September 15 2021
Vitamin D can be obtained through food as well as by exposing the body to sunlight. It is produced in the human body as a response to the sun. It is an essential vitamin, as it promotes healthy bones by using up calcium. People who are lactose intolerant, or vegans, or above the age of 65, are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency is also associated with Rickets, a disease in which the bones get weak and soft, as a result of lack of mineralization of the bone tissues. It has many other benefits too, like it protects the body against type-I diabetes. In this section, we will learn about the benefits of vitamin D.
Benefits of vitamin D
- Pregnancy: vitamin D promotes a healthy pregnancy. Research studies of 2019 suggested that pregnant women who suffer from the deficiency of vitamin D, are at a higher risk of premature birth and preeclampsia (a condition with high blood pressure and risk of organ damage). Poor levels of vitamin D in pregnant women may also cause gestational diabetes and bacterial vagionisis. However, the levels of vitamin D must be normal, neither too high nor low, as, high levels may also cause some health issues.
- Protective action: vitamin D also has some protective effects against influenza, research studies suggest. However, researchers suggest that more research is needed to conclude this benefit of vitamin D as some studies recorded no protective effects.
- Healthy bones: vitamin D plays a vital role in promoting healthy bones, as, it regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the human body. Deficiency of vitamin D may also cause rickets in children, which results in weak bones and deformities in the skeletal structure. Similarly in adults, this deficiency may cause osteomalacia, which causes soft bones. It is also associated with osteoporosis, which is a common disease affecting adults.
- The health of children: deficiency of vitamin D is closely linked to high blood pressure in children. Research also suggests that low levels of vitamin D are linked to stiff walls of arteries, in children. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to an increased risk of allergies. Children (infants) who started taking vitamin D rich foods at the age of 4 to 6 months are at a lower risk of food allergies than infants who started taking the food late (after 6 months), studies suggest. Vitamin D may also prevent inflammation by enhancing the functions of glucocorticoids, which makes it beneficial for the supportive therapy which is given to people with asthma.
- Other benefits: vitamin D, other than promoting healthy bones, has many other roles to play. It supports the functioning of the brain, immune system, and nervous system. It also helps in the regulation of insulin, which is a hormone that decreases the levels of blood sugar. It supports the better functioning of the lungs and heart.
Food sources of vitamin D
- Salmon: Salmon is a natural source of vitamin D, with the goodness of large amounts of proteins. However, the levels of vitamin D are different in the wild or farmed species. Wild salmon contains 988 IU of vitamin D (per 100 grams), on average. On the other hand, farmed salmon contains just one-fourth of the amount found in wild species. People, who can’t consume salmon directly, can also consume dietary supplements like alvizia’s salmon oil supplement:
Salmon fish oil by alvizia:
It comes in three different variants and is an excellent source of both DHA and EPA. These omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the overall health of the human body. It supports heart health, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, enhances brain health and functioning, bone density, and joints, and brings a healthy glow to the skin. It is also a rich source of vitamin D, hence promoting bone health.
- Mushrooms: mushrooms are an excellent plant-based source of vitamin D; although they just produce vitamin D2 (animal sources produce vitamin D3). They can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Wild mushrooms may contain up to 2300 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams of serving and some commercial brands are often grown in dark places which may lessen the levels of vitamin D in them.
- Herring and sardines: herring and sardines are varieties of fatty fish that are consumed in many countries around the globe. They are also considered as some of the great sources of vitamin D. canned sardines contain around 177 IU of vitamin D, and herring provides 216 IU of it.
Deficiency of vitamin D
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are mainly pain in the bones and muscular weakness. However, many people who suffer from vitamin D deficiency do not experience any symptoms or mild ones. Low levels of this vitamin might result in an increased risk of severe asthma, cognitive impairment, and cardiovascular diseases.
Now, what causes or leads to the deficiency of vitamin D? This deficiency develops over time when a person doesn’t consume enough vitamin D. This may happen as a result of a strictly vegan diet, less exposure to sunlight. The human body releases vitamin D as a response to sunlight, which is why it is advised to expose the body to sunlight for some time. deficiency of this vitamin might also happen as a result of increased production of melanin, which is why people of color are at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. obesity, which is a condition affecting many of the body’s functions, also puts the affected person at a higher risk of this deficiency.