Vitamin D Benefits
Expose yourself to the early morning sun for 10 minutes for strong and healthy bones! – is very relatable health advice of most doctors these days. Vitamin D, is not a foreign term for the masses subjected to numerous advertisements rolling every now or then on television channels or radios, on health drinks and dietary supplements for all age groups promoting strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D, a very crucial fat-soluble nutrient required in small amounts, is immensely vital to maintaining our overall health. Often its importance is underrated until a medical condition strikes with varied symptoms like excessive hair loss, acne, joint pain, severe hormonal problems, etc. at first, which are later diagnosed as a manifestation of irregular vitamin D levels.
Yes, this single vitamin is not only responsible for keeping bone healthy, but also plays an indispensable role in sustaining the normal functioning of nerves, muscles, internal organs like the heart, etc. Such an essential nutrient can only be obtained from selective foods like fish, eggs, or fortified products like cereals. Well, worry not for our bodies harbor a unique ability to endogenously synthesize their adequate levels upon sunlight exposure.
Vitamin D Vital for survival
- Calcium, when acquired from foods or supplements doesn’t get absorbed on its own and needs vitamin D, particularly for its absorption in the body.
- It maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations for normal mineralization of bones, bone growth as well as bone remodeling.
- Apart from maintaining the body’s temperature, it increases muscle strength and reduces the loss of muscle mass significantly.
- Be it colorectal cancer or breast cancer, optimal vitamin D serum levels are known to boost our immune system to ward-off tumors, and reduce inflammation, thus delaying disease progression.
- It lowers the risk of anemia by boosting hemoglobin levels and is associated with the production of red blood cells through a yet-to-be understood mechanism.
- It modulates cell growth, inflammation reduction, nerve signaling, and immune system functions and regulates genes involved in cell proliferation and differentiation.
- B-complex vitamins known to foster deep sleep are also produced by intestinal bacteria which require vitamin D to thrive, thus low vitamin D levels can goof up your sleep.
Current research has shown that low vitamin D levels can cause high blood pressure, and depression and activate genes linked to various autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, Type-2 diabetes, etc. Abnormally excessive levels of vitamin D build up for prolonged periods or its sudden overdose may lead to kidney stones or kidney damage.
Having knowledge of your current vitamin D levels prior to the onset of even the symptoms of any disease paves a way towards keeping one’s well-being. Go for a preventive healthcare checkup today to know your existing serum vitamin D levels and if irregularities persist, depending on its severity seek medical help to correct them. Till then, bask in the morning sun and ‘brighten’ up your vitamin D levels while the sun is shining!