Health

How Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Overall Health

Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals. Why? So your body can function at its optimal levels. Without consuming healthy vitamins and minerals, you will most… Trista - October 16, 2019

Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals. Why? So your body can function at its optimal levels. Without consuming healthy vitamins and minerals, you will most likely feel sluggish regularly and get sick more often. Each vitamin and mineral plays its own role in building up your body to be healthy, including vitamin D.

You might already know that vitamin D is associated with the sun, but what does that mean? Learn how this vitamin can improve your health, or a lack thereof can cause a deficiency. You can also discover what foods contain vitamin D and other healthy ways to receive it.

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What is vitamin D?

If you have been keeping up with health news, you may have heard a lot about this necessary vitamin over the past few years. Scientists, nutritionists, and other researchers are coming to realize just how vital this vitamin is to overall well-being. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body needs an adequate level of fats for it to be properly metabolized. That doesn’t mean that you should go out and start eating more fat to hold more vitamin D; that’s not the way the body works.

Our bodies need many vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health. However, vitamin D seems to be crucial. Why? Vitamin D allows other vitamins and minerals you ingest to absorb in your body. If you don’t have enough vitamin D, your body probably isn’t absorbing the other vitamins and minerals. That amounts to a lot of waste and your body not being as healthy as it should. So consider adding more vitamin D to your daily regimen to help with this problem.

Babies must receive this vitamin in the womb. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D is essential for infant development.

Healthy babies need to have stable levels of vitamin D, but they’re not able to attain this on their own while they’re in the womb. In one study, babies who had 2000 international units of the vitamin each day had stronger, more flexible arteries than babies who had an insufficient quantity. These babies are more likely to enjoy better cardiovascular health throughout their lives because they head start infants. That means fewer opportunities for poor heart health in the future, such as heart attacks or suffering from blood clots.

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Additionally, vitamin D is critical for preventing or alleviating some childhood diseases, including asthma, which can be fatal. So if you want to spare your child from having to endure inhalers or nebulizers, then it would be a good idea to start their exposure to vitamin D as soon as possible. Children who suffer from steroid-resistant asthma benefit from a higher intake of vitamin D. It also stands guard against eczema and other skin diseases and inflammation. Wouldn’t it be better to spare them from painful, itchy lives?

Your fertility can be impacted by vitamin D levels. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D can improve fertility.

Many couples today struggle with infertility, and more and more are opting for expensive choices like in-vitro fertilization to improve their chances of conceiving a child. It can be a costly struggle since IVF doesn’t always take, leaving couples heartbroken. However, many people do not know that getting an adequate supply of Vitamin D can improve fertility, which means improving the chances for happy couples.

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Getting vitamin D from dietary sources, as well as from sunlight, is the best way to consume it. What’s most difficult for people is knowing what the best sources of vitamin D are. Talking to a doctor can provide these answers to living a richer and healthier life. However, studies show that taking a vitamin D supplement can be useful for people struggling with infertility. Getting a steady supply of vitamin D through supplements may help reduce infertility rather than a diet rich in other nutrients, but lack vitamin D. Consider adding vitamin D tablets to your daily regimen to help you out.

Did you know that adequate vitamin D levels can help combat cancer? Credit: Pixabay

It can help prevent cancer.

Few people today can say that they do not know someone who has had cancer. It seems to be the scourge of modern life, with new chemicals or other agents labeled every other day as causing the disease. Many people die from it every day, and we still are far away from a cure. Nevertheless, suppose an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In that case, getting enough vitamin D can be the best thing you can do to avoid cancer, as well as taking other precautionary measures to safeguard your health.

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Vitamin D is necessary for cell health and regulation in ways that can destroy cancer cells. It can inhibit new blood vessels’ growth that feeds tumors and decrease metastatic cancer cells’ proliferation. That means that the cells have the chance to repair themselves and allow for newer, healthier cells to grow in place of the destroyed cancer cells. One day, vitamin D may lie at the heart of a cure for cancer. It’s not a foolproof cure, but anything that helps the body combat this horrible disease is better than nothing.

You might lose a few extra pounds thanks to this vitamin. Credit: Pixabay

This vitamin can aid in weight loss.

A century ago, we could say that malnutrition and starvation were among the biggest killers on the planet. In the modern world, hunger has been replaced with obesity because of the amount of food produced daily to feed everyone. However, with the irony that many obese people are also malnourished. Getting an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D, can not only provide proper nourishment but aid weight loss. Moreover, just think, the secret to losing weight was right under everyone’s nose this entire time.

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Not getting enough vitamin D has been shown to lead to weight gain. Moreover, people trying to lose weight, especially on calorie-restricted diets, are much more successful when they make sure that they are getting enough vitamin D. It helps combat fatigue. Furthermore, it provides them with energy, allowing them to exercise for much longer to burn more calories. Again, because vitamin D is also linked to strengthening bones, you’ll be able to increase muscle mass in no time as well.

Cardiovascular health — or heart health — is extremely important to your overall health. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D can prevent cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease can strike at any moment and can be fatal before you even have time to call 911. It’s the number one killer in the United States, yet not many people are taking their heart health very seriously. People are still eating more and exercising less. If you are experiencing a heart attack or stroke, you can suffer lasting damage before the ambulance arrives, the damage that will affect your body for the rest of your life. The chances are even greater if you have chronic cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. This latter condition is the build-up of materials in the arteries, such as fats and cholesterol, that reduce blood flow to the body’s critical parts.

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That puts more stress on the heart since it needs to pump harder and faster to get the right amount of blood around the body. Studies show that people who don’t have enough vitamin D in their bloodstream are 40% more likely to have cardiovascular problems than people with adequate levels. Besides eating right and exercising regularly, anyone who wants to avoid cardiovascular disease should make vitamin D a priority. So it doesn’t hurt to get out into the sun a little or enjoy some vitamin D-rich foods to help you get on the right track to better heart health.

Soaking up some time in the sun has been known to increase your mood. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D is a mood stabilizer.

oday, mental illness seems to be everywhere. People suffer from a range of mental illnesses, some of which have no cure, while others are dependent on external factors. One of those is sunlight, and during the winter months, people are more likely to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. Sure, there are better means of reporting it and less stigma, so there are probably many more people saying that they struggle with things like depression and anxiety than would have admitted even 20 years ago.

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However, there is also no question that modern life is taking its toll on our emotional well-being. Nevertheless, vitamin D may be the answer, or at least an essential part of the solution. Getting enough of this vital nutrient can stabilize a person’s mood, especially if they deal with depression or anxiety. Sunlight has been shown to help the brain release specific chemicals designed to have more positive outlooks. It could one day be part of a standard treatment plan for better mental health.

