Vitamin D – Benefits, Deficiency and Food Sources

Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is a vitamin that dissolves in the body’s fat. Inflammatory gum disease occurs much less frequently in people older than 50 who have adequate Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, which are skeletal diseases that result in defects that weaken bones. It is found in food, but also can be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is naturally produced in the skin by a process that could be thought of as photosynthesis. When skin is exposed to sunlight, a type of cholesterol in the body is converted into a form of vitamin D. Vitamin D also helps to keep teeth and gums healthy, especially in older adults. The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

Benefits of vitamin D:

1. Vitamin D helps in metabolizing calcium and phosphorus in the body.

2. Protect against certain types of cancer.

3. It is important for the formation and maintenance of a healthy bones and teeth.

4. Slow joint damage due to arthritis.

5. One of the benefits of vitamin D is a special anti-cancer potency in the prostate.

Deficiency Symptoms of vitamin D:

1. Muscle pain.

2. Renal problems.

3. Low energy and fatigue.

4. Lowered immunity.

5. Depression and mood swings.

6. Sleep irregularities.

Some Food sources of vitamin D:

1. Cod liver oil.

2. Oysters.

3. Fortified cereals.

4. Fatty fish (e.g.. Mackerel & Herring).

5. Eggs.

6. Butter and margarine.