The Benefits of Vitamin D

and what are the best foods?

vitamin A foods vitamin D foods vitamin E foods vitamin K foods vitamin B1 foods vitamin B2 foods vitamin B3 foods vitamin B5 foods vitamin B6 foods folic acid foods vitamin B12 foods vitamin C foods

Strong bones and teeth are the major benefits of vitamin D and the major source comes from the sunlight.  This vitamin is fat-soluble but storage in the body is minimal and average time exposed to the sun through the summer months gives enough vitamin D to last us for the year. 

One of the main benefits of vitamin D is how long it can be stored for.  Any excess vitamin D absorbed into our body, either from the sun or from food, is stored in fat cells and in the liver.  It can then be used during the winter months when vitamin D is less available from sunlight.

Vitamin D works hand in hand with calcium, so levels of calcium in the body need to be maintained in order for it to function. 

Vitamin D is needed in the body for the following:

  • Raising calcium levels in blood by aiding the absorption of calcium from the diet.
  • To release calcium from the bones and the incorporate calcium into the bones.
  • Promotes the production of bone building cells (osteoblasts).
  • The increase the formation of cells that breakdown bone (osteoclasts).

Which foods provide the best benefits of vitamin D?

foods with vitamin D

Good food sources include:

  • Oily fish
  • Fish oil (especially cod and halibut)
  • Egg yolk
  • Milk
  • Liver

People most at risk from a lack of Vitamin D are those that remain inside for long periods of time.  These could include babies, the elderly and the sick.  Also women that wear clothing that covers their entire body, therefore preventing the skin from exposure to the sunlight are at risk.

It is vital for these people to get sufficient vitamin D from their diet.

What are possible vitamin D deficiency symptoms?

The muscle and bone related symptoms include:

  • Rickets (in children)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomalacia
  • Bone pains
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscular weakness

Other related symptoms can be:

  • Convulsive seizures
  • Loss of energy
  • Dry skin
  • Chilblains
  • Hair loss
  • Coarse hair
  • Near sightedness

People with dark skin or people that live in countries or areas that lack sunlight may have increased needs for vitamin D.  Supplements can be considered but only if the deficiency symptoms are coupled with low sunlight exposure and low dietary vitamin D intake.  

It is important to understand that there is a fine line between safe levels and toxic levels of vitamin D, so care should be taken when considering supplements, as vitamin D overdose is easy done.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity?

vitamin D overdose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insatiable thirst
  • Head pains
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Weight loss (especially in children)

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