If you are looking for some facts about vitamin D, read our article. We will tell you all about this important vitamin and its benefits. Vitamin D is actually a group of vitamins, called fat-soluble secosteroids. There are two major forms of vitamin D. The first form is called ergocalciferol (D2), and it is created by fungi. It is available in the form of supplements, but it is not as popular as vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is what most of us call “vitamin D”. It is naturally produced in the skin of humans, during the sun exposure. This form of vitamin D is found in some foods, such as milk products, animal meat, egg yolk and fish oil. Fortified breakfast cereals also contain this form of vitamin D. The amounts found in these foods are valuable, but they simply cannot fulfill your daily requirements. If you wanted to get recommended daily dose of vitamin D from these foods, you would have to eat a lot of eggs, meat or fish every day, and that would be bad for your health. These foods are healthy, but only if consumed in normal quantities. Therefore, sunrays remain the best natural source of vitamin D. The problem can occur during the winter months, when the weather is rainy or snowy, without any sun outside. During that time, many people lack vitamin D.
What Is Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency occurs when vitamin D levels in the body get too low. This condition is usually asymptomatic in the beginning, so most people don’t know they lack this vitamin. The symptoms will occur eventually; however, by that time, the person will be seriously deficient in vitamin D. The most common signs include:
● Pain in muscles
● Soft bones
● Easy fracturing
● Rickets in children
● Osteomalacia in adults
Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of:
● Multiple sclerosis
● High blood pressure in people who are predisposed to hypertension;
● Problems in patients who suffer from diabetes
● Certain types of cancer
The Importance of Vitamin D
● Vitamin D is necessary for normal growth and development. It is needed for proper mineralization of bones.
● Vitamin D is necessary for proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus. These processes play an important role in the development of bones. If vitamin D levels are low, bone density can decrease, which can lead to osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women are prone to these problems.
● Vitamin D strengthens the immune system. It will help the body protect itself from various infections (bacteria, viruses and fungi). Vitamin D deficiency can significantly decrease the body’s ability to fight infections.
● Vitamin D is also used as a part of therapy in patients with tuberculosis. There will have to be more studies to determine how effective vitamin D can be in treating tuberculosis.
● According to some researches, vitamin D could be helpful in treating HIV. This assumption is yet to be confirmed.
● Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression. People who are going through depression, but cannot find any explanation for depression, should check their vitamin D levels.
● Vitamin D is believed to be helpful in cancer prevention. More studies will have to be carried out to confirm this, but experts have a reason to believe that vitamin D can be effective as a part of cancer treatment. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the factors that increase the risk of some types of cancer.
● Vitamin D is considered helpful in prevention of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.