Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients, responsible for the proper development of the body. It has many roles, but some of the most important ones are:
- Promoting calcium absorption resulting in stronger bones
- Strengthening the immune system
- Helping our nervous system carry messages faster
- Maintaining cognitive functions
- Reduces the chance for rheumatoid arthritis and heart attack
- Reduces the chance of cancer and more
Even though this is such and important vitamin four our general health and there have been a lot of studies to determine its role in the proper functioning of our body, there are still some gaps in our knowledge. Nevertheless, in this article we will make an attempt to cover all the topics and try and answer why is vitamin D important for our health.
Are You Low On Vitamin D?
As I`ve already mentioned, this nutrient has quite a significant effect on our body`s functions, so if your body is lacking it, you may develop some health problems.
The levels of D hormone are measured in nanomoles or nanograms per liter and they range between 30 nmol/L (12 ng/L) to 125 nmol/L (50 ng/L) according to Office Of Dietary Supplements. You should not go below or above these values.
Now, I realize that checking these levels daily or weekly is not really practical or necessary for that matter, but it is not a bad idea to check it at least once in a couple months.
This is especially important if you fall under the following categories:
- If you are an infant – obviously you will not pick up on this but your doctor will and might recommend some supplements
- If you are an older adult – your skin`s abilities to produce this vitamin will be decreased when you reach a certain age
- People with dark skin
- Obese people
- Individuals with specific conditions or diseases that affect the level and the absorption of this vitamin
Vitamin D “comes to us” via three different sources – sunlight, food, and supplementation.
Getting it from the direct sunlight can be somewhat dangerous since prolonged, repetitive exposure to the direct sunlight may increase your risk of skin cancer. So, if you plan on spending more than just a couple minutes out in the Sun, make sure you use proper sunscreen!
As for food, there are a lot that are good sources of this vitamin, and we are going to list a few:
- Fatty fish
- Most cereals (vitamin D has been added to them)
- Liver oil
Symptoms Of Deficiency
The symptoms are usually so subtle that most individuals will not be able to detect them in time, or not detect them at all. Most common symptoms are bone pain and muscle weakness. As you can see the symptoms are fairly general, which is why it would be best if you talked to a professional and do a proper blood test.
Final Words – Why Is Vitamin D Important?
The bottom line is this – hormone D is extremely important for your overall health, yet most Americans are lacking it. If not addressed properly, it may lead to softening and weakening in the bones; but, at the same time, you must be careful not to go overboard since excess supplement intake may lead to nausea, diarrhea, constipation and kidney problems.