitamin D may develop rickets.
Adults with low vitamin D levels may develop osteomalacia, which causes the bones to soften and weaken over time. Older adults may develop osteoporosis due to a severe vitamin D deficiency.
The risk of flu will also go down with vitamin D supplements. For example, a few recent studies found that taking a daily vitamin D supplement protective against the influenza virus.
Vitamin D can also help foster healthy infant development. For example, a 2018 study found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and arterial wall stiffening in infants. There may also be a link between low vitamin D levels and allergic sensitization.
Vitamin D deficiency may even be linked to high blood pressure in young children. A 2019 review found that a lack of vitamin D may increase the risk of premature births.
Pregnant women who lack vitamin D may also be at an increased risk of developing bacterial vaginosis and gestational diabetes. Optimal vitamin D levels may help foster a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin D is available in supplement stores and can be purchased online or at many local retailers for as low as $5.
How Much Vitamin D Should You Be Getting?
The recommended daily amount will vary depending on age and other factors. For example, from birth to 12 months, an infant should be getting about 400 international units (IU). That amount will go up to 600 IUs during the child’s teenage years.
Many people exposed to adequate sunlight can get along just fine with 600 IUs per day. However, after 70, most experts recommend that seniors increase their daily amount to about 800 IUs.
The ideal way to obtain vitamin D is via sun exposure. Try to get between 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure every day. As for optimal vitamin D levels, try to maintain a range between 30 to 50 ng/ml.
Too much vitamin D can lead to vomiting, dehydration, confusion, muscle weakness, nausea, and kidney stones. Dosage amounts range from as low as 400 IU to as high as 50,000 IU. Your doctor will determine how much you need based on your test results.
If you suffer from certain mental or physical ailments, disorders, or diseases, your doctor may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement. The ideal source of vitamin D is sunlight, with the second-best source being a supplement. Certain fish and dairy-based products may also contain vitamin D.
If you spend a lot of time indoors or live in a very cold and rainy climate, you may need to turn to a supplement to optimize your immune system and help your bones remain healthy.
Vitamin D can help relieve anxiety and depression and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, bone disorders, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin D is very easy to take and is available in a capsule, chewable pill, and even spray form for quick and easy absorption.
By Erin Gregory
who is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.