Maintaining bone strength can help prevent illness later in life. Credit: Pixabay

It makes your bones stronger.

We have all heard of the importance of calcium in maintaining healthy bones. Nevertheless, calcium is almost entirely impotent without its trusty sidekick, vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D is what allows our bodies to absorb calcium. Think of it as a sponge for the body, drawing in and helping it to absorb as much calcium as possible to help one’s bones become stronger. Hence, a lack of vitamin D means that no matter how much calcium we consume, it doesn’t make its way to our bones.

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In addition to enabling our bodies to absorb calcium, vitamin D works to make bones stronger and increase their density. While a lack of vitamin D can lead to brittle bones that fracture more quickly, a robust supply of it can be even more effective than calcium at maintaining bone health. That makes vitamin D also extremely essential for women in menopause stages to delay the onset of osteoporosis. The condition can become quite debilitating if not treated properly, leading to bad posture, bones that break more easily, and strained or torn muscles.

Vitamin D is helpful in managing Type-2 diabetes. Credit: Pixabay

It can mitigate Type-2 diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes is the kind that occurs most often in people who have chronically unhealthy lifestyles. People whose lives are mired in stress and junk food develop the metabolic condition known as insulin resistance, which will lead to the development of type-2 diabetes if not stopped in its tracks. A healthy lifestyle change can help reduce the symptoms of type-2 diabetes and reduce the need to take insulin injections all the time, but the condition is never going to go away.

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Type-2 diabetes can cause problems with the heart, eyes, feet, and other parts of the body, but adequate vitamin D levels in people with type-2 diabetes can mitigate those problems. Furthermore, people who consume vitamin D regularly are less likely to develop type-2 diabetes in the first place, even if they are already insulin-resistant. It’s not a cure-all for the condition, but it doesn’t hurt to improve one’s health by making better dietary choices rather than letting the body get worse with time.

Proper vitamin D can increase your body’s muscle abilities. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D can boost muscle function.

If you’re yearning to work on those muscles and turn your body into a fitness machine, then there’s a lot of hard work in store for you. You have to have a daily diet and exercise regimen, with no room for error or taking a break. It’s a lot of hard work. Muscle tone is something that many of us take for granted until we find that we are becoming weak, and maybe even our muscles are in a state of atrophy. That can be detrimental to the body as we age; as we lose muscle mass, all of the pressure is placed on the bones to get us around in our daily lives, leading to fractures.

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There are many reasons why muscles may not be growing and developing correctly, including a lack of vitamins and minerals. Even if you consume plenty of vitamins and minerals in your diet, you are not absorbing them if you are not getting vitamin D. Thus, if you are hitting the gym every day but aren’t seeing the desired results, a lack of vitamin D may be at least partially to blame.

Did you know that vitamin D can strengthen your immune system? Credit: Freepik

Vitamin D can reduce your risk of getting the flu.

Getting the flu is never fun. It makes us feel crappy, we have to stay in bed all day, and we can’t be around other people because of how contagious it is. The best anyone can do to keep hydrated and weather out the storm until they have recovered. When flu season comes around, public health officials advise that the best thing that you can do to prevent yourself from getting the flu is to get a flu shot. However, the flu shot comes with a caveat: it may not be helpful, and for some people, it can cause the flu.

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If you want to prevent the flu, you need to get vitamin D. This is vitamin D is excellent at boosting the immune system, releasing white blood cells into the body to help combat infection. With a more robust immune system, the flu virus cells are less likely to survive within the body if a person gets infected. In one study of children, those who had at least 1200 international vitamin D units each day over four months were 40% less likely to become infected by influenza A.

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This vitamin can improve maternal health.

Many ills can potentially befall a pregnant woman, such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, a deadly condition that requires an emergency C-section to save the mother’s life. With so many things that can go wrong during a pregnancy, it’s best to take every precaution necessary to safeguard the mother’s health. From prenatal vitamins to seeing a prenatal doctor once a week, it’s vital that women take care of their own health first to ensure that their fetuses are also healthy.

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However, pregnant women who consume adequate vitamin D levels are much less likely to develop adverse pregnancy conditions. Popping vitamin D supplements may not be the best solution for pregnant women at risk of pre-eclampsia or another gestational state. Excessively high levels of vitamin D can cause the children to have a higher incidence of food allergies, so the best solution is to get plenty of sunlight.

This essential vitamin can impact the human brain. Shutterstock.

Proper vitamin D amounts can prevent cognitive decline.

As we age, our brains’ neural networks can begin to deteriorate, leading to dementia. Some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, are commonly believed to be irreversible, but research into brain plasticity and its ability to heal itself is beginning to change that belief. Vitamin D can help improve cognitive function and brain plasticity and even prevent the cognitive decline of age. While there is no definitive research to show that it can reverse the memory loss of Alzheimer’s, it can certainly slow the disease’s progression as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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It sounds like a romantic dream, being able to keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay, but scientific research is proving it to be true. The last thing we want to lose when we get older is our minds, as we watch our bodies slowly deteriorate. Without anything left to remember our lives and pasts, it becomes more challenging to live independent lives.

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Vitamin D can reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is a response that the body generates to protect itself. For example, if you cut yourself, the area around the cut will become red and inflamed as part of the body’s natural defenses against invaders and potential infections. However, due to poor lifestyles, many people today experience chronic inflammation, which negatively affects their overall health. Chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases, including cancer. However, vitamin D slows down the body’s inflammatory response, thereby reducing the risk of developing a chronic health condition related to inflammation.

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Experiencing long periods of inflammation also harms the brain. Those who deal with chronic pain tend to be more depressed as their brains try to cope with pain and swelling every hour of every day. Nevertheless, with vitamin D, some alleviation can promote better mental health in the long run. It will take some time before those changes can be experienced, but taking steps to promote better health is better than not taking any steps at all.

Vitamin D can help keep clear, young looking skin. Shutterstock.

Vitamin D improves skin health.

Vitamin D has many health benefits for the skin. For young children who suffer from eczema, adequate levels of this vital nutrient can reduce outbreaks. For teenagers struggling with acne, its anti-inflammatory properties can prevent zits from emerging. By taking care of acne before it starts, teenagers will have better self-confidence for all the challenges they have to face throughout their puberty years. That means fewer skin care treatments and more focusing on school and finding the right social circles.

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Furthermore, for adults who wake up aghast to find yet another wrinkle, vitamin D can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth out their skin. That means fewer adults are going under the knife and undergoing the painful procedures of plastic surgery. There are many more natural ways to have healthy, glowing skin that don’t require skin to be stretched out or have fillers injected under it. In short, anyone who wants to have better skin – and who doesn’t? – should make sure to get an adequate supply of vitamin D daily.

Lacking vitamin D can cause you to become sick more often. Credit: Shutterstock

Vitamin D deficiency can leads to poor health.

Today, an estimated one billion people have a vitamin D deficiency, meaning that they are not getting enough of this critical nutrient. That can lead to many health problems that not many people are prepared to deal with. In 2011, a study indicated that nearly 42% of adults in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency, and that number is drastically higher among minority groups. It could be dietary or because more and more people are working office jobs where they can’t get enough time outside in the sun.

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Either way, people who do not get enough vitamin D tend to experience much lower health and even a shorter life expectancy. In one study conducted, participants who did not have enough vitamin D were three times as likely to die during the study period! While the importance of getting enough vitamin D cannot be overstated in terms of health benefits, the detriments of not getting enough are harrowing. That shows how vital vitamin D is to the overall maintenance of the body and its daily functions.

You may find yourself going to the doctor more frequently. Credit: Pixabay

A lack of vitamin D leads to more illness.

One of the most essential vitamin D functions is to keep your immune system functioning at its absolute best; in fact, it may be even more critical than the oft-touted vitamin C in this regard. An immune system that isn’t working well is a recipe for disaster. You’re more prone to infections, you can’t fight off diseases as well, and it takes the body much longer to heal from both illnesses and injuries. Low levels of vitamin D contribute to a weakened immune system, which, in turn, means that you get sick more often.

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Studies suggest a link between vitamin D levels and respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Asthma is also affected, especially in young children. Taking supplements, even without adding vitamin D to your diet, can mitigate your respiratory illness risk. If you find that you are getting sick more often than you would like, you may want to look at ways to get more vitamin D into your body. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel once you start adding more of it to your diet.

Being exhausted all of the time can be caused by a lack of vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Not enough vitamin D can cause chronic fatigue.

These days, hearing people complain about how tired and rundown they feel is so commonplace that we scarcely notice these kinds of remarks anymore. It doesn’t help that everyone is so overworked that they cannot take care of their health properly. Although sleep deprivation is certainly a cause of fatigue, so is a lack of vitamin D. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. However, people who have low levels of vitamin D report that their energy immediately improves after consuming adequate levels.

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Vitamin D deficiency has such a strong effect on fatigue that it can severely impact somebody’s quality of life. Instead of an extra cup of coffee, if you are experiencing chronic fatigue, the best solution may be an increase in vitamin D. Vitamin D is also not addictive and won’t give you withdrawal headaches the way caffeine does. Just adding a supplement or a vitamin D-rich food to each of your meals will help you experience better results in no time.

Unexplained chronic pain may be a result of a vitamin D deficiency. Credit: Pixabay

Lack of vitamin D can lead to chronic pain.

Several studies have shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain in the lower back. In particular, one study showed that deficient people are nearly two times as likely as people who have adequate levels to have pain in their bones and joints. Part of this may be because without vitamin D, many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, are not absorbed by the body. Without these essential vitamins, the body doesn’t know how to function and causes many painful flare-ups to result. This pain will force people to look to pain medications instead of improving their health with better diets and nutrition.

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Chronic pain may be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Instead of taking yet another painkiller, if you are experiencing chronic pain, get your vitamin D levels tested. The solution may be vitamin supplements, not more painkillers. A blood test doesn’t take very long either, and your primary care physician would be happy to do one for you so that you can see what you need to do to improve your overall health.

Vitamin D has properties that help to heal wounds. Credit: Pixabay

Wounds may not heal as well if you are lacking vitamin D.

Vitamin D is vital in producing the compounds necessary for new skin to grow as wounds heal. Unsurprisingly, a lack of vitamin D means that the body cannot heal itself from wounds. That vitamin D also contributes to the body’s immune system and controlling inflammation marks its further importance in healing wounds. Nevertheless, this quality of vitamin D goes beyond a simple paper cut or kitchen mishap. Vitamin D can go above and beyond to help the body heal from almost all ailments, pain, swellings, and ulcers.

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Patients with diabetic foot infections had higher inflammation levels, and other detrimental markers tend to be patients with vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, in one study, patients who had leg ulcers and were treated with vitamin D found that their ulcers shrink by an average of 28%. That’s a pretty big improvement by applying if a nutrient we should be taking daily anyway. To think about how much healthier, we would be if we ate well-balanced diets!

A lack of vitamin D can also cause emotional issues. Credit: Pixabay

Depression can set in if you do not have enough vitamin D. 

We can all feel moody or down in the dumps sometimes. Of course, one reason is that our circumstances are not always favorable and sometimes can be downright sad. However, surprisingly, one reason for prolonged irritability and depressed mood can be a vitamin D deficiency. To think that instead of considering medications for mood disorders, you could take vitamin D to help stabilize the chemicals in your brain. However, this isn’t a cure, but it should be considered as an addition to whatever your doctor has prescribed for you.

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Several studies have linked depression to a vitamin D deficiency. People who experience depression and other mood disorders frequently find that their mood improves with an adequate dosage of vitamin D. The jury is out on whether a vitamin D deficiency is the cause of depression. However, it can be part of the cure, so it doesn’t hurt to consider adding vitamin D supplements to your daily regimen.

A lack of vitamin D can contribute to premature hair loss. Credit: Pixabay

Your hair might fall out if you are not getting enough vitamin D. 

Plenty of factors can lead to hair loss, including stress and genetic preconditions. Vitamin D also plays a role in causing alopecia, as people who are deficient in this nutrient are much more likely to suffer premature hair loss. It can be a little embarrassing to start losing the hair on your head for no reason at all, so giving vitamin D a try could be all that you need to keep the condition at bay. An autoimmune disease known as alopecia areata is responsible for many people’s hair loss, and the development of this condition is strongly associated with vitamin D deficiency.

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It is prevalent in adults who had rickets as children, which is also caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, people who have alopecia areata and are severely deficient are more likely to experience higher hair loss levels than those with more adequate levels. Both conditions could be treated very easily by just adding vitamin D to your diet every single day.

If you have brittle bones, monitor your vitamin D intake. Credit: Shutterstock

Your bones may not be as strong without vitamin D.

Older adults who are experiencing bone loss and who are at risk of osteoporosis need more than calcium. Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium, so without it, bones become sitting ducks to the whims of age. Furthermore, vitamin D itself is necessary for maintaining bone strength and density. Without it, old bones will continue to break with very few chances of healing. That is why so many seniors are overly prone to bone fractures and broken hips, just from moving around.

