Vitamin D—Everyone Knows About it, but Why is it so Important?
Vitamin D is a fundamental nutrient for our health. Although its main effect is on the bone system, it influences numerous metabolic processes, strengthens our immune system and helps us prevent diseases. Yet nearly half of the population suffers from its deficiency.
Let's discuss its importance further and the consequences of its deficiency!
Why is Vitamin D Important?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that regulates the amount of calcium in the blood, bones, and intestines, keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. It helps to obtain essential particles for the bones called phosphates. In addition, it also improves mental well-being.
It works in the intestines and kidneys to absorb calcium and phosphorus and bind it to the bones. In other words, vitamin D is involved in bone growth. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children and problems of bone loss in adults with increased fracture risk.
But this is not the only role of vitamin D. Vitamin D receptors are found all over the body, at the cardiovascular, neuronal or pancreas level, without forgetting its role in immunity.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that the body produces naturally through exposure to sunlight. Therefore, the most effective way to reach its necessary dose is by taking a little sun every day with sun protection. Spend more time outdoors, for example, on the balcony or garden of your house. The idea is to expose to the sun at least once a day, for at least 20 minutes. You can do many activities on the move, such as taking care of your garden or taking a walk in the nearest park.
A diet rich in vitamin D can also help. Try incorporating more oily fish, egg yolks, dairy, oatmeal, and tofu. You can also add vitamin D supplements to your daily intake by consulting your doctor.
Vitamin D Deficiency
When you do not have enough vitamin D, your body cannot adequately absorb calcium and phosphorus from food, essential nutrients for proper bone mineralization. Therefore, its deficiency is associated with certain conditions. When you have enough vitamin D, everything is likely to work correctly: your bone metabolism, defense system, and even decreases the chances of suffering from diseases.
Since the mineralization process is different at each stage of life, the consequences of its deficit also vary: In childhood, it causes rickets which is a severe bone development impairment that causes growth problems. In adults, its deficiency causes an increased risk of osteoporosis (decalcification of the bone) and consequently an increased risk of suffering a fracture.
In extreme cases, it can cause a bone disorder Osteomalacia that causes bones decalcification. It can even result in hypocalcemia (lack of calcium in the blood).
Vitamin D levels in the general population are already low in our society. We sunbathe little and intermittently. In addition, when we do we smear ourselves in protective creams, which is also essential. It is important to ensure that our body gets enough Vitamin D.
However, excess vitamin D is also not good. Vitamin D excess increases blood calcium levels, resulting in disorientation, muscle weakness, constipation, irritability, etc. Therefore, it is essential to maintain vitamin D ranges since both its deficit and excess are harmful.
We hope the information we shared will be helpful to you. Do not forget to share it with your friends and family, and let us know how it worked for you!