Vitamin D Benefits & Who Needs Vitamin D?
Benefits Of Maintaining Healthy Levels Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D forms part of the many nutrients that the human body relies on for its ultimate survival. This nutrient is often considered a vitamin, and it is a fat-soluble compound. Scientists have made many advances in terms of vitamin D sciences in the last decades, and the nutrients are now more commonly referred to as a prohormone. The body requires vitamin D in order to produce a steroid hormone that is known as 1a,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.
Vitamin D plays crucial roles in many areas of the body, including bone health, skin health, and more. In one study, it was found that as many as 41.6% of the population may not obtain an adequate supply of this crucial vitamin on a daily basis. This can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which may cause a number of potential complications.
Who Needs Vitamin D?
Everyone needs an adequate amount of vitamin D on a daily basis, either from sun exposure, food, or with the help of a supplement such as vitamin Injections, in order to ensure their body can effectively absorb calcium. People with calcium deficiency might be in a greater need for vitamin D supplementation in order to prevent a reduction in bone density and other potential health problems. When a person fails to obtain enough vitamin D, it can eventually lead to osteomalacia in adults.
It is not only those with bone-related issues that might want to get their vitamin D levels checked, as this is a complex nutrient and prohormone that plays a role in various pathways within the human body.
Studies have found that a deficiency of vitamin D may cause lower levels of testosterone in middle age men. In one study, it was also found that vitamin D deficiency seems to be linked to weight gain. Those with depression might want to get their vitamin D levels checked too.
The use of such a supplement could improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression, and even lead to an improvement in physical function in a person who suffers from this mental disorder.
The aging population is also to be addressed here when it comes to looking at who needs vitamin D supplementation. The incidence of vitamin D deficiency seems to increase with age. Many age-related diseases are also observed more frequently in the elderly that are deficient of vitamin D.
Research has suggested that vitamin D may play a role in both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. A deficiency of the vitamin can lead to a higher risk of these conditions. Thus, the elderly are especially in need of vitamin D supplementation in order to assist in reducing the risk of dementia and other possible age-related conditions.
Signs Or Symptoms of Deficiency
Due to the complications that may occur when there is an insufficient amount of vitamin D in the body, understanding the symptoms that may signal a deficiency of the vitamin is crucial. Individuals who do not get enough vitamin D may experience the following symptoms and signs:
- Low Libido
- Fatigue & Tiredness
- Weight Gain
- Frequent infections
- Slow wound healing
- Weak bones
- Bone pain
- Back pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
Some people are considered to be at a greater risk of suffering from a vitamin D deficiency than others. Individuals who have existing risk factors in their lives are advised to ensure they take adequate supplementation or increase their intake of foods that contain vitamin D. This may help to minimize their risk of a deficiency.
Risk factors that make a person more likely to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Granulomatous disease
- Chron’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Gastric bypass surgery
People with dark skin and the elderly are also considered to be at higher risks. Furthermore, the use of medication like antifungal drugs, glucocorticoids, anti-seizure drugs, cholestyramine, and medication that treat HIV/AIDS may also lead to problems with the metabolism of vitamin D.
Benefits Of Vitamin D Supplements
Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D has numerous advantages for the human body. Some of these particular benefits that are to be expected when vitamin D intake is adequate to include:
- Healthier bones
- Greatly reduces the risk of rickets in children
- Provides a reduced risk of osteomalacia and bone fractures in adults
- Reduced risk of catching the flu
- May also help to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis
- A reduction in the risk of developing diabetes
- Some studies have shown that vitamin D may also help to reduce the risk of certain cancers. In one study, researchers found that adequate supplementation with this particular vitamin could reduce the risk of breast cancer in women by as much as 50%. Vitamin D may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. Among both men and women, there seems to be a reduced risk of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer when vitamin D levels are adequate in the body.
- There is evidence that vitamin D has a role to play in the function and metabolism of muscle tissue. Adequate supplementation of the vitamin may assist in improving overall muscle function, which could be beneficial for people who require a boost in their overall physical performance.
- Studies have also found that vitamin D plays a crucial role in brain development and when there is enough of the vitamin in the body, brain function may significantly improve, compared to a person who has a deficiency of vitamin D. The vitamin also has a protective role on the brain, as it helps with the production of glutathione, a potent antioxidant in the body.