Vitamin D is a group of fat soluble vitamins in which the major forms are vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. It plays an important role in the healthy functioning of several organs. Vitamin D helps to regulate the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood, strengthen the immune system and promote bone formation. Because some forms of vitamin D are produced in your body when you are exposed to sunlight, it is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin. Your body makes it from cholesterol when it is exposed to sunlight. Many factors such as latitude, season, time of the day, place you live, your lifestyle and your skin pigmentation determine the amount of vitamin D your skin produces when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D is the key nutrient that helps to maintain serum calcium concentration for musculoskeletal health. Muscle weakness is one of the major reasons for falls and fracture incidences. Studies demonstrate that vitamin D supplementation can improve muscle strength and thus contributes to a decrease in incidence of falls and fractures..
Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Symptoms
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies addressed today worldwide. Hypovitaminosis D is the deficiency of vitamin D and it can result from inadequate nutritional intake and sunlight exposure, disorders that limit vitamin D absorption, poor metabolism etc. Hypovitaminosis D is a deficiency that results in impaired born softening, which leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults.
Below are some other symptoms of Hypovitaminosis D
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches and twitching
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Loss of bone density
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone and back pain
- Frequent illness and infections
- Fatigue and tiredness
Main Vitamin D Food Sources
Including more vitamin D rich foods in your diet may quickly boost your diminished levels of vitamin D.
Below is a list of major diet sources to obtain optimal amount of vitamin D
- Cod liver oil
- Tuna fish
- Beef liver
- Red meat
- Egg yolk
- Egg yolk
- Fortified cereals
- Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
- Diary and plant milks fortified with vitamin D
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for children up to age 12 months, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for people over 70 years. This can come from a combination of food which is sources and sunlight.
Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption which is required for optimal skeletal health. Recent studies show that a minimum 25(OH)D level of 32 ng/mL is necessary for optimal protection from fracture and intestinal absorption of calcium.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Vitamin D supplements can help to replenish the amount of vitamin D [study] in your body if you aren’t getting enough from a daily normal diet and sunlight.
There are many forms of Vitamin D that can be found in the D supplements. The most important D vitamins that your body needs are D2 and D3. D2 is produced from fungus and from plant sources, and is not produced by the body. D3 is produced from animal sources, and it can be made in your skin when the right particles in your skin react with the ultraviolet light that comes from the sun.
Both kinds of Vitamin D are important in most mammals in order to maintain a healthy body. If you feel that you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D in your diet, a good thing to do would be to consult your doctor or a nutritionist and see what kind of vitamin supplements might help you in the long run. Like with any kind of Vitamins, getting the right amounts of Vitamin D is important. Exposure to sunlight daily is also an essential part of your vitamin D health.
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