Vitamins and minerals are important for our overall health and well-being. While it is best to get nutrition through the foods we eat, sometimes our diets need to supply more nutrients. Vitamin D is unique because we can get it not only through diet and supplements but also through exposure to the sun. Even so, many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, especially during the winter or in areas where sunlight is limited.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the body, and deficiency can lead to various health issues. When we don't get enough vitamin D, it can lead to serious health issues such as:
A study by the National Cancer Institute says that a deficiency in vitamin D increases the risk of cancer. While research is ongoing, a random clinical trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute showed vitamin D can reduce the risk of some types of cancers, such as breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
The American Heart Association says that there is a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Vitamin D may have a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels. Although prior studies have shown Vitamin D supports heart and blood vessel health, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that less may be more. They found that Vitamin D doesn't work the same in everyone.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial for maintaining strong bones. When vitamin D levels are low, the body is more at risk for health conditions such as osteoporosis and rickets in children, causing weak and brittle bones. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and teeth because it helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. When we lack vitamin D, the body can't effectively absorb calcium, which makes us more susceptible to fractures and osteoporosis.
Low levels of vitamin D put the body at risk of infections, including respiratory infections and autoimmune diseases. Sufficient levels are crucial for a healthy immune system. A soldier against infections and autoimmune diseases, Vitamin D helps support the immune system and may also reduce the risk and severity of Covid-19. Our cells need vitamin D for cell growth, and it also allows them to communicate with each other. Cell-to-cell communication is critical to prevent abnormal cell growth and overall health.
Inadequate vitamin D can cause muscle aches and increase the risk of falls, especially in seniors. Muscle function and strength are affected when the body does not have enough Vitamin D. This leads to weakness, pain, and an increased risk of falls. A report by the Mayo Clinic states that maintaining vitamin D levels reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D helps regulate our mood. Insufficient vitamin D levels in the body have been associated with an increased risk of mood disorders like depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Many healthcare professionals prescribe vitamin D supplementation to stabilize mood and combat the effects of depression.
There is a connection between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline. The same article by the Mayo Clinic suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D might increase the risk of cognitive health issues such as Alzheimer's disease and other mental health issues.
A developing baby needs vitamin D for overall health and proper development of bones and teeth. It also reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes in the mother. Maintaining appropriate levels of vitamin D is essential for both mother and baby.
It's important to note that while low vitamin D levels can contribute to these health risks, maintaining optimal levels is just one aspect of overall health. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you are deficient in vitamin D. They can offer testing and professional guidance on vitamin D supplementation.
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Linda Guerrera has been the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You since 2022. A recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Work in Radio, she spent over ...
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