Nicknamed as the Sunshine Vitamin, Vitamin D can get absorbed by the human body, and that too from the sunlight. This vitamin is the major vitamin that can keep the human body healthy.
The major job of the vitamin D as per multiple studies proves that it helps in the promotion of the calcium absorption. Also, it leads to necessary bone growth and remodelling of the bone. Due to the lack of the vitamin D, it would make your bones thin, brittle and even misshapen. However, when it comes to the benefits that vitamin brings to the table, there are a lot, and these can range from both mental and physical health.
Vitamin D Is a Must for Your Health
There is no denying to the fact that vitamin D is the most necessary and essential nutrient for your body. You do get it from the daily dosage of essential breakfast stables like milk, eggs, and fortified orange juices. Even you would get them from mushrooms and fatty fish like salmon, halibut, herring, etc. Of course, even your body can easily create the necessary vitamin D when it spends enough time in the sun.
Difference Between Vitamin D and Other Nutrients
For the better understanding of the vitamin D and the long-held fascinations that researchers had, you can easily get the best knowledge that vitamin D functions in a different manner compared to other vitamins. Of course, not all vitamins and minerals would be able to operate in the body alike.
Researchers show that vitamin D behaves much less compared to other vitamin and like the hormone. Many of the dietician and doctors feel that vitamin D would act as a messenger rather than the participant in the metabolism. That would potentially affect all the things right from the weight to how the organs can function.
Making Sure to Have Enough Vitamin D
As per the many studies, the recommended daily allowances of the vitamin D are around 600 international units (IU) and that is for most people around the age of one to seventy. This is confirmed by the FNB (Food and Nutrition Board) present at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academic. For individuals that are over the age of 70, it would be 800 IU and for infants it would be 400 IU.
However, it is not that much easy to get a lot of vitamin D from the sunlight and diet alone. The average amount of the nutrient that individual would get from the drink and foot can somewhat exceed around 288 IU each day. At times, even drinking fortified milk with the vitamin D would help you to get the 100 UI per eight ounces of the glass and the same would be most of the plant-milk based substitutes that would be fortified with the vitamin D. That makes many of the people take a lot of vitamin D supplements.
Studies even show that adults need to take around 1,500 – 2,000 IU per day in terms of the supplements for avoiding the vitamin D deficiency and this can be 1,000 IU for infants and children per day. Keep in mind that the recommendation can vary and there can be a lot of variety.
What Does Research Say Regarding Vitamin D?
Even though research present on vitamin D abounds, its effect on the human health can remain uncertain.
This is due to vitamin D and studies shown on animals and even on small human populations. Most important, a whole lot of the major research were done on the nutrient. Those finding were observational, so, it meant that that the findings will not point to a definite cause as well as effect relationship among vitamin D and even the potential health benefit being studied.
There are other studies and they do show that the causal results are done with a randomized controlled model. This research would eliminate the risk of bias and account for potentially conflicting factors. Large randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard for research, and unfortunately, there have not been many on vitamin D supplementation and its various possible health benefits.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Would Strengthen Your Bones
Most doctors would easily tell you that vitamin D is quite famous for building bone and strengthening its power. Not only that vitamin D can lead to the absorption of calcium present in your gut. That can lead to the normal mineralization of the bones.
Basically, the calcium can easily be beneficial to your bones and without the vitamin D, it won’t be even possible to make your bones stronger. Of course, vitamin D can lead to bone growth and even avoid the bones from brittle. When this is teamed with calcium, it would avoid osteoporosis and that is the major disease that can affect the density and quality of the bone, thereby reducing it.
Vitamin Do Would Help at Strengthening Your Muscles
With the bone-building abilities, no doubt vitamin D can be influential in strengthening your muscles. Studies show that lack of vitamin D present in the body would increase the risk of having weak muscles. This would in turn increases the risk of falls.
This is especially important for the elderly. Vitamin D may help increase muscle strength thus preventing falls, which is a common problem that leads to substantial disability and death in older adults.
Vitamin D Would Support the Immune System and Fight Against Inflammation
Vitamin D would easily help in building immunity. Studies show that it can support the immune system by fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses. Basically, this leads to preventing infections. That has become a critical concern during COVID-19 pandemic, as researchers are interested in its potential role in infection outcomes.
