Vitamin D is an important vitamin for your bodily functions.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it is stored in the fatty tissues of your body. Fat-soluble vitamins are excreted much more slowly than vitamins that are water-soluble. This means that it is more unlikely that you’ll have a deficiency of vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be obtained from a number of sources. Because there are very few foods that contain vitamin D, often a supplement is recommended in certain circumstances.
This article will answer some popular questions about vitamin D, including what diseases can occur if you don’t have enough in your diet.
For a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle, sign up for an Exercise.com PRO plan today for access to workout plans, training logs, nutrition trackers, and more.
What Are the Functions of Vitamin D?
One of the functions of vitamin D is that it helps increase the absorption of calcium in the gut. In turn, vitamin D helps maintain normal levels of phosphate and serum calcium concentrations which keep bones strong.
Vitamin D also helps increase the growth of bones and remodel bones when needed. It also helps support the immune and neuromuscular systems.
Additionally, vitamin D helps increase the growth of cells and reduces inflammation in the body. For more information about vitamin D, you can visit the National Institutes of Health website.
What Are the Sources of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is not found in very many food sources so it is sometimes difficult to get in your diet. Fish liver oils are some of the best sources of vitamin D, as are fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon.
There are small amounts found in egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. Certain types of mushrooms also have moderate levels of vitamin D.
To help you get more vitamin D in your diet, some of your foods have been fortified with vitamin D. The most common food that is fortified with vitamin D is milk.
Breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D, as are certain kinds of margarine, orange juice, and yogurt.
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. If you are able to get 10 to 30 minutes in the prime sun time, which is between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, a few times a week, you should get adequate amounts of vitamin D. This should be done without the use of sunscreen.
If you are unable to get enough vitamin D from food sources or the sun, there are a number of vitamin D supplements available.
Get More Out of Your Health and Fitness Routine. Go PRO!
What Diseases May Occur From a Vitamin D Deficiency?
If you have low levels of vitamin D in your body, your bones will more than likely become brittle and thin. In adults, this is known as osteomalacia and is known as rickets in children.
Vitamin D and calcium deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis in older adults. If you have trouble absorbing fat, you will notice symptoms such as greasy stools and diarrhea.
There are a large number of conditions that can be caused by low levels of vitamin D in the body. Some of them include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Grave’s disease
- Immune suppression
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Blood clotting abnormalities
What Can Cause a Vitamin D Deficiency?
There are a number of issues that can cause a deficiency of vitamin D. One is that not enough vitamin D is being obtained through your diet. Another is that you are not getting enough exposure to the sun.
If you have a condition that makes it difficult for vitamin D to be converted into metabolites, you will probably notice deficiency symptoms. These conditions may include disorders of the kidney or liver.
Low levels of vitamin D may occur if you have a disorder that affects its absorption. Although it is rare, you may also have a hereditary disorder that causes you to be deficient in vitamin D.
Older adults tend to have a higher chance of vitamin D deficiency because the ability to convert vitamin D decreases with age. A vitamin D supplement is recommended if you are 50 years of age or older.
If you do not get a lot of sun exposure, you have a higher chance of vitamin D deficiency. Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, if you have trouble absorbing fat, you will have difficulty getting enough vitamin D in your body.
Because sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, take your next workout outdoors! Go PRO today for access to outdoor workouts that can be done without the use of any equipment!