The majority of the vitamins that the human body needs to function correctly are obtained via our diet. The vitamins, along with the minerals, are referred to as micronutrients and are needed in small amounts. The micronutrients are not energy-producing like the energy-giving macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), but they are nonetheless vital for health.
Because they dissolve in water and are carried throughout the body by fluids, vitamins B and C are referred to as water soluble vitamins.
Along with vitamins A, E, and K, vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. This indicates that they act similarly to oil in that they are absorbed by the body’s fatty tissues rather than dissolving in water.
Only a small portion of the vitamin D we consume comes from food. When our skin is exposed to sunshine, the body produces the majority of it. Therefore, especially throughout the fall and winter, we may be at danger of having a deficiency.
Vitamin D’s Function in the Body
part of the body
The delicate equilibrium between the minerals calcium and phosphate in the body’s cells is regulated by vitamin D. Therefore, it plays a crucial function in maintaining the strength of our teeth and bones, which depend on these minerals for remineralization.
Additionally, there is proof that vitamin D plays a significant part in immune system health. It is believed that vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of a robust immune system, which subsequently shields us from autoimmune-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is also connected to a vitamin D deficit. SAD symptoms include losing interest in previously enjoyed activities, feeling irritated, worried, anxious, or melancholy, tiredness, a lack of energy, and finding it difficult to focus. SAD is also referred to as seasonal depression.
Vitamin D-Providing Sources
There are no foods that are particularly high in this vitamin by nature, however some meals do contain some of it. These consist of:
• Egg whites
• Fish high in oil, such as salmon, herring, and sardines
Beef liver and cod liver oil
There is some evidence that mushrooms grown under UV light—natural or artificial—and exposed to the sun during the growing phase also contain vitamin D.
Since these foods only contain a small amount of this crucial vitamin, it is not advised that we rely solely on nutrition to meet our vitamin D needs. Unknowingly low levels of vitamin D are present in around 1 in 6 UK adults, particularly in the winter.
Due to this, some foods have vitamin D added to them in order to enhance the national diet. Various breads, cereals, dairy items, plant-based milks, and spreads are included in this.
A vitamin D deficiency’s symptoms
A vitamin D deficiency’s symptoms
A general sense of exhaustion as well as aches and pains in the muscles and joints can be brought on by a vitamin D deficiency. Untreated vitamin D insufficiency can cause brittle bones and weak muscles.
This can then lead to osteomalacia, a disorder that produces soft, weak bones, and stress fractures in the bones, notably in the legs, hips, and pelvis. Osteoporosis, a dangerous condition that creates potentially breakable bones, may eventually result from it. A vitamin D shortage in youngsters can induce rickets, a disorder that weakens the bones and causes comparable bone abnormalities.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiencies to Form?
We run a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency during the fall and winter months when there are less daylight hours and we’re more likely to be covering our skin with heavier clothing because the bulk of our vitamin D is created when we expose our skin to daylight.
Therefore, from October to March, it is advised that we take a daily vitamin D pill.
There are certain demographics that are also more likely to experience vitamin D insufficiency, such as those who:
• Have darker skin, especially those with an African, Caribbean, or south Asian ancestry (greater levels of the skin pigment melanin imply less sunlight can be absorbed); • Cover their skin all year round for religious, cultural, or other reasons; are confined to the home, too weak, or too ill to frequently go outside spend the most of their time indoors, such as those who are incarcerated, in a nursing home, or in a hospital Regularly apply a high factor sunscreen to all exposed skin live in a city where there may be a lot of tall buildings or a lot of pollution, both of which can obstruct sunlight
All year long, you should think about taking a daily vitamin D supplement if you believe you may be at danger of a deficit.