Vitamin D: Benefits, deficiency, sources, treatment, and dosage

What is vitamin D?

As an essential vitamin, vitamin D plays an important role in immune function, calcium absorption, bone, muscle, and heart health. Vitamin D occurs naturally in food. The body can also produce it when exposed to sunlight. An insufficient amount of vitamin D can result in a loss of bone density, which may lead to osteoporosis and fractures (breaks in the bones). Other diseases can also be caused by severe vitamin D deficiency.

The deficiency of vitamin D is characterized by insufficient levels of vitamin D in the body. Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D is produced by your skin through exposure to sunlight. People with fair skin and those who are younger convert sunlight into vitamin D more efficiently than those with darker skin and over the age of 50.

Vitamin-D-Deficiency

How much vitamin D does the human body need?

Here is the daily dose of vitamin D that one should take to stay healthy.

  • Infants should take a daily dose of 400 IU vitamin D
  • Children should take a daily dose of 600 IU vitamin D
  • Teenagers should take a daily dose of 600 IU vitamin D
  • Adults should take a daily dose of 600 IU vitamin D
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily dose of 600 IU vitamin D
  • Seniors should take a daily dose of 800 IU vitamin D

What are the common signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

The following are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency that a person may face in their life.

1. Depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety occur when serotonin levels in the body drop because melatonin is made in response to sunlight; the more sunlight is exposed to, the more melatonin it produces thereby increasing serotonin levels. Serotonin deficiency causes crankiness, irritability, depression, and anxiety. If you are depressed or anxious then it means your body requires more vitamin D.

Depression-and-anxiety

Muscle pain, bone pain, and low bone density

Muscle pain, bone pain, joint pain, low bone density are signs of a vitamin-D deficiency. This muscle pain occurs because of the low calcium supply to the body. Vitamin D deficiency results in a low supply of calcium to the bones. If you are suffering from muscle pain or bone pain then it is a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Hair loss

Hair loss is usually caused by stress, anxiety, depression, and low immunity. These are caused due to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamins, calcium, and minerals are major building components of hair and skin and nutritional deficiencies do affect their vitality. If hair loss is a common issue to you then your body might be experiencing a deficiency of vitamin D

Hair-los

Poor immune function, increased risk of illness or infections

Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining your immune system's strength so you can fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness. It interacts directly with the cells that are responsible for fighting infections. If you are sick and tired that means your body is not having sufficient vitamin D to kill bacteria. Poor immune function is a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Slow wound healing

A significant role for vitamin D in wound healing. In addition to growth factors, it regulates other compounds involved in tissue formation. If your wound heals slowly or takes too much time than normal, you might be suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Impaired wound healing is a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain occurs when your body is not getting enough supply of vitamin D. If the lower back pain is constant then you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Lower-back-pain

Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

The following are the people who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency

  • Breastfeed infants are at risk of vitamin D deficiency as breast milk is a poor source of vitamin D.
  • People who take medicines are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because some medicines affect vitamin D metabolism.
  • Dark-skinned people have a lower ability to produce vitamin D from the sun.
  • Obese people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency because their body fat binds to vitamin D and prevents it from reaching the bloodstream.
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease patients are at risk of vitamin D deficiency