Vitamin D: its Health benefits and foods that have high content of Vitamin D
Take a close look at the level on your multi: unless the vitamin D is listed as D3 (or cholecalciferol), you may be getting shortchanged.
Vitamin D has a lot of health benefits, however, the less or more amount of this vitamin that the body needs can cause side effects when it accumulates in the body.
Effects and deficiency of vitamin D
Deficiency of vitamin D can have several effects on the body. Here are some common effects of vitamin D deficiency:
One of the primary functions of vitamin D is to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, which are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to decreased calcium absorption, resulting in weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.
In children, severe deficiency can cause rickets, a condition characterised by soft and weak bones, chaktty said.
Vitamin D plays a role in muscle function and strength. Inadequate levels of vitamin D can contribute to muscle weakness, fatigue, and a decrease in muscle mass.
Increased risk of osteoporosis
Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, a condition characterised by low bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
Without sufficient vitamin D, the body has difficulty absorbing calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone strength.
Impaired immune function
According to healthpally, Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system.
Deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk of infections, autoimmune diseases, and an impaired immune response.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of mood disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, vitamin D receptors are found in areas of the brain involved in mood regulation, and vitamin D is thought to play a role in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Increased risk of chronic diseases
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of various chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers (such as colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers), and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and these conditions.
It’s important to note that the effects of vitamin D deficiency can vary depending on the severity and duration of the deficiency, as well as individual factors such as age, overall health, and lifestyle.
If you suspect a vitamin D deficiency, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is primarily obtained through exposure to sunlight, as the body can synthesise it when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
However, there are a few dietary sources of vitamin D as well. Here are some foods and fruits that are good sources of vitamin D:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are excellent sources of vitamin D.
They not only provide good amounts of the vitamin but also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Cod liver oil is derived from the liver of codfish and is a potent source of vitamin D. It is available in supplement form and is commonly consumed to meet vitamin D needs.
Egg yolks contain small amounts of vitamin D. However, it’s important to note that the vitamin D content is mostly found in the yolk, so consuming whole eggs is necessary to obtain the vitamin.
Certain types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake mushrooms, are good plant-based sources of vitamin D.
They can naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, just like human skin.
Many food products are fortified with vitamin D to help individuals meet their dietary needs.
Common fortified foods include milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, and plant-based milk alternatives (like soy milk and almond milk).
Check the product labels to determine if they are fortified with vitamin D.
It’s worth noting that the amount of vitamin D obtained through dietary sources is often limited.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain adequate sun exposure, especially during the summer months when the sun’s rays are stronger, to support the body’s natural production of vitamin D.
Additionally, if you suspect a deficiency or have specific dietary requirements, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and supplementation if necessary.
Vitamin D is the focus of hot research: low blood levels, even if still within the normal range, have been linked to a host of health problems, from osteoporosis to several cancers.
Many experts advise all adults to get about 1,000 IU of D daily, whether from supplements or fortified foods, including milk and yogurt. Either way, check the list of ingredients to make sure the product contains cholecalciferol (D3). D.A.H