If you’re wondering what the foods rich in Vitamin D are, they would include such as fatty fish like tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring. But it’s also much more flexible because it is also added to such things as dairy products, juices, and cereals.
Have you ever seen the phrase “ Fortified with Vitamin D” advertised on television?
We get the majority of our this vitamin through direct exposure to sunlight. But, it can also be manufactured in a lab in the form of a medicine.
What is Vitamin D and How does it work?
This vitamin is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus found in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure.
The sun is a great source of it also.
Sun exposure is an easy, reliable way for most people to get vitamin D. We do, however, need to control how much it we take in. Exposure of the hands, face, arms, and legs to sunlight two to three times a week for about one-fourth of the time it would take to develop a mild sunburn will cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D. The necessary exposure time varies with age, skin type, season, time of day, etc.
Vitamin D Benefits
Vitamin D is used for preventing and treating rickets, a disease that is caused by not having enough the vitamin (vitamin D deficiency). Vitamin D is also used for treating weak bones (osteoporosis), bone pain (osteomalacia), bone loss in people with a condition called hyperparathyroidism, and an inherited disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) in which the bones are especially brittle and easily broken. It is also used for preventing falls and fractures in people at risk for osteoporosis, and preventing low calcium and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with kidney failure.
Other Vitamin D Benefits
Vitamin D is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also used for diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease.
Some people use vitamin D for skin conditions including vitiligo, scleroderma, psoriasis, actinic keratosis, and lupus vulgaris.
It is also used for boosting the immune system, preventing autoimmune diseases, and preventing cancer.
Because vitamin D is involved in regulating the levels of minerals such as phosphorous and calcium, it is used for conditions caused by low levels of phosphorous (familial hypophosphatemia and Fanconi syndrome) and low levels of calcium (hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism).
Vitamin D and Skin Care
Vitamin D in forms known as calcitriol or calcipotriene is applied directly to the skin for a particular type of psoriasis.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
What causes Vitamin D deficiency?
This vitamin deficiency (low vitamin d) is also known as hypovitaminosis D. This can be a result of inadequate or limited exposure to sunlight, improper diet, or problems related to absorption of it. Certain diseases can impair vitamin D conversion into its active form. Some of these conditions include kidney disease, liver disease, or some hereditary diseases. Vitamin D deficiency usually results in bad mineralization of bones, leading to bone softening, osteomalacia, rickets and osteoporosis. Rickets develops in children, whereas osteomalacia affects adults.
The low vitamin d symptoms include:
- Bone fractures
- Bone pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Rickets in children
So how much vitamin d is required and how fast can it be replenished?
It’s amazing how quickly adequate levels can be restored by sunlight. Just six days of casual sunlight exposure without sunscreen can make up for 49 days of no sunlight exposure. Body fat acts like a kind of storage battery for it. During periods of sunlight, vitamin D is stored in fatty fat and then released when sunlight is gone.
Older people are also at risk for vitamin D deficiency. They are less likely to spend time in the sun, have fewer “receptors” in their skin that convert sunlight to it. They may not get enough of this vitamin in their diet, and may have trouble absorbing it even if they do get it in their diet. They also may have more trouble converting dietary vitamin D to a useful form due to aging kidneys. In fact, the risk for vitamin D deficiency in people over 65 years of age is very high.