Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of the body’s systems. It is necessary for people to appreciate the importance that vitamin D holds in our diet.
Vitamin D deficiency does occur when the body does not get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight or diet. Vitamin D deficiency can cause loss of bone density, osteoporosis, and also broken bones.
Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin, as one’s body makes it from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sunlight. The importance of vitamin D cannot be understated.
This vitamin has indeed recently garnered a lot of attention for its role in immune health.
Most adults need 1,500–2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. While certain foods, like fatty fish and fortified dairy products, do contain this vitamin, it is difficult to get enough through one’s diet alone.
It’s no surprise, then, that vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies worldwide (1 trusted source).
Vitamin D happens to be a fat-soluble vitamin that does play a critical role in the proper functioning of one’s body, including bone health as well as immunity. It may even, in fact, help prevent cancer and also protect against several chronic conditions, like:
- Bone loss
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
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Signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can indeed be difficult to notice, as symptoms may not occur for several months or even years. Sometimes, a person may have no symptoms at all.
Frequent illness or infections
An important role of vitamin D is supporting immune health, which helps ward off viruses as well as bacteria that cause illness.
Vitamin D directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for addressing infections.
If often become sick, like suffering from colds or the flu, low vitamin D levels can be a contributing factor. Several large observational studies have indeed shown a link between a deficiency as well as respiratory tract infections like colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Fatigue and tiredness
Feeling tired can be due to a number of causes, and perhaps vitamin D deficiency is a factor to reckon with.
Unlike more visible causes such as stress, depression, as well as insomnia, vitamin D deficiency is indeed often overlooked as a potential cause of fatigue.
Bone and back pain
Bone and lower back pain can be symptoms of inadequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D does help maintain bone health by improving the body’s absorption of calcium.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, especially in older adults. More research is needed in order to understand the relationship between vitamin D and depression.
Impaired wound healing
Slow wound healing after surgery or injury can be a sign that a person’s vitamin D levels are too low.
In fact, results from a test-tube study do suggest that vitamin D increases the production of compounds that are considered crucial for forming new skin as part of the wound-healing process.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption as well as bone metabolism. It is important to take vitamin D and calcium.
Several foods as well as nutrients may affect hair health. Stress happens to be a common cause of hair loss, and severe hair loss can be due to a disease or nutrient deficiency.
The causes of muscle pain are quite often difficult to pinpoint. Vitamin D deficiency can be a potential cause.
Obesity can be a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to anxiety disorders.
Still, more research is necessary to know more about the importance of vitamin D.