Studies and researchers have great interest in the role it has for viral infections like influenza and coronavirus. Now certain studies based on the control trials shows the comparison of vitamin D supplements to placebos. It clearly showed that vitamin D lowers the risk of acute respiratory infection through the daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation. This is particularly among individuals having deficient in it.
Multiple studies show that high latitudes and winter season are the major risk factors for both low vitamin D. These low amount of vitamin D would increase influenza, and other respiratory illness. That would lead to adverse outcomes. Worldwide doctors and physicians feel that there is a similar pattern with higher mortality rates in COVID-19 infections but somewhat more research is needed to be done to determine whether the link is causal or merely a correlation.
Vitamin D Helps in Oral Health
As vitamin D helps our body to absorb the calcium, it can help in the major role for supporting the oral health. Not only that it lowers the risk of getting tooth decay and even excessive gum diseases.
Many research show that there is an emerging hypothesis that is related to the vitamin D thereby showing the beneficial for the oral health. All this is because on the bone metabolism and even the ability for functioning as the anti-inflammatory agent. Also, it would stimulate the production of the anti-microbial peptides.
Vitamin D Would Prevent All Kinds of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Of course, studies will not be conclusive, and vitamin D would be great for avoiding both the Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Many studies show that vitamin D on its own will not effectively lower the risk of the overabundance of the sugar present in the blood. Hence, the combined daily intake of less 1,200 mg calcium and even more than 700 IU vitamin D. That would really lower the chances of the risk of getting the Type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D Can Easily Help to Avoid Hypertension
Many studies show that vitamin D would play a major role for treating the high blood pressure. That is one of the markers of the cardiovascular diseases. As per doctors, sometimes the short-term vitamin D deficiency can even raise one’s BP and do lead to the organ damage. Even research shows that there is a high amount of correlation among vitamin D and hypertension, vitamin D supplementation therapy that lead to the new insights in terms of the treatment of hypertension.
What Would Be the Deficiency of Vitamin D?
Even though the human body could create vitamin D, there are many chances of the deficiency of vitamin D that can happen for various reasons.
The causes for the deficiency of vitamin D would lead to the skin diseases. For people having darker skin, using the sunscreen can lower the body’s ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun. Absorbing sunlight is essential for the skin to produce vitamin D.
Also, sunscreen having sun protection factor (SPF) of around 30 can lower the body’s ability for synthesizing the vitamin through 95%. Here covering the skin using clothing would inhibit vitamin D production also. Furthermore, individuals living in the northern latitude and areas of high pollution, homebound, work night shift would aim in consuming the vitamin D from the food sources as and when possible.
Even infants that are often breastfeed would require the vitamin D supplement. So, those that have dark skin and minimal sun exposure would be great.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
- Bone and back pain
- Low mood
- Regular sickness or infection
- Hair loss
- Impaired wound healing
- Muscle pain
If the deficiency of vitamin D continues for a longer period, it would result in complications. Some of them are –
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Autoimmune problems
- Neurological diseases
- Pregnancy complications
- Certain cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon
Sources of Vitamin D
Getting sufficient sunlight is the best way to help the body produce enough vitamin D. Plentiful food sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
- Fortified milk
- Fortified cereals and juices
People Having the Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have truly little or no sunshine exposure.
Studies recommend that you take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if you:
are not often outdoors – for example, if you are frail or housebound are in an institution like a care home or usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when outdoors.
Now if you have dark skin, like African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
Advice for Infants and Young Children
Studies show that babies from their birth to one year of age need to take the daily supplement that contains 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year. These are most common for those babies that are eating breastfed formula-fed and are having less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D.
Even children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D. You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D (for under 5s) at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Keep In Mind That Excessive Vitamin D Is Bad
Well, most doctors would clearly tell you that excessive amount of vitamin D is bad and can lead to the over calcification of your bones. It would lead to the hardening of your blood vessels, lung, kidneys and even the heart tissues.
The most common symptoms of excessive vitamin D are nausea, headache, etc. Also, the excessive consumption would lead to dry mouth, loss of appetite, vomiting, metallic taste feeling, etc.
Hence, it is always important to consult your doctor when you are consuming vitamin D.