What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is most known for being the vitamin that supports bone development, muscle strength and healthy teeth.
However, it also works to fight diseases in the body, cell growth, inflammation, among other immune functions. It is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body which then therefore helps:
- Children develop strong bones
- Contributes to good bone health in adults
- Strengthens teeth enamel
- Increases muscle strength and function
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in interest in the vitamin because research and studies have begun to prove that it plays a major role in many different acute and chronic diseases.
How does your body get the vitamin D that it needs?
Vitamin D works hand in hand with other nutrients to support the body, but how does the body get the amount of Vitamin D that it needs to function properly?
There are three main ways that you can get vitamin D in your body: sun, supplements, and food.
Sun Expose: the most common and natural way for your body to produce vitamin D. It does not take very long for your body to absorb its proper amount, and it is very easy to do.
All that it requires of you is to go out in the sun for about 15 minutes a day. The issue comes when you live somewhere where sunlight exposure is difficult to get every day.
Supplements: the second-best thing that you can do to make sure that you are getting your proper amount of vitamin D daily.
Just be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure that you are taking the proper amount to ensure optimal results. Taking too little will do no good and taking too much could be very harmful to your body as we will discuss later.
Food: Vitamin D can be found in many different foods such as: salmon, cod, tuna, egg yolk, beef liver, milk, orange juice, and mushrooms.
However, food is not the best thing to rely on to absorb your body’s proper amount of vitamin in one day due to the amounts of the vitamin being so small in food.
Vitamin D Deficiency:
Vitamin D deficiency is the most common of all nutrient deficiencies.
Again, Vitamin D is the vitamin that helps the body produce calcium. Calcium is what works to strengthen the muscles and bones in the body.
So, when the body is not getting enough vitamin D, then it is not producing enough calcium, which therefore means that the muscles and bones are not strong and healthy.
Weak bones and muscles cause the musculoskeletal system to break down. It is common that there may not be any signs of either clinical or biomedical bone diseases however, it may take time for them to show up due to the breakdown of muscle functions.
The following is a list of people who are more susceptible to being deficient:
- People who always use sunscreen when going outside
- People who are older than 60
- People with darker skin.
- People who suffer diseases that interfere with absorption of vitamin D (cystic fibrosis, celiac, and short bowel syndrome)
- People who are over weight
- People who stay indoors and don’t go outside very much
- People who live farther away from the equator where the days are very short in the winter months.
- Women who are pregnant
What conditions does vitamin D treat?
When your body is receiving its proper amount of vitamin D you may begin to notice an improvement in your health. This is because Vitamin D work helps treat:
- Low calcium levels
- Low phosphate levels
- Defective bone development
- Muscle morphology
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain types of abnormal muscle contractions
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms click here to speak with a doctor about how vitamin D might be your solution.
What is the connection between Vitamin D and Rickets?
Rickets is a disease found in children who are extremely deficient in vitamin D. This occurs as a result from the body failing to mineralize new bone due to low calcium levels.
This results in demineralization and weakening of existing bone and distortion of the bones usually resulting in bow legs.
Symptoms of rickets include:
- Muscle weakness
- Bowing of the legs
- Greenstick fractures
- A larger than normal head
- Delayed motor development
- Curvature of the spine (scoliosis)
- Thickening of the ankles and wrists
- Defects in the enamel of forming teeth
- Knobby growths at the points where the ribs join the sternum
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms please speak with a doctor immediately to decide the best treatment solution.