Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients that are needed for our existence. It was found that nearly half of the world population has vitamin D deficiency. Though vitamin D comes under vitamins, it is often taken as a pro-hormone as it acts like a hormone and so it has varied functions. If, its consumption goes below the daily value for a longer period of time, it may lead to deficiency disorders. The main source of vitamin D is the exposure to sunlight (ultra violet rays). Vitamin D is available only in few foods as in variety of fishes (Salmon, Tuna, Sardine, and Mackerel), cod liver oil, mushrooms, ricotta cheese, pork, beef, etc. It is not mostly available in vegetables except mushroom. Adequate sun exposure with one or two of these sources can lower the risk of vitamin D deficiency disorders.
The following list shows 6 unknown health benefits of vitamin D that every human should know to overcome its deficiency as:
- Strengthening of Bones, Teeth and Muscles
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium from food and also decreases calcium loss from the body which ultimately increases calcium level. This can help to strengthen the bones and teeth. It promotes muscle strength by maintaining healthy muscles. When the Vitamin D level is lower than the normal range, it may lead to softening of bones called osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children. This may cause fractures in the long bones and lose of teeth.
2. Improving Immune Power
Vitamin D helps in the maturation of white blood cells and so boosts up our immune system. As white blood cells act as the main defense of our body, it keeps us away from infection. Even it is good for pregnant mothers as it increases their immune power. Vitamin D is involved in sequential cell replication and so its deficiency may interfere with cell replication and could cause auto immune disease such as asthma.
- Protection against Diseases
The research findings suggest that vitamin D decreases the chance of getting multiple sclerosis, heart disease, flu, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension and autism (in children). Vitamin D is found to play a great role in decision making process with good focus and attention and so its lack may cause cognitive impairments, poor attention skills and dementia. A study finding implies that Vitamin D helps to regulate a person’s mood and ward off anxious and depressed feelings.
- Hormonal and Blood Glucose Regulation
A study states that vitamin D may promote fertility of a woman by balancing their sex hormones. They increases sperm count and prevents infertility in males. Few studies suggest that Vitamin D poses a control over blood glucose level and hence its deficiency may increase the risk for developing diabetes mellitus at any age including pregnant mothers (gestational diabetes mellitus).
- Weight Management
Recent studies suggest that the lack of Vitamin D may increase the weight and can lead to overweight and obesity. The person with supplementation of vitamin D is found to lose weight quickly by suppressing the hunger sensation than that of person without supplementation of vitamin D.
- Prevention of Cancer
Vitamin D is essential for cell multiplication and regulation of many genes in the cells and hence it is identified to reduce the growth of cancer cells and its spread to other organs. Studies revealed that vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of getting cancer especially prostate cancer.
Rarely vitamin D overdose may raise calcium level and affect the health adversely. Vitamin D is vital for a normal function of human body. It’s better to replace vitamin D to avoid the adverse deficiency disorders.
By Chitra Dev