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Vitamin D is an essential mineral which provides a host of health benefits. Your body is capable of producing only two vitamins, including vitamin D and K.
Strong immunity, controlled signs of depression, better lung and heart function are some of the vitamin D benefits. It can also help regulating insulin levels in diabetics.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and teeth, as it helps the body use calcium from the diet. It further helps in reducing the risk of rickets and osteoporosis.
The recommended daily requirement of vitamin D according to National Institutes of Health is 400 IU for infants (0 to 12 months), 600 IU for ages 1 to 70 years and pregnant and breastfeeding women, and 800 IU for people over 70 years.
According to reports, vitamin D deficiency is quite common. Around 1 billion people are affected worldwide. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may take years to show.
Falling sick too often, back pain, signs of depression, slow healing of wounds, bone loss, hair fall and constant fatigue are some signs of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin because your body produces it when exposed to sunlight. It is a free source of vitamin D.
A few foods too contain vitamin D naturally. Salmon, egg yolk, cod liver oil, sardines and fortified products like milk, cereal, yogurt and orange juice are some sources.
Vitamin D supplements may be needed because too much exposure to sunlight is harmful to your health. When vitamin D levels are too low, your doctor may recommend supplements to fight deficiency.
According to WHO, vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy helps prevent these.
If you consume vitamin D in very high doses for extended periods, it leads to vitamin D toxicity. It can lead to vomiting, constipation, high blood pressure, drowsiness, depression and abdominal pain.
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