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Not getting enough vitamin D can result in weaker bones, and not only among older adults. It can cause a condition known as rickets, causing debilitating pain in children and impeding their musculoskeletal development. Children who are deficient in vitamin D are also more likely to suffer fractured and broken bones. That can be painful and extremely terrifying for a child who doesn’t understand what’s going on. Parents should start introducing vitamin D to their diet as soon as possible to spare them from this.

Muscle aches may be a result of a vitamin D deficiency. Credit: Pixabay

Your muscles might hurt without enough vitamin D.

Children frequently experience sore muscles due to growing pains. Many parents ignore their plights and allow them to endure them since they’re a natural part of life. However, ignoring it is not the best thing. One study showed that the growing pains children reported might be reduced with vitamin D, indicating that a vitamin D deficiency could cause muscle aches. In fact, in another study, nearly three-quarters of people with chronic pain were deficient in vitamin D.

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Every cell in the body has receptors for vitamin D. These receptors in nerve cells, called nociceptors. They are also responsible for sensing pain. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase nociceptors’ sensitivity, leading to a higher illness incidence. That means taking any amount of vitamin D in a single day is going to benefit every single part of your body, improving overall health. Vitamin D could be considered a small miracle.

You can review the impacts of this deficiency with your doctor. Shutterstock.

Vitamin D deficiency is serious.

Many of the conditions caused by a vitamin D deficiency, such as rickets, can cause permanent harm. Other plights, such as alopecia and chronic pain and inflammation, may not be as severe but can certainly be detrimental. Alopecia is the loss of hair on any area of the body. That can seem like a benefit for some people who hate shaving, but it’s a sign of poor health. Chronic pain is also a bad sign since it can negatively affect the brain. Those with chronic pain tend to experience depression more easily than others.

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On the flip side, adequate levels of vitamin D are associated with all-around good health. More vital cognitive functioning, more flexible arteries, healthier skin, and less inflammation are all hallmarks of high vitamin D levels. This nutrient’s importance cannot be overstated, but unfortunately, nearly half of the United States population is deficient. Many of our health problems could be reversed if we intended to get adequate amounts of vitamin D.

The sun is the most natural way to absorb vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D is also referred to as the sunshine vitamin.

The easiest way to get vitamin D is to get plenty of sunlight every day. The body produces this vitamin from the sunlight that reaches the skin, and the form that it provides in this manner is the most effective. Standing by a window doesn’t count. You need 20 to 25 minutes of direct sunlight each day, and that means going outside. Even just a short walk down the street and back is better than staying inside all day.

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Nevertheless, getting sunlight is not always feasible. Some people are at a high risk of skin cancer. Furthermore, some live in locations that don’t get that much sunlight at all. Additionally, people of African descent are not as able to absorb as much sunlight because of their dark skin color. That is because the melanin present in their skin is designed to reduce UVB light absorbed through the skin. If you cannot get enough sunlight for your daily dosage of vitamin D, you need to find a way to add it to your diet.

A woman in the sunshine, soaking up the Vitamin D. Shutterstock.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 600 IUs.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the average adult needs 600 international vitamin D units each day. However, babies and children need much higher doses, as much as 2000 international units per day. That is because their bones are in a critical developmental stage where they need to keep growing and harden in the process so that they don’t break. Many children can get this allowance by playing outside for a few hours after school.

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Breastfeeding mothers need to make sure that they are getting enough vitamin D for themselves and their babies. If they are not breastfeeding, babies need to get it from their diet. It can be done by introducing vitamin D-enriched formula into their diet when breastfeeding is not being done. That will help to counteract any deficiencies developing babies may have. For adults over the age of 70, vitamin D’s recommendation goes up to 800 international units per day. This higher amount helps offset some of the negative impacts of aging, such as weaker bones and cognitive decline.

Fish are an excellent source of many vitamins, including vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Fatty fish is a dietary source of vitamin D.

Sockeye salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, and eel are all examples of fatty fish high in vitamin D. They can be quite expensive to buy at the grocery store. There aren’t that many recipes out there on how to prepare them. However, having an occasional piece of fatty fish at least once a week is better than having none at all. One three-ounce serving of sockeye salmon contains 450 international units of vitamin D, sending you well on your way.

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As a bonus, fatty fish are also high in omega 3s. Omega-3s are suitable for your brain and the joints in your body because they help keep them lubricated and move more fluidly. The brain benefits from Omega-3s because of the fatty sheaths around dendrites that help transmit brain signals to the rest of the body. However, keep in mind that adding fish to your diet comes with an asterisk. Fish that is farmed has lower levels of healthy nutrients and is also worse for the environment than wild-caught fish. Additionally, fish can be high in heavy metals, such as mercury, so ensure that you limit the amount you eat.

While not as popular as other types of seafood, sardines are an excellent source of vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Sardines also contain vitamin D.

Oily fish has been known to be quite beneficial for one’s health, even if they are a bit stinky. Most people shy away from fish altogether, citing them as being too smelly to eat. But this could change their minds. Sardines usually come in a can, so many people instinctively pass them up. Moreover, they also have a pretty bad reputation – after all, who wants to eat sardines on a pizza? Nevertheless, for every two sardines, you get 40 international units of vitamin D.

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On the same note as canned sardines, canned tuna and other types of canned fish also have vitamin D. One serving of canned albacore has 50 international units, while one serving of canned light tuna has 150. But again, make sure that you are wise about adding fish into your diet, and do so only at moderate levels. That is because canned fish also tend to have mercury content due to the oceans’ pollution, so be wary of just how much fish you’re adding to your diet to avoid poisoning.

Consume vitamin D while drinking a cup of oj. Credit: Pixabay

Orange juice is fortified with vitamin D.

Orange juice is one of our nation’s favorite beverages, and many brands now fortify this drink with vitamin D. Usually, an eight-ounce glass of orange juice has about 100 international units but check the label to be sure. Be careful, in any case. Orange juice is high in sugar, so limit the amount that you drink. However, keep in mind that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. That means that even though you are ingesting vitamin D in the orange juice, your body will not absorb it unless it is accompanied by fat. So drinking fortified orange juice with a plate of eggs is better than the orange juice by itself.

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The reason for the addition of vitamin D to orange juice is to help both children and adults get as much vitamin D as they can in a given day. It has proven to help combat a myriad of diseases and promote the growth and development of bones. Even today, with the marvels of technology, there are still people who don’t receive the amount of vitamin D that they should be getting.

