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Commonly known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ since it is derived mainly from the sun by direct exposure of the skin to sunlight, Vitamin D is one of the most overlooked nutrients. Apart from absorption of sunlight, there are other natural sources of Vitamin D like certain types of fish, eggs, milk, milk products like yoghurt and cheese, soy products, orange juice, etc. Also, there are products that are designed specifically to provide your body with the required daily allowance of Vitamin D, such as fortified foods like breakfast cereals and spreads, and Vitamin D supplements.
To explore the positive impacts of Vitamin D on your body, click here.
Due to our lifestyles as well as the small number of foods from which we can derive this nutrient, a significant percentage of people have Vitamin D deficiencies.
People at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency include senior citizens, infants and toddlers, women who are pregnant or lactating, senior citizens, people who may not get enough exposure to the sun since they may be housebound due to an illness or cultural or personal reasons, and individuals of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin since darker skin has lower Vitamin D producing capacity than lighter skin.
Vitamin D controls the amount of calcium in your body, and is essential for healthy bones. Deficiencies of this vitamin result in many bone-related issues like aches and pains, rickets, arthritis, etc. It is also a contributing factor for the occurrence of other health problems related to the heart, blood pressure, respiratory function, diabetes and mental wellbeing.
Following are some of the most severe consequences of having a Vitamin D deficiency:
Prostate cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in older men, is on a rampant increase, and low levels of Vitamin D contribute to its occurrence. With cancer becoming one of the largest killers, and being incurable, and treatable only with strong measures, care must be taken to avoid this disease.
An individual’s risk of being affected by schizophrenia is inversely proportional to the levels of Vitamin D in their blood. Symptoms of this brain disorder include attention deficiency, hallucinations, speech issues, social anxiety, etc., and treatments range from strong medication to different forms of therapy.
Research shows that a deficiency in Vitamin D in the body can lead to a worsening of the heart’s health and increasing severity of heart-related issues like blocked arteries, irregular heart rate, etc.
A link has been found between low levels of Vitamin D in senior citizens and occurrence of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s, which is its most common form. Dementia affects the functions of memory, thought and behavior in affected individuals and can have severely adverse effects on not just the individual’s life but also the overall wellbeing of the family unit.
One of the most common health issues facing men these days is erectile dysfunction, and Vitamin D is reports to be one of the causes for this. Treatments for ED can be long and tedious and expensive, and hence, it is best to take preventive measures and ensure a sufficient supply of Vitamin D to your body.
Most of these health problems are either incurable or have exhausting remedies that take a toll on your wallet, time and energy. So, prevention is definitely preferred over cure in this case.
It is advisable for everyone to get some daily exposure to sunlight especially in the early hours of the morning and latter half of the afternoon since the sun is milder then. Go take a walk and let your skin absorb some of the sun’s goodness.
Also, foods containing Vitamin D should be included in your daily intake. However, sometimes, this may not be sufficient, and it is essential to supplement your diet with nutrition supplements containing this vitamin.
To read more about how you can satisfy your Vitamin D requirements and stay healthy, click here.
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