Facts About VitaminsAlthough vitamins are needed in very small quantities in the body for normal health and growth, there is increasing evidence that larger doses of some vitamins and minerals can have specific therapeutic and preventative effects on diseases. Of all the benefits of Vitamin D, the main one is that it helps maintain the level of calcium in the blood by regulating its absorption. Vitamin D synthesized from sunlight when our bare skin is exposed to it and can also be obtained from the diet. Obtaining a sufficient amount of vitamin D from our everyday diet and sunlight may prove to be quite difficult for some people since there are very few foods that contain vitamin D.
Vitamin D SupplementsThere are two types of vitamin D supplements available on the market, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (calciferol). Generally many nutritionists recommend vitamin D3 as humans synthesize this form of the vitamin in the presence of sunlight, it is the more potent form, it is more stable compared to vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 may be less toxic than vitamin D2. You can obtain the benefits of Vitamin D through supplementation if you are not able to meet the daily requirement.
Sources Of Vitamin DThe benefits of Vitamin D can be obtained from getting adequate sunlight. About 20-30 minutes of strong sunlight on bare skin will produce about 20,000 IU (100 micrograms) of Vitamin D per day. However, darker skinned people need 5 to 10 times longer exposure to the sun to get the same amount of Vitamin D. As a result, darker skinned people are at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. The best food sources of vitamin D include the flesh of fish and fish liver oils. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.
Vitamin D Deficiency SymptomsDeficiency in vitamin D may result from inadequate intake, impaired absorption as well as inadequate exposure to sunlight. It has been noted that most vitamin D deficient diets are associated with milk allergy, lactose intolerance and a vegetarian diet. The classic diseases resulting from vitamin D deficiency are rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Rickets results in soft bones and skeletal deformities as the bone tissue is unable to get sufficient minerals. Osteomalacia results in weak muscles and bones, symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness.
Vitamin D ToxicityHigh doses of vitamin D (greater than 40,000 IU) may result in hypercalcemia (high levels of blood calcium). The main symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weakness, excessive thirst, frequent urination and may eventually result in irreversible renal failure. The benefits of Vitamin D are many, and do not just include healthy bones but it has also been used to treat psoriasis, hypoparathyroidism and cancers associated with breast, prostate and the colon. If you are unable to meet the daily requirement of vitamin D in your diet, a walk in the sun could be the all you need!
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