Orange juice isn’t the only breakfast drink rich with this vitamin; milk is rich with vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Milk is often fortified with vitamin D.

America’s dairy farmers have built up and sustained their industry by advertising vital calcium in keeping bones healthy and active. Moreover, with all of the news about how crucial vitamin D is for the absorption of calcium, much milk today is fortified with vitamin D to help absorb calcium. Because what’s the point of a less effective product without an essential component to make it work better?

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Milk that has been fortified with vitamin D contains about 100 international units per eight-ounce glass. A similar yogurt serving has about the same amount, but cheese and yogurt are usually not fortified. Additionally, plant-based milk, such as soy and coconut, are often fortified with vitamin D. Check the labels to see how much you are getting and consider alternatives that provide you with the most vitamin D amount.

Mushrooms are an easy way to incorporate vitamin D into your diet. Credit: Pixabay

Some mushrooms have vitamin D.

Our bodies can produce vitamin D from the sunlight. And guess what? So are mushrooms! Although a fungus, mushrooms are a rich source of protein and other minerals that are great for going vegan or focusing on a more vegetarian-based diet. Mushrooms are quite flexible when being cooked, so their integrity stays intact. They can be boiled. Mushrooms can also be fried. You can even bake, roast, or grill them. The possibilities for mushrooms are endless.

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Nevertheless, not all mushrooms are created equal; most are grown in the dark, so they don’t have the opportunity to absorb any vitamin D to pass on to the person who eats them. However, some brands intentionally grow mushrooms in sunlight so that they have this added nutritional benefit. Check your favorite brand of fungi to see if they are grown in the sunshine. This vegan-friendly source of plant-based vitamin D can be the ideal addition to your diet.

Another common food, eggs, can provide you with the vitamin D that your body needs. Credit: Pixabay

Eggs are naturally high in vitamin D.

Egg yolks have long been maligned for being high in cholesterol, leading many people to avoid the yolk and only consume the egg white. That has even made yolk-only options a staple in restaurants for those who want healthier options. However, what they don’t know is that they are depriving themselves. The yolk is where nearly all of the egg’s nutrients are, including its vitamin D. This is because the yolk is where all the protein is, while the egg whites are only there to protect the yolk itself.

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Additionally, the egg yolk’s cholesterol is not as bad as the trans fats found in processed foods that many people don’t think twice about. One egg has about 40 international units of vitamin D, so a plate of scrambled eggs with a glass of fortified orange juice or a glass of fortified milk may be the best way to start your day. A simple breakfast, but containing all of your vitamin D for the day; what could be easier?

Some cereals contain vitamin D that is beneficial to your body. Credit: Pixabay

Many kinds of cereal are also fortified with vitamin D.

Cereal manufacturers know that many people eat cereal first in the morning because of how convenient it is. They also know that by fortifying their products with extra vitamins and minerals, they help people get a better start to their days. That because they want to be able to sport themselves as “healthy foods” for children instead of as sugary junk food, so to get into the market, cereal companies start fortifying their cereals with all of the essential vitamins and minerals.

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Vitamin D is now a staple in many breakfast bowls of cereal, and it doesn’t affect the taste at all. Check the cereal brand to see how much vitamin D you are getting in each bowl to ensure that you’re getting a proper daily dosage. Nevertheless, make sure that you check the sugar label, as some sugary cereals can quickly derail an otherwise good day. Pair it with a glass of fortified milk, and you are on your way to your daily quota of vitamin D.

Some supplements, such as cod liver oil, can help to ensure you are getting your recommended daily amount of vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Cod liver oil is a good supplement.

When many people imagine cod liver oil, they imagine something in the back of their grandmother’s medicine cabinet, something that is particularly foul-smelling and that they are forced to take. However, today, cod liver oil supplements often come in the form of a capsule or are flavored to take the edge off. One tablespoon of cod liver oil contains 1300 international vitamin D units, over twice as much as the average adult needs per day. That means that you don’t have to take these supplements that often, so they can be spaced out to every other day and still retain their valuable benefits.

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Even if you are a bit squeamish, the benefit that that much vitamin D will have for your health will be worth the gulp. The other alternative is to start to add cod to your diet, and even then, you’re not going to get a lot of vitamin D out of it. The liver itself has to be intact during the cooking process, and you’ll have to expel the energy, preparing it almost every single day to receive its benefits. It could be better off just to take the capsule instead.

Did you know that, beef liver can provide vitamin D nutrition? Try it sometime! Credit: Shutterstock

Beef liver has vitamin D that can be beneficial to your health. 

The thought of eating animal organs is something that many Americans turn their noses at. The liver, most of all, filters out many toxins from the blood. The liver is also where blood cells are created, so liver meat has such a metallic taste. However, the offal is often much higher in nutrients than the animal muscle that people often use in their cooking. It might be time to consider adding a bit more organ meat to your diet than you like.

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Many cultures value the refuse in their diets, sometimes to a religious significance, because of its health. Beef liver is one case in point. You may prefer a hamburger instead, but one serving of cooked beef liver contains 50 international units of vitamin D. It also has high levels of iron, vitamin A, and protein. So although it may not taste the best, the beef liver could be an essential part of your meals from now on if you have a vitamin D deficiency.

Plant-based foods generally do not contain sufficient vitamin D. Credit: Pixabay

Plant-based foods tend to lack vitamin D.

The bad news for vegans and vegetarians is that fruits don’t contain any vitamin D, and vegetables contain minimal amounts. Despite the step to becoming more healthy, this is not a nutrient that can be ignored. A lack of vitamin D will make it more difficult for the body to function overall. However, that doesn’t mean that vegans are without solutions.

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Mushrooms are pretty much the only plant-based source that naturally contains vitamin D, and they only have it when they are grown in ultraviolet light. Are you are a vegan and are struggling to get enough vitamin D? In that case, you will have to take a vitamin, get out in the sun, eat mushrooms, or consume plant-based foods that are fortified with vitamin D. That might put a small dent in your grocery budget but isn’t your health worth it?

Vitamin D supplements can help you ensure you are receiving sufficient vitamins. Credit: Pixabay

Vitamin D supplements can be beneficial.

When it comes to vitamin D, the best way to get it is through sunlight. Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, that isn’t always an option, especially for people at risk of skin cancer or living in a place with very little sunlight. The second best is getting vitamin D through food sources. However, any form of vitamin D is better than no vitamin D, and even getting it from a supplement can provide many of the health benefits listed above. To make sure that your body is absorbing vitamin D from the supplement, make sure that you take it alongside something that has fat.

