A vitamin is an organic molecule that is an essential micronutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for proper functioning of its metabolism. These essential nutrients cannot be produced by the body in sufficient quantities, hence their requirement must be fulfilled through food sources or vitamin containing supplements. Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism, either at all or not in sufficient quantities, and therefore must be obtained through the diet.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D just like other vitamins has an important function. It is a group of fat soluble secosteroids (described as a subclass of steroids or derived from steroids) which is responsible of the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. It helps to maintain strong bones and teeth. Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is an important part of keeping your bones healthy.
Multiple foods provides us with vitamin D. Some rich Vitamin D food sources are:
- Herring and Sardines
- Cod liver oil
- Egg yolks
Other ways to incorporate vitamin D
We can incorporate vitamin D using various other ways
- We should spend time in the sunlight. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin.
- Consume fatty fish and seafood as they have high vitamin D content
- Take a Vitamin D supplement to make up for any deficiency
- Try a UV lamp
- Eat fortified food
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D helps fight multiple diseases: Research findings show that vitamin D prevents the chances of heart diseases. Another research states that it reduces chances of flu. Vitamin D also helps in reducing high blood pressure. It also fights off diseases such as diabetes.
- Absorption of calcium: Vitamin D performs a noteworthy function in the maintenance of appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. These components are extremely important for the maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D helps the intestines absorb calcium in to the blood stream which would otherwise pass out of the body without being of any use to the individual.
- Vitamin D helps in fighting depression: According to a research, vitamin D plays an important role in preventing depression and also helps in keeping moods in check. Another research findings have stated that people suffering from vitamin D deficiency are the ones suffering from depression.
- Helps in weight loss: If you are trying to lose weight, vitamin D supplements are your best friend as this will help you in losing weight a lot quicker. Vitamin supplements taken by obese people have helped them in reducing heart diseases.
- Essential for child development: Vitamin D plays an important role in the development of children, promoting normal growth, strengthening their immune systems and the development and proper functioning of their bone structure.
- Wards off bone diseases: Bone disease such as osteoporosis is a most common disease due to vitamin D deficiency. Getting sufficient vitamin D through sunlight, food and supplements will help in fighting bone diseases that will prove to be a great problem in the future if they are not taken care of.
- Improves respiratory system: The air today is more polluted than ever before, causing people to suffer from multiple respiratory tract issues and infections. Vitamin D has been found to help fight off these infections. So, if you are suffering from respiratory issues, increasing the level of vitamin D in your body could prove to be beneficial.
- Skin protection: Vitamin D plays an important role in the protection of your skin. It helps in the skin cell growth and is beneficial for the skin’s immune system. Not only does it prevent premature aging but makes your skin look healthy, supple and radiant.
- Beneficial for hair growth: Getting sufficient vitamin D helps the thickness and growth of hair and also helps to prevent the hair to fall prematurely. If you want your hair to not only look, but also feel healthy, incorporating Vitamin D into your diet will help you to achieve that.
- Ensures healthy pregnancy: Pregnant women suffering from vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of developing preeclampsia and giving birth prematurely. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.
Vitamin D deficiency problems
A deficiency of Vitamin D can cause several issues
- Getting sick or infected often
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Renal diseases
- Liver diseases
Summing up, not only is Vitamin D extremely important for the healthy functioning of the human body, a deficiency of such can result in various diseases and complications. It is therefore important to ensure that sufficient amounts of this vitamin are incorporated into the diet.