What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which in turn helps build the body’s bones and teeth. Because vitamin D is so crucial to the growth of healthy bones, a person will require more of the vitamin as they get older to compensate for age-related bone loss. Vitamin D not only helps the body absorb bone-related minerals, but it also regulates how much of the nutrients are delivered or removed from the bone tissue by other bodily functions for maintaining proper bone density. This further emphasizes the importance of this vitamin for bone-related issues. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin,” as a person can produce a certain form of vitamin D from a chemical reaction that requires the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight. It is therefore uncommon for populations located in sunny geographic areas to suffer from vitamin D deficiency and related conditions.
What are the health benefits of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps build bones and teeth, and is especially essential to avoid age-related bone loss. Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause a disease known as rickets, which is a form of bone softening. In adults, vitamin D deficiency may lead to osteomalacia, which is a loss of calcium and protein from bones, weak muscles, muscle spasms, and may even contribute to osteoporosis.
What foods are good sources of Vitamin D?
Along with being available as a supplement, vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, egg yolks, cream, and butter. All milk, including skim milk, is fortified with vitamin D. Because of its availability in milk, it is uncommon for people in the United States, with the exception of those with a vegan diet, to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
Are there any precautions for taking Vitamin D?
Excess vitamin D can lead to lethargy, kidney damage, and vitamin poisoning.
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