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Without the presence of fat in the diet, vitamin D won’t be absorbed as readily. That is why people on weight loss plans also tend to have a vitamin D deficiency because they’re reducing the amount of overall fat in their bodies. To balance this out, vitamin D-rich foods must be added to the diet to maintain the body’s overall health.

Vitamin D is critical to a child’s development. Shutterstock

Vitamin D deficiency in children causes rickets.

Vitamin D helps your child’s body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Not enough vitamin D makes it difficult to maintain proper calcium and phosphorus levels in bones, causing rickets in children. Rickets is the softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency. Adding vitamin D or calcium to the diet can generally correct the bone problems associated with rickets. That is essential for pregnant mothers as well who have a history of having a vitamin D deficiency. Increasing one’s intake while pregnant will help the developing fetus avoid rickets once they’re born, helping their bones become stronger.

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Rickets’ symptoms can include delayed growth, delayed motor skills, pain in the spine, pelvis, legs, and muscle weakness. If untreated, rickets softens the areas of growing tissue at the ends of a child’s bones, their growth plates. This softening can cause bowed legs or thickened wrists and ankles. These can be painful for the developing child since it limits just how much their bodies can grow.

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Osteomalacia is forced by severe vitamin D deficiency. 

Osteomalacia refers to a marked softening of your bones and is often caused by a severe vitamin D deficiency. The softened bones of children and young adults with osteomalacia can lead to bowing during growth, especially in the legs’ weight-bearing bones. That is why some children are born with bowed-legs, which can lead to awkward gaits that can become painful later on in life. It can become difficult and even impossible to correct as children grow older as their bones try to harden even more.

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Osteomalacia in older adults can lead to fractures, which can be extremely painful to deal with. When in the early stages, there may not be any systems. As osteomalacia progresses, bone pain and muscle weakness may develop. The dull, aching pain associated with osteomalacia most commonly impacts the lower back, pelvis, hips, legs, and ribs. Over time, decreased muscle tone and leg weakness can cause a waddling gait and make walking slower and more difficult.

A lack of vitamin D can cause hypocalcemia. Shutterstock

Hypocalcemia is a result of low calcium and vitamin D. 

Hypocalcemia is a condition in which there are lower-than-average levels of calcium in the plasma. Plasma is contained in the blood, meaning that calcium travels through the body to the other major organs. This calcium can be deposited inside them, resulting in stones, which can be very painful to get rid of. A lack of vitamin D is linked to most cases of hypocalcemia. A low level of vitamin D means that the body isn’t producing vitamin K2, which is used to help bind calcium to the bones. Without it, calcium is free to flow throughout the rest of the body.

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While many people do not have symptoms or signs of hypocalcemia, a few individuals do. Some of these symptoms may include muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, fatigue, or mood changes. If left untreated, the long-term symptoms of hypocalcemia include dry skin, kidney stones, cataracts, or eczema. It is critical to ensure you are consuming enough vitamin D in your diet, whether through the foods you eat or the supplements you take.

A vitamin D deficiency can impact your heart health. Shutterstock

Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to more serious heart health risks. 

A lack of vitamin D can result in weak bones. Weak bones are not a good sign of overall health because any movement could result in a fracture. Moreover, bone fractures are complicated to heal from if you’re not taking care of your body. Vitamin D deficiencies are also linked to more serious health issues such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Vitamin D can reduce oxidative stress. A physiological process thought to encourage aging and cell damage. By halting or slowing this process, the body’s cells will live much longer, and a person can look more youthful.

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Also, vitamin D may help decrease levels of parathyroid hormones that damage blood vessels. Your overall heart health can benefit by ensuring that you are consuming sufficient vitamin D levels. Those with heart conditions tend to have deficient vitamin D levels. Ensuring you have enough vitamin D in your diet can help safeguard against some of the damage that comes with these heart conditions.

A lack of vitamin D can contribute to developing multiple sclerosis. Shutterstock

Vitamin D deficiency has an impact on multiple sclerosis. 

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that result in severe disability. The body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that protect the spinal cord, removing them altogether. These sheaths help send nerve signals from the brain to the rest of the body, and without them, the body starts to malfunction. The primary symptoms of multiple sclerosis are weakness in one or more limbs, electric sensations throughout the body when the neck is moved, and having an unsteady gait. Vision problems and slurred speech can also occur.

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Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may have a protective effect and lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. For those who already have multiple sclerosis, vitamin D can offer some benefits. The benefits include lessening the frequency and severity of their symptoms. They also help improve the quality of life and lengthen the time it takes to progress from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to the advanced stages. The connection between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis can be tied to vitamin D’s positive effects on the immune system. For someone with multiple sclerosis, a vitamin D deficiency may escalate their symptoms and progression.

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The majority of individuals with a variety of cancers have low levels of vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is found in some foods such as fatty fish, milk, and fortified cereals. It is also obtained by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for good bone health. It is also critical to helping the immune, muscle, and nervous systems function properly. Altogether, these are significant boosts to have for those who are at risk for cancer. This horrible disease can attack every major organ of the body, resulting in debilitating pain and interfering with the body’s normal functions.

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Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the number one killer of women and, despite all the research that goes into finding a cure and providing medical treatment, there is very little that can be done to prevent it. Vitamin D plays a critical role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may also slow breast cancer cells’ growth. If possible, the most reliable way to boost your vitamin D level is to get more direct sunlight. However, if you live in an area where that is not feasible, there are vitamin D supplements that can be taken.

Falls in older adults are more common. Shutterstock

Adequate vitamin D levels play a role in falls in older adults. 

We are all aware that sufficient vitamin D is critical to overall bone health. This notion is even more critical in older adults whose bones begin to become more fragile with age. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of falls in older adults by improving muscle function and strength. Muscle strength is fundamental when you’re older because it helps to take some of the stress off your bones. A lack of muscle tone is part of why so many older adults suffer from bone fractures.

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Sufficient vitamin D plays a role in regulating protein synthesis within muscle cells necessary to build and repair muscle fibers. That gives the muscles a chance to repair themselves much faster, reducing the number of injuries an older person has. Individuals with low vitamin D levels are more likely to have a worse physical function, for example, slower gait and worse physical performance and balance. Besides, low vitamin D levels will result in decreased lower body strength. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk of falls in older adults.

Autoimmune disorders can be enhanced with low vitamin D. Shutterstock

Low vitamin D levels can impact your immune regulation. 

Vitamin D has a critical role in many aspects of the human body. This concept encompasses your bones, skin, heart, and even your immune system. Vitamin D plays a key role in promoting regulatory T cells, which decide whether to dampen or promote inflammation in the body. This inflammation can lead to a lot of pain, which can be unbearable for most people. Those who deal with long bouts of pain also tend to become more depressed over time, so the lack of vitamin D is not only healthy for the body, it’s beneficial for the mind as well.

