9 Proven Health Benefits of Vitamin D

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Helps Strengthen Bones and Muscles
According to a study, vitamin D plays an essential role in improving bone and muscle health. It is because vitamin D helps regulate calcium. It also maintains phosphorus levels in the blood.

These are some critical factors to keeping bones healthy. In addition, our body needs vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium. These functions are imperative to reclaim calcium; otherwise, the kidney excretes it.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets among children. Similarly, vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia or bone softening in adults.

Enhances Immunity
Vitamin D supports the immune system and fights harmful bacteria and viruses. It also helps to keep influenza, flu, and other respiratory illnesses at bay.

It serves as a pharmacy resource too. Vitamin D helps to reduce inflammation. In addition, it helps in metabolising enzymes and fights infections in the body.

According to research, vitamin D receptors and activating enzymes are present on the surface of our white blood cells. Thus, vitamin D balances the activities of the immune system.

In addition, if there are too many activities, autoimmune diseases set in. Whereas, if there are no frequent actions, chances of infections increase.

Improves Oral Health
As per a study, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate, crucial for building strong tooth enamel. It boosts mineral density and absorbs, carries, and deposits calcium in the bones.

In addition, it helps restore the enamel layer of teeth if it erodes due to nutrient deficiency. It repairs damaged dentin, part of the tooth beneath enamel and cementum. People suffering from vitamin D deficiency have a higher risk of tooth decay.

Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
As per research, vitamin D supplementation helps lower the average blood sugar levels in people who have type 2 diabetes. Supplementation for more than 12 weeks at more than 1000 IU/day may be most beneficial.

Vitamin D helps in the proper functioning of hormones insulin and glucagon. Therefore, it helps maintain an appropriate balance of blood glucose levels in the body.

An average to moderate amount of vitamin D helps keep proper glucose absorption in the body. Hence, normal vitamin D levels lower the risk of diabetes and help maintain good health.

Supports Mental Health
Depression is a serious issue. It is connected with our mental health, and it is challenging to detect it. According to a study, vitamin D deficiency can cause depression and mood swings.

Similarly, high vitamin D levels can significantly boost your mood and improve your mental health. Therefore, to have adequate vitamin D, don’t confine yourself to the walls of your house. Outdoor physical activity during the early hours of the day is best for good vitamin D absorption in the body.

Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Research shows that people living in southern latitudes with high sunlight exposure have lower cancer risks. That is because vitamin D also slows down the formation of a few types of tumours and cancerous cells.

In addition, it helps in good immunity, ultimately reducing risks of degenerative diseases like cancers, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease etc. Therefore, vitamin D is a vital vitamin that helps maintain a healthy body.

Vitamin D Boosts Weight Loss
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared obesity an epidemic of the 21st century. According to research, obesity increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

That is because it assists in the weight loss process. It alters the storage and formation of fat cells. Furthermore, it increases the levels of serotonin and testosterone. If not produced in required amounts, these hormones hinder your weight-loss efforts.

Vitamin D Supports Infant Health
As per a study, your baby needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorous. These, in turn, help them build strong bones and teeth. Conversely, if a baby lacks adequate vitamin D, they may suffer from rickets, a condition that causes softening and weakening of bones.

But, do remember, sun exposure, an essential source of vitamin D, is not recommended for babies. Hence, supplements are the best way to fulfil it.

Vitamin D Assists Healthy Pregnancy
Everybody needs vitamin D to absorb the right amount of calcium and phosphate. In addition, it is imperative in pregnancy to develop a baby’s bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system.

As per research, pregnant women deficient in vitamin D may have a greater risk of developing preeclampsia and giving birth preterm.

The Key Point to Remember
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is stored in the fat cells in our body. Hence, it is imperative to add enough vitamins to our daily diet. In addition, add limited amounts of ghee or olive oil. Ghee and olive oil can do wonders in vitamin D absorption. In addition, they also help recover from vitamin D deficiency.

What is Vitamin D Deficiency?
Insufficient amounts of vitamin D in the body can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Usually, people with dark skin or above 50 years of age are more susceptible to developing vitamin D deficiency.

However, a study suggests that pigmentation reduces vitamin D production in the skin. The reason is that melanin in dark skin absorbs ultraviolet radiation and reduces UVR available for vitamin D synthesis. Therefore, sufficient amounts of vitamin D are essential to keep you healthy and strong.

Severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to chronic health problems, such as:

Heart diseases
Diabetes
Immune system disorders
Recurrent infections
Certain types of cancers
Rickets
Osteomalacia
Weak bones and muscles
Kidney disorders
Obesity

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Though vitamin D deficiency symptoms are pretty vague, many people do not even realise they have it unless they get a blood test. However, paying attention to specific symptoms can help you identify whether or not you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. These symptoms include:

Fatigue
Back pain
Bone pain
Hair loss
Low mood
Depression
Poor oral health
Pale skin
Muscle pain

Summary
Vitamin D is an underrated vitamin due to its easy availability. One of the reasons is the lack of awareness regarding its importance. Though sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, too much sun exposure can also be harmful and lead to skin cancer. However, 10-15 minutes of sun exposure, 2-3 times a week, is more than enough to fulfil your vitamin D requirements.

Though sunscreens are also essential for protecting your skin, do not wear them excessively. When you are in the sun, or the sun rays enter your car or office, they cannot provide you with vitamin D.

Sunscreens only help block the sun’s UV rays. Therefore, if you want to take vitamin D naturally, the early morning hours after sunrise are perfect for soaking in the sunlight. If you live in cold regions or suffer from health problems, then consult a doctor regarding vitamin D supplements to avoid its deficiency.

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