Vitamin D is a very important vitamin which has powerful effects on a number of different systems throughout your body. As opposed to other vitamins, vitamin D acts like a hormone. Each and every single cell that is in your body has a receptor for it.
Your body makes vitamin D from cholesterol when your skin has been exposed to sunlight. In addition, it’s found in a variety of foods such as fatty fish as well as fortified dairy products, although it’s very difficult to get enough from just diet.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin D is usually around 400–800 IU however many experts say you should get even more than this. A vitamin D deficiency is quite common. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.
Good For Strong Bones
Vitamin D is tremendously important for strong bones as it helps the body to utilise calcium from the diet. Usually, vitamin D shortage has been linked with rickets, which is a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t mineralise properly. This leads to soft bones as well as skeletal deformities. However, increasingly research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems.
How Would You Know If You Have A Vitamin D Deficiency?
Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness may mean that you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many individuals the symptoms are subtle. However, even without symptoms far too little vitamin D could pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been linked with the following results:
- Heightened risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive deficiency in older adults
- Serious asthma in children
Research makes the suggestion that vitamin D may play a role in the prevention as well as treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance as well as multiple sclerosis.
Here are seven shared risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:
- Having dark skin
- Being elderly
- Being overweight or obese
- Not eating much fish or – alternatively – dairy
- Living very far away from the equator where there is extremely little sun year-round
- Always utilising sunscreen when going out
- Remaining indoors
Individuals who live near the equator – and get regular sun exposure – are less likely to be deficient, as their skin generates enough vitamin D in order to satisfy their bodies’ needs.
Most individuals don’t realise that they’re deficient because symptoms are usually subtle. You may not recognise them clearly, even if they’re having a substantial negative effect on your quality of life.
If you are keen on discovering additional information about nutrition, then we really recommend that you do our Specialised Nutrition. Follow this link to find out more.