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In autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, this is particularly important. With Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks body tissue, making it very difficult for the body to healthy overtime when it’s always fighting itself. A lack of vitamin D in the body can promote the inflammation associated with various disorders. In addition to Hashimoto’s, low vitamin D levels are associated with multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even Parkinson’s disease. These are more likely to occur in one’s senior years, so it’s better to get a head start on avoiding these painful conditions.

Pneumonia is a severe respiratory infection. Shutterstock

A lack of vitamin D can cause respiratory infections in children. 

Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone metabolism through the regulation of calcium and phosphate homeostasis. It also plays a critical role in immune system regulation. Vitamin D is produced by the body during exposure to sunlight but is also found in oily fish, eggs, and fortified food products. In addition to causing rickets in children, vitamin D deficiency is linked to respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis. Pneumonia is a severe form of an acute lower respiratory tract infection and is more dangerous for children. Children must have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies to minimize their risks.

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Pneumonia is known to be one of the biggest killers globally, too, since it is caused by a bacterial infection and can be highly contagious. Most children who end up with pneumonia are bed-ridden for a very long time before they come out of recovery. Moreover, even then, they are left with scars of the disease for the rest of their lives. Consider sparing your children from the pain of this horrible infection and increasing their vitamin D dosage daily.

Vitamin D aids in preventing infections. Shutterstock

It is critical to ensure you have enough vitamin D in your lifestyle to maintain good health. 

Along with its traditional role in maintaining bone mineral density, vitamin D also has a crucial, atypical influence on the body’s immune system by modulating the innate and adaptive immune system. Ultimately, vitamin D influences the production of critical antimicrobial peptides and regulating the inflammatory cascade. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk and greater severity of infection, particularly infections in the respiratory tract. With its positive impact on the immune system, vitamin D can strengthen your immune system to ward off any infection type. Also, an adequate vitamin D level will minimize the infection’s severity and duration if you do get an infection.

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Especially during this quarantine time, getting as much vitamin D is close to impossible, given that we’re supposed to stay inside, so consider supplements to help you keep your immune system as healthy as possible. The onset of any disease can be quite debilitating for the body, especially medical facilities, which are already overrun with people who need immediate medical attention.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Can Be Caused By Environment

Besides taking supplements, there are environmental factors that can affect your daily intake of vitamin D. Inhibitions of the vitamin can affect your health in the long run, so be aware of what could be affecting your intake. You should consider living in an area with low pollution or away from tall buildings that block the sunlight. That isn’t a suggestion that you need to move, but it’s essential that they be brought to your attention so that you’re aware of it.

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Other environmental factors include sunscreen, how much time you spend inside, and whether you have darker skin. People with more melanin in their skin absorb much less vitamin D, so dietary absorption should be increased to balance this out. The use of sunscreen will also reduce vitamin D absorption since it blocks and reduces UVB light coming into contact with skin.

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The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency on Health

When there is not enough vitamin D in the blood, the body will experience symptoms that people may not take seriously. That’s because they can be passed off as any other condition or just something that people experience daily. Not being aware of these symptoms will only lead to health deteriorating even further. You could end up experiencing long-term effects if you continue to ignore them, so you should always be aware of what is going on with your body.

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If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s essential that you see your doctor so that they can conduct a blood test to see what is wrong. The most common symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are tiredness, a general sense of not feeling well, aches and pains throughout the body. You also might have a severe bone or muscle pain and stress fractures (mostly in the pelvis, hips, and legs). In addition to a blood test, you’ll probably also have to endure X-Rays to determine the strength of your bones.

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Knowing The Right Amount of Vitamin D Intake Will Save Your Life

Not many people are aware of how much vitamin D they should have daily. It’s hard to measure just how much, but it’s crucial because an overdose of vitamin D can also be detrimental to your health. When measuring the blood, the normal range of vitamin D is usually fifty to one hundred micrograms per deciliter. Vitamin D in the blood is measured in IUs, which stands for international units. It’s a standard measurement used in drugs and vitamins to determine how much of an effect it has on the body.

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Vitamin D requirements are different for different people. For children, the recommended amount is 600 IU. Likewise, for adults up to the age of 70, the amount is 600 IU. However, adults over the age of 70 should be taking 800 IU to help balance out the effects of osteoporosis and loss of bone density; for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the recommended amount is 600 IU.

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Other Conditions Can Lead to a Reduction in Vitamin D In The Body

Although poor diet and staying inside can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D, medical conditions can also lead to the vitamin being reduced in the body. These can be managed with other medications or therapy, which can help boost vitamin D within the body. One group of medical conditions include cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. These diseases prevent the intestines from absorbing essential vitamins and minerals from ingested food, resulting in reduced overall health.

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Kidney and liver diseases affect the absorption of an enzyme essential to transforming vitamin D into a form that can be used by the body. Obesity also leads to vitamin D reduction since the vitamin is fat-soluble; that means that the fat within the body holds onto the vitamin more readily, preventing its release. Alternatively, those who have undergone weight-loss surgeries will also experience vitamin D deficiency since the stomach is much smaller, reducing how much the body will absorb from digested food.

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Specific Medications can also Decrease the Body’s Ability to Absorb Vitamin D

Not only do certain diseases make it difficult for the absorption of vitamin D, but certain medications can make it hard as well. They change the chemistry within the body that can alter how the body deals with the mineral. It isn’t suggesting that you should stop taking them altogether, especially if your doctor prescribes them. It’s just vital that you be aware of them to increase your daily intake on your own. Doing so will help your body to heal and recover from any conditions you may be suffering from.

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One specific medication is laxatives; this decreased vitamin D intake because it forces the body to hasten digestion, preventing many nutrients from being absorbed. Another is the use of steroids to reduce pain, such as steroids. Other medications include weight-loss drugs, drugs used to lower cholesterol, rifampin (a medicine for tuberculosis), and medicines to control seizures. Vitamin D intake should be increased if you are on any of these medications.

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Is It Possible to Overdose on Vitamin D?

It seems strange that there would be any concerns for vitamin D toxicity, but it exists. Taking too much of any vitamin or nutrient can lead to harmful effects on the body, and vitamin D is no different. Ingesting too much vitamin D will interfere with the body’s natural functions, leading to harm and possibly death. Having too much vitamin D is called hypervitaminosis D. It’s sporadic, but it does happen occasionally. The only way to get hypervitaminosis D is by taking too many supplements; you can’t get it from too much sunlight or diet.

