Vitamin D | Benefits, Overdose, and Deficiency Symptoms
If I say "strong bones," what is the first nutrient that comes to mind............
If your answer is calcium, then you have a score of 50 percent because your answer is half correct. The other half of the answer would be vitamin D.
Vitamin D is vital to a strong body. This vitamin allows our bodies to absorb and use the benefits of calcium. They are the perfect marriage.
Vitamin D also supports healthy teeth and reduces the risk of tooth loss.
The Forms of Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is the most common form of Vitamin D because it is the easiest to obtain. When sunlight hits your skin it reacts with the body fat that sits just underneath and produces vitamin D.
This is how vitamin D gets its nickname "The Sunshine Vitamin."
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is a form of vitamin D that is not produced by humans.
When you hear the term "vitamin D" being used, it is usually in reference to vitamin D3.
Vitamin D occurs naturally in foods like fish oils, egg yolk. It is added to foods like butter and milk.
Who needs Vitamin D?
Everyone needs vitamin D. You body cannot absorb the essential mineral calcium without vitamin D.
However, people with very light skin or very dark skin (African Americans especially) will more than likely need a vitamin D supplement.
Getting vitamin D from sunlight may seem fairly simple to do. But what if you avoid the sun or if your skin naturally blocks the sun.
People with very light skin or pale complexions often avoid hanging out in the sun for fear of sunburn. This limits their vitamin D exposure.
People with dark skin have a natural sunblock. Dark skin people are naturally unable to absorb the efficient amounts of sun needed through their skin simply because the skin acts as a naturally sunblock.
Vitamin D-Overdose and Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin D is also an essential vitamin to the development of children. Children need calcium and calcium absorption to develop a strong skeleton :).
A deficiency in vitamin D for children can cause a disease called rickets. Rickets is the softening of bones in children which could lead to fractures and deformities.
A deficiency in vitmain D for adults can lead to soft, porous bones that fracture easily. A deficiency in vitamin D can be particularly harmful for women who in general are already at a higher risk than men for bone disease like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
Vitamin D can also have an adverse effect is not taken properly. Megadoses of vitamin D can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys and heart. However, this would require a huge amount of vitamin D.
The few vitamin D overdose cases that I have ever read about happened on a much smaller scale and included symptoms such as muscle weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and high blood pressure
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