Health Impacts of Vitamin D Deficiency and How You Can Combat It
Vitamin D is an essential component of our diets that helps us perform vital bodily functions. Deficiency can lead to problems and health concerns at all ages.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is also known as Calciferol and is an essential nutrient for our body. It is present in certain foods like eggs and fish cod oil and is also produced inside our bodies under the sun. It’s essential for our bone and muscle health, and traditionally, its deficiency has been associated with rickets.
It has two primary forms—D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol)—different in their chemical side-chain structures.
Why Your Body Needs Vitamin D
Our body needs vitamin D to perform various vital functions.It helps absorb calcium from the diet and strengthens the bones.
Vitamin D also helps in reducing inflammation and encourages cell growth and glucose metabolism. It also strengthens immunity.
Causes of Deficiency
Several studies have linked obesity to vitamin D deficiency. Obesity contributes to several disturbed bodily functions and affects how our body treats and absorbs vitamin D.
Darker Skin Tone
Melanin is a pigment in the body that is responsible for our skin tone. Studies have shown that greater melanin means more protection from harmful UV rays. However, it also increases the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency.
You Don't Get Enough Sunlight
Sunlight helps our body produce vitamin D. If you're not getting enough sunlight, you may be at the risk of developing a deficiency.
Your Diet Is Unhealthy
Your diet may also not be helping you get enough vitamin D. The nutrient can be obtained from several food sources like eggs, liver, fish liver oil, salmon, cheese etc., but a vegan diet may affect the level of vitamin D you take in.
You Can’t Absorb Vitamin D
Some medical issues and ailments reduce the ability of your gut to absorb vitamin D. These include Crohn’s Disease, celiac disease and some kidney issues.
What Happens When You Have a Vitamin D Deficiency?
Deficiency, or rather, insufficiency of vitamin D, may lead to many health issues. Studies have linked deficiency to cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and cognitive impairment.
How To Combat Deficiency
Deficiency can be avoided by adhering to a good, healthy diet that meets your nutritional requirements. Additionally, spending time in nature can help you get exposure to the sun and finally, you can incorporate supplements into your diet.