Vitamin d

     
Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — Written by Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. On November 7, 2019

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A human body toàn thân produces vitamin D as a response khổng lồ sun exposure. A person can also boost their vitamin D intake through certain foods or supplements.


Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It may also protect against a range of diseases và conditions, such as type 1 diabetes.

Despite its name, vi-ta-min D is not a vitamin, but a prohormone, or precursor of a hormone.

Vitamins are nutrients that the body toàn thân cannot create, và so a person must consume them in the diet. However, the body toàn thân can produce vitamin D.

In this article, we look at the benefits of vitamin D, what happens to lớn the body toàn thân when people vày not get enough, và how lớn boost vi-ta-min D intake.


Benefits

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Share on PinterestDuring sun exposure, a person’s toàn thân produces vi-ta-min D.
Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body. It assists in:

promoting healthy bones & teethsupporting immune, brain, & nervous system healthsupporting lung function & cardiovascular health

Read on to find out about these roles in more detail:

1. Healthy bones

Vitamin D plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones.

People need vitamin D to allow the intestines khổng lồ stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete.

Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, which leads lớn a severely bowlegged appearance due lớn the softening of the bones.

Similarly, in adults, vi-ta-min D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density & muscular weakness.

A vitamin D deficiency can also present as osteoporosis, for which over 53 million people in the United States either seek treatment or face an increased risk.

2. Reduced risk of flu

A 2018 reviews of existing research suggested that some studies had found that vi-ta-min D had a protective effect against the influenza virus.

However, the authors also looked at other studies where vi-ta-min D did not have this effect on flu và flu risk.

Further research is, therefore, necessary lớn confirm the protective effect of vi-ta-min D on the flu.

3. Healthy infants

Vitamin D deficiency has link to high blood pressure in children. One 2018 study found a possible connection between low vi-ta-min D levels và stiffness in the arterial walls of children.

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The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) suggest that evidence points lớn a connection between low vitamin D exposure and an increased risk of allergic sensitization.

An example of this is children who live closer to lớn the equator và have lower rates of admission to lớn hospital for allergies plus fewer prescriptions of epinephrine autoinjectors. They are also less likely to lớn have a peanut allergy.

The AAAAI also highlight an Australian study of egg intake. Eggs are a common early source of vi-ta-min D. The children who started eating eggs after 6 months were more likely to lớn develop food allergies than children who started between 4–6 months of age.

Furthermore, vitamin D may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids. This benefit makes it potentially useful as a supportive therapy for people with steroid resistant asthma.

4. Healthy pregnancy

A 2019 nhận xét suggests that pregnant women who are deficient in vi-ta-min D may have a greater risk of developing preeclampsia và giving birth preterm.

Doctors also associate poor vi-ta-min D status with gestational diabetes và bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.

It is also important to cảnh báo that in a 2013 study, researchers associated high vitamin D levels during pregnancy with an increased risk of food allergy in the child during the first 2 years of life.


Although the body can create vi-ta-min D, a deficiency can occur for many reasons.

Causes

Skin type: Darker skin, for example, and sunscreen, reduce the body’s ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun. Absorbing sunlight is essential for the skin lớn produce vi-ta-min D.

Sunscreen: A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 can reduce the body’s ability to synthesize the vitamin by 95% or more. Covering the skin with clothing can inhibit vitamin D production also.

Geographical location: People who live in northern latitudes or areas of high pollution, work night shifts, or are homebound should aim khổng lồ consume vitamin D from food sources whenever possible.

Breastfeeding: Infants who exclusively breastfeed need a vi-ta-min D supplement, especially if they have dark skin or have minimal sun exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all breastfed infants receive 400 international units (IU) per day of oral vi-ta-min D.

Supplement drops for babies are available online.

Although people can take vi-ta-min D supplements, it is best lớn obtain any vitamins or minerals through natural sources wherever possible.

Read more on vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:

regular sickness or infectionlow moodimpaired wound healingmuscle pain

If vi-ta-min D deficiency continues for long periods, it may result in complications, such as:

cardiovascular conditionsautoimmune problemsneurological diseasesinfectionspregnancy complicationscertain cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon.