Vitamin D: What role does it play in health?

Vitamin D is produced from the skin’s exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D provides a number of health benefits. Unfortunately, studies show a large percentage of the world’s population do not get enough vitamin D. According to the International Journal of Health Sciences, more than 1 billion people are vitamin D deficient in the world today. 

Around 30 minutes of sunlight each week is enough for people to produce a healthy supply of vitamin D. The vitamin does break down in the body quickly, which results in low levels during winter. When the sun isn’t out, it is important to find an alternative to vitamin D. Supplements can supply the needed nutrients to improve health.

Healthy bones

Vitamin D deficiency results in weak bones. Children who don’t get enough vitamin D can suffer from rickets. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in the intestines. It also helps maintain phosphorus levels in the blood. A person’s bones will become weak without enough vitamin D.

Type 2 diabetes reduction

Studies have shown vitamin D reduces an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Low vitamin D levels may be at fault for negatively affecting insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. 

Prevention of cancer

Vitamin D’s effect on cancer may be a positive one, according to research. Studies have found vitamin D slows cancer progression. By slowing cells from growing quickly, it improves the rate in which cancer cells die. Over 200 human genes are affected by vitamin D. If an individual doesn’t have enough of it, then these genes can become impaired.

Healthy children

Low vitamin D levels in children can increase the risk of a child developing asthma and eczema. Increasing vitamin D levels may reduce inflammation of the glucocorticoids. It can then be used as a supportive therapy for individuals who have steroid-resistant asthma.

Signs of vitamin D deficiency

  • Constantly ill
  • Contract infections easily
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Bone pain
  • Depression 
  • Slow healing wounds and cuts
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain

By not getting enough vitamin D, individuals put themselves in harm’s way. If a person is unable to get enough sunlight per week, adding a supplement could improve health greatly. 

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