Vitamin D is a Vitamin that most people have come by either in the form of supplements or as ingredients of some preparation of other supplements but not a lot of people know what this vitamin does in the body.
Also referred to as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is produced by the body as a response to exposure to the sun; Although the vitamin can also be derived from food sources.
It is essential to always have an optimal level of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is responsible for the maintenance of strong bones and teeth and its deficiency can result in weak bones. However, vitamin D has also been shown to be important in the prevention of a number of medical conditions including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and Cancer. Some of the basic roles of Vitamin D in the body include:
It is important to note that Vitamin D is not a typical hormone. As a matter of fact, it is considered a pro-hormone and not a vitamin in some circles. This is because most typical vitamins cannot be created by the body and therefore have to be taken into the body through diet plans. However, the body can synthesize Vitamin D even though this is only possible under sunlight.
It is projected that reasonable exposure of the bare skin to sunlight for about 5-10 minutes 2-3 times every week is enough for the average person to produce the Vitamin D they need. However, Vitamin D can break down very quickly meaning that it cannot be stored to a large extent, especially during winter where there’s not a lot of sunlight comparatively. Studies have revealed that a large percentage of people global are vitamin D deficient. Some of the health benefits of Vitamin D include;
Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. These are perhaps the two most important factors involved in maintaining healthy bones.
Vitamin D is required to absorb Calcium in the intestines and retain Calcium that would otherwise be removed from the body through the kidneys. The deficiency of Vitamin D in Children can cause rickets, a disease which is characterized by an intensely bow-legged appearance due to the softening of the bones. This condition manifests as Osteomalacia or Osteoporosis in adults. Osteomalacia often results in poor bone density and weakness of the muscles. Osteoporosis is more common among older men and women.
Children who get enough Vitamin D have been noticed to show a reduced risk of influenza.
Several studies have been carried out to fully define the relationship between blood concentrations of Vitamin D and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Most people who suffer from type 2 diabetes often have insufficient vitamin D levels which may have negative effects on insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. So having the right level of Vitamin D in the body can help reduce the risk of diabetes.
Low vitamin D levels have also been related to an increased risk of severe atopic childhood diseases. These diseases include Asthma, Atopic dermatitis, and Eczema. Vitamin D improves the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids making them useful as supportive pregnancy in people with steroid-resistant asthma.