Do you have raw bones or have occasional breathing difficulties? You may be lacking Vitamin D. The Sunshine Vitamin strengthens your bones and cognitive functions. This article explains the causes and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency. It also suggests sources of Vitamin D.
What Is Vitamin D?
The Sunshine Vitamin is vital for holistic health and building strong bones. It also defends your immune system and enables your body to fight infection. Your body produces it from cholesterol with the help of sunlight. Supplements are a source of it as well. A small amount is present in the foods you eat.
Vitamin D undergoes some changes before it is usable. It helps the body manage its calcium, bones, and gut. This substance also helps cells in the body communicate. Doctors discovered it when they found that sunlight prevented a childhood condition known as rickets.
Your body can manufacture Vitamin D from sunlight, but it can’t make other vitamins. For example, you can only get Vitamin C when you eat fruits and vegetables. Another interesting fact about Vitamin D is that your body can turn it into a hormone known as Calcitrol.
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb food. You may eat lots of fruits and vegetables but can’t absorb the Vitamin C they contain without Vitamin D.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic. Here are some reasons why someone may experience it.
1. Inadequate Consumption
First of all, you may not take in enough of the vitamin over time. The lack may be a result of a vegan diet, which eliminates animal products. Meat and dairy have high Vitamin D content.
2. Limited Exposure to Sunlight
Also, you may not expose yourself enough to sunlight if you are homebound, cover yourself for religious purposes or have a job that limits your contact with it. Low light prevents our bodies from producing Vitamin D.
3. Being Dark-skinned
Dark skin indicates a high amount of Melanin, which reduces the body’s ability to make Vitamin D. An increase of Melanin raises the risk of Vitamin D deficiency, as this study shows.
4. The Kidneys
People may lack this vitamin if their kidneys cannot convert it into its active form. They may lose this ability as they age.
5. Poor Digestion
Medical conditions like Chron’s Disease, Celiac Disease or Cystic Fibrosis may prevent the digestive tract from absorbing Vitamin D.
Symptoms: What happens if you lack this vitamin?
This powerful vitamin has a profound effect on the body’s systems. We’ve learned before that Vitamin D has a hormonal function. Therefore, every cell in your body has a receptor for it. It is also present in fatty fish and fish oils. So what happens when your body can’t manufacture enough of it?
1. Becoming sick often
First of all, you may have to stay in bed with the flu more often than you’d like. One of the functions of Vitamin D is to ward off bacteria and protect the immune system. It does so by interacting with cells that protect the body from infection. Studies show a link between Vitamin D and respiratory tract illnesses.
Constant exhaustion has many causes which include Vitamin D deficiency. However, we often overlook it as a trigger. This study shows Vitamin D’s connection with fatigue. Researchers found that people with headaches had a Vitamin D blood level of only 5.9 ng/ml.
3. Bone pain
Since Vitamin D maintains bone health, a deficiency would cause bone pain. It helps the body absorb calcium. Therefore, lower back pain can mean small amounts of Vitamin D in the blood. The lack can limit daily activities.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone metabolism. Researchers who studied postmenopausal women found a link between low Vitamin D levels and reduced bone density.
Moodiness is a sign of Vitamin D deficiency. Researchers have linked it to late-life depression. 65% of observational studies have connected it to low blood levels. Some of these have found that people who receive this vitamin show improvement in their moods.
5. Poor healing
Those with Vitamin D deficiency may find it difficult to recover from surgery. According to researchers, it is responsible for dermal wound healing. It helps the body form new skin. A study found that Vitamin D deficiency compromised healing after dental surgery.
6. Hair Loss
Stress contributes to hair loss. However, Alopecia may be because of a nutrient deficiency. There is little research on the link between Alopecia and a lack of Vitamin D, but this study sheds some light on the subject.
7. Muscle Pain
Vitamin D lack may cause limb pain, as researchers discovered. Both children and adults suffer from it.
9 Sources of Vitamin D You Should Introduce into Your Diet
Where can you get Vitamin D from if you don’t wish to take supplements? These foods are rich sources of this nutrient.
First of all, is Salmon. The USDA Food Composition Database suggests that a 3.5 ounce serving of this fish has between 361 and 665 IUs of Vitamin D. Wild salmon typically has a higher Vitamin D content – up to 1300 IUs per serving – than fresh salmon.
2. Sardines and Herring
Also on this list are sardines and herring. People enjoy these small, fatty fish pickled or canned. It is among the most abundant sources of Vitamin D. Fresh herring provides roughly 1628 IU of Vitamin D.
3. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is a popular supplement, and another rich source of Vitamin D. Take this supplement if fish aren’t to your taste. It contains about 4.9 ml per serving. Mothers use it to treat Vitamin D deficiency in children.
Everyone enjoys a tuna sandwich. Canned tuna comes in a variety of delightful flavors – chili and curry among them – and is cheaper than fresh fish. It contains about 236 IUs of Vitamin D per serving. According to Healthline, it is also a rich source of Vitamin K.
You’d probably guess by now that seafood provides lots of Vitamin D. Wild oysters are among the kinds of seafood that do just that. A 100g serving of oysters has 320 IUs of Vitamin D but only 68 calories.
Like oysters, shrimp are low in fat. They have lots of Vitamin D as well. They contain about 25% of the Vitamin D that our bodies need per day.
7. Egg Yolk
Meat lovers, get ready to cheer. Fish and shrimp aren’t the only sources of Vitamin D. It is present in the yolk. Egg yolk typically contains about 18 to 39 IUs of Vitamin D. The amount is higher in free-range eggs.
Mushrooms are high in Vitamin D2 and other nutrients. It raises Vitamin D in the blood, though not as much as Vitamin D3. They have as much as 2300 IUs of Vitamin D per serving.
9. Fortified Foods
Cow’s milk, soy milk, and orange juice are beverages fortified with Vitamin D. Orange juice is an excellent Vitamin D alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Around 75% of people cannot absorb lactose.
In all, if your job doesn’t expose you to sunshine, turn to these food sources of Vitamin D. Enjoy them, build your bones, and your immunity.
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