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The biggest concern for having too much vitamin D in the body is the build-up of calcium in the blood. Remember, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so having too much vitamin D will absorb even more than necessary. Having too much calcium in the blood, also called hypercalcemia, can lead to weakness, vomiting, nausea, and frequent urination. If left alone for too long, it can lead to kidney problems, bone pain, and calcium stones.

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What are the Symptoms of Overdosing on Vitamin D?

As was mentioned earlier, there is an increased build-up of calcium in the blood. Other vitamin D toxicity symptoms are not at all pleasant to deal with and can make you feel extremely sick. Suppose you have a combination of any of these symptoms after taking vitamin D supplements. In that case, you must contact your doctor immediately to receive medical attention as quickly as possible. Without treatment, you could end up dying.

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In addition to nausea, you may also experience extreme thirst and urination. Dehydration should not be taken lightly since the body’s major organs rely on water in the bloodstream to function correctly. Other symptoms you may experience are constipation, poor appetite, confusion, weakness, and ataxia. Ataxia is a neurological condition where someone starts to slur their words together and stumbles when they walk. This condition is severe and requires immediate medical attention.

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Having Too Much Vitamin D Can Lead to Bone Loss

When you ingest vitamin D, it helps with calcium absorption from other sources you’re consuming. That helps maintain healthy bones within the body so that you’re less likely to suffer from bone fractures or weakness. However, vitamin D also plays a role in keeping another essential vitamin in check, such as vitamin K2.

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Vitamin K2 is responsible for keeping calcium in the bones and keeping it out of the blood. By taking too much vitamin D, the body produces lower levels of vitamin K2, meaning that the calcium in your body is more likely to leave your bones and enter your bloodstream. That can lead to loss of bone density, making you more prone to injury. To help increase the vitamin K2 in your blood, consider adding more grass-fed meat and dairy into your diet.

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A Case of One Man Who Took Too Much Vitamin D And Suffered From The Consequences

In 2019, Canadian scientists were faced with a fifty-four-old man who had ingested too much vitamin D. This led to him suffering from kidney disease, which affected the rest of his health. Strangely enough, he didn’t suffer from vitamin D toxicity from taking too many supplements; he had just spent the holiday in Southeast Asia, where he spent a lot of time sunbathing. Scientists knew he had toxicity because he had elevated levels of creatinine in his blood. Creatinine is a substance found in the blood that is a marker for kidney malfunction.

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In addition to sunbathing, the man was also prescribed high doses of vitamin D by a naturopath. An adult person should be taking about 600 IUs of vitamin D. The man was getting anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 IUs of vitamin D every day. Because of this, he also had very high levels of calcium in his blood. In turn, that triggered his kidneys to get damaged.

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Location Means Everything When You’re Getting Vitamin D

There are specific factors that come into play when you’re trying to get the most vitamin D possible. That is outside of diet and focuses more on your environment. One of those environmental factors is where you live. People who live near the equator tend to have more access to vitamin D than those who live further North or South.

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That is true as the seasons change. As the Earth tilts on its axis, it changes the levels of sunlight and UVB. However, not so much at the equator. Sunlight remains constant throughout the year, so those who live there will get the highest doses of vitamin D in any given year.

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Sunscreen Slows Down the Absorption of Vitamin D From Sunlight

Being exposed to more sunlight leads to two things: increasing vitamin D intake and increasing your chances of skin cancer. While it’s good to be out in the bright sun now and again, every time you expose yourself to UVB light, you increase the risk of developing skin cancer. One way to counteract that is to wear sunscreen. UB light also causes sunburns, which can be extremely painful to deal with.

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However, sunscreen also blocks the skin’s effect absorbing vitamin D. It’s a little bit of a lose-lose situation, so it’s important to exercise moderation when it comes to sun exposure and increase your vitamin D intake through diet as well.

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Seniors Have a Harder Time Absorbing Vitamin D

As we age, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to do the things they’re supposed to do. That is because the body and its organs wear down over time, making it more difficult to absorb the nutrients it needs to continue flourishing. That’s why, as we age, our body demands more and more vitamins and minerals in order to remain healthy. Furthermore, just like the organs, the skin starts to lose its functionality as well. Older people no longer have the substance in their skin that converts UVB light into the vitamin D that they need.

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The prescription of supplements can help with this, though it may be difficult for some seniors with the long-range of pills they already take. In addition to supplements, they can enrich their diet with foods that are chock-full of vitamin D as well, as long as it is healthy for them to do so. Taking care of one’s body as they get older becomes more of a chore than people consider when they’re younger.

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Keeping One’s Waist Trim Can Help with Vitamin D Absorption

One’s body weight can play a more prominent role in vitamin D deficiency than people initially believe. Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, the fat within the body will store it for much longer so that the body can use it. However, having too much fat on the body can result in too much of it being stored for too long, depriving the body of what it needs. That results in the person having to take even more vitamin D to compensate for this deficiency.

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The reduction of weight and loss of fat will help the body better digest vitamin D so that the rest can get what it needs. The importance of maintaining a healthy weight promote better functioning of the body’s organs, preventing future disease and illnesses as one grows older. Because it can be challenging to deal with them once people become too infirm, making their lives that much more painful.

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The Air You Inhale Can Affect Your Vitamin D Intake

When so much affects your vitamin D intake, you wouldn’t assume just breathing could be a problem. You would think that only the food you eat and going outside in the sun would affect how much vitamin D your body has, but did you know that air quality can also affect it? That is because the quality of the air can block out the sun’s rays. The biggest culprit is smog, a thick combination of smoke and fog that blocks sunlight and harms someone’s breathing.

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Areas with more air pollution, such as burning fossil fuels and other materials, will have more carbon particles in the air. These carbon particles can block out UVB light, diminishing the production of vitamin D in the body. That is why it’s so important to take care of the environment to take care of our health in turn. Make sure you keep all of these things in mind when considering where you live and how to care for yourself. 

Sources:

“Low Vitamin D Levels, Shorter Life?” by Amy Norton. WebMD. September 20, 2019.

“11 Amazing Health Benefits of Vitamin D,” by Brandi Marcene. Natural Food Series. December 3, 2018.

“What are the health benefits of vitamin D?” by Megan Ware. Medical News Today. November 13, 2017.

“8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency,” by Franziska Spritzler. Healthline. July 23, 2018.

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d–vitamin-d-deficiency

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/news/20190408/for-one-man-too-much-vitamin-d-was-disastrous

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-side-effects

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/6-things-you-should-know-about-vitamin-d

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