What you don’t know about vitamin D.
Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs and cannot create, so a person must consume them through diets. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is essential for the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and many other biological effects. It also helps to prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
It is (also referred to as Calciferol), known as the “sunshine vitamin”, this is the necessary nutrient that is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight i.e. when ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sunlight strike the skin, it triggers vitamin D synthesis to occur. The vitamin functions as a hormone in the body that helps in supporting a healthy immune system. It is called sunshine vitamin doesn’t mean you should expose yourself to a lot of sunlight. It doesn’t take a lot of exposure to sunlight to get a vitamin D fix for that day. There are a few vitamin D foods that could be added to your diet to get the nutritional benefits of this nutrient meet the recommended daily value of the nutrient consumption
Consuming enough vitamin D is important for the normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against disease. An insufficient amount of vitamin D in the body could lead to fragile bones (osteoporosis) or soft bones (osteomalacia). Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D has other functions, which include reduction of inflammation as well as modulation of such processes as cell growth, neuromuscular immune function, and glucose metabolism. Many tissues have vitamin D.
Vitamin D has two forms D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) in dietary supplements and foods, both forms are absorbed in the small intestine. The absorption process occurs by simple passive diffusion and by a mechanism that involves intestinal membrane carrier proteins. The presence of fat in the gut enhances vitamin D absorption, but some vitamin D is absorbed even without dietary fat. Aging or obesity doesn’t alter vitamin D absorption from the gut. Vitamin D is produced in response to sun exposure and is found in animal products. Vitamin D2 occurs in plants and vitamin D3 found in animals.
Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. trout, tuna, mackerel, and salmon which are the flesh of fatty fish are the best sources of vitamin D. Egg yolks, beef, and cheese likely contain a small amount of vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency
Deficiency in vitamin D means you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. This vitamin is unique because your skin produces it, making use of sunlight.
It was estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide don’t get enough of vitamin D. Supplements are very common and can also be taken to prevent its deficiencies.
Vitamin D deficiency includes:
- Pregnancy complications
- Neurological disease
- Pains, aches, tiredness
- Stress fractures
- Muscle pain, severe bone pain
Causes of vitamin D deficiency
- You don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time
- When there is limited exposure of the body to sunlight.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
There are a few signals to tell that a person might be deficient in vitamin D and some of these signals include
- Low mood
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone and back pain
- Regular sickness
- Hair loss
Too much this may lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, metallic taste, etc.
Factors that may affect your ability to get vitamin D
- Always staying indoors
- Using sunscreen every time
- Living in polluted areas
- Not consuming enough food rich in vitamin D
These factors listed above contribute to its deficiency.
Some other sources of the vitamin are mushrooms, fortified cereals, and juices, fortified milk, which is being exposed to the sun for about 15-20 minutes per week.
Most foods have added vitamin D because it doesn’t occur naturally in them. And vegan or people who are lactose-intolerant might have less amount of vitamin D or difficulty in having it in their diets, that is why some people choose to take supplements.