A vitamin D deficiency can place you at higher risk for seven life-threatening diseases. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and overall health. Our bodies naturally synthesize the vitamin when we are exposed to sunlight but we can complement the production by eating the right foods or supplements.
Research has shown that a vitamin D deficiency can cause several conditions:
High blood pressure – There is a 32 percent increased risk of developing a cardiac condition if you lack vitamin D. One study even claims that those with vitamin D deficiency are 20 percent more likely to have a more severe form of the condition, wherein multiple vessels are affected. Vitamin D is said to control inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a recognized health risk.
Asthma – A 2014 study found out that a remarkable number of children with asthma were also lacking in vitamin D. Studies show the vitamin D helps clear airways.
Cavities – Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium and phosphorus – essential nutrients for bone development. Your body goes through a number of chemical processes to “activate” the vitamin; but in short, vitamin D manages the calcium levels in the blood, gut, and bones. A deficiency of vitamin D, therefore, can lead to weaker enamel. Twenty-four clinical trials done on 2,827 participants concluded that vitamin D prevents tooth decay and cavities. Parents should ensure that their children spend a good portion of their day outdoors.
Cancer – Vitamin D can reduce the risk of cancer. Reviews suggest that it helps cells from mutating and multiplying. Moreover, research proves that cancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D remain in remission longer. A 10-point increase in vitamin D is linked with a four percent improvement in survival. Vitamin D was seen to be particularly advantageous for patients suffering from colorectal and breast cancer. Breast cancer patients with a healthy vitamin D levels are twice more likely to survive the disease, research says.
Rheumatoid arthritis – A new study showed that almost half of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Similarly, 62 percent of patients with psoriatic arthritis were seen to lack vitamin D as well. Doctors believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin D help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Irritable Bowel Disorders (IBS)– A study reveals that close to 30 percent of people suffering from irritable bowel disorders have a vitamin D deficiency. IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder worldwide. In the United States, around 2.4 to 3.5 million annual physician visits are prompted by an IBS complaint.
The best sources of vitamin D
The main source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. Your skin immediately produces vitamin D and sends it to your liver. It is here where the vitamin D changes to its “activated” form and sent all over the body. This form of vitamin D is used by different tissues to perform. Take care though not to spend too much time in the sun. Overexposure is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.
You may also choose to get a good supply of vitamin D through the food you eat. Dairy products, fish, and eggs are recommended.
Gregory Van Dyke