Are you getting enough of the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’? If you aren’t, your lifestyle may put you at serious health risks. Vitamin D deficiency is when the level of Vitamin D in your body is too low that cause your bones to become thin, brittle or misshapen.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body makes, when you expose your skin to sunlight. Vitamin D isn’t like most other vitamins as your body can’t make other vitamins. You can also get Vitamin D from supplements and a very small amount comes from a few foods you eat. It can influence about 3000 genes of our body out of the total 24000 genes in our system.
A recent study shows that Vitamin D deficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a Vitamin D deficiency. Shocking isn’t? So, if you’re wondering what exactly the health risks of Vitamin D deficiency are, you ought to read this.
Vitamin D Deficiency – Symptoms
It is extremely difficult to find out whether you’re deficient in Vitamin D. Most people won’t be aware of it, as they won’t find any noticeable symptoms. If you’re a Vitamin D deficient, look out for these symptoms.
- Muscle/Joint Pain
- Bone Pain
Reasons for Vitamin D Deficiency
Here are a few reasons for Vitamin D deficiency:
- Vegan Diet
Vitamin D deficiency can occur if you follow a strict vegan diet. Because most of the natural sources are animal-based, including fish and fish oils, egg yolks, cheese, fortified milk and beef liver.
- Limited Exposure to Sunlight
As the body makes Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, you may be at a risk of deficiency if you are homebound, live in northern latitudes, wear long robes or head coverings, or use sun blocks, or have an occupation that prevents sun exposure.
The pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make Vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure. Some studies show that older adults with darker skin are at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
- Chronic Kidney Disease
If you have chronic kidney disease, you may have more difficulty absorbing and utilizing Vitamin D in your body that you may need to take Vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D is a fat–soluble that acts as a ‘sink’ by collecting it. If you’re obese or have higher muscle mass, you’re likely to need more Vitamin D than a slimmer person.
Now that we know the reasons of Vitamin D deficiency, let’s have a sneak peek on the effects of this deficiency.
Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency
The most common ill effects of Vitamin D deficiency are listed below:
- Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Moderate to severe Vitamin D deficiency may double the risks for some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is a decline in thinking, behavior, and memory that negatively affects daily life whereas Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
People with Vitamin D deficiency were more than twice more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those with higher levels. Antidepressants are not the only solution for your prolonged sadness and depression. You could actually pep up your mood by restoring your Vitamin D levels.
Low levels of Vitamin D also make it to the list of hundreds of things that are known to increase the risk of cancer. Also, cancer patients who have higher levels of Vitamin D when they’re diagnosed tend to live longer than patients who are deficient.
Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder and people with Vitamin D deficiency are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as compared to people with sufficient Vitamin D levels.
- Weak Bones
Vitamin D plays an important role in absorbing calcium from the food you eat in the intestine. Naturally if you’re deficient in Vitamin D, you will be calcium deficient as well. And calcium is required for building stronger and healthy bones. Therefore indirectly Vitamin D deficiency results in weak, soft and achy bones.
- Heart Disease
People with Vitamin D deficiency have increased risk of heart disease compared to those with normal levels. Along with other factors such as smoking and physical activity, Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of heart disease.
Anemia is caused when your body does not have sufficient levels of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of the body. But you have to understand that the main reason for anemia is deficiency of Vitamin D.
The risk of developing pneumonia is greater in people with lower levels of Vitamin D. As Vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system, it increases your risk of respiratory infections.
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Most of the psoriatic patients also have psoriatic arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joints causing pain and inflammation. Low levels of D may make inflammatory conditions such as psoriatic arthritis worse, possibly by increasing white blood cell levels.
It is also found that Vitamin D stimulates the production of the male hormone testosterone and female hormone progesterone. Thus, Vitamin D deficiency can result in infertility.
That’s a huge list isn’t? Don’t you think Vitamin D isn’t just a ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, but eventually a ‘Superstar Vitamin’? If you think so, here’s a list of foods that are a rich source of Vitamin D.
Sources of Vitamin D
Salmon which has high fat content is rich in Vitamin D. One serving of salmon will provide you with your daily recommended Vitamin D intake.
Just like humans, mushrooms have the capacity to produce Vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. Shitake mushrooms are considered to be one of the best sources of Vitamin D. They’re perfect vitamin supplements for vegetarians.
Milk, which is an excellent source of Vitamin D will provide you up to a quarter of the recommended Vitamin D.
- Egg Yolk
Eggs are a convenient way to get Vitamin D, as they’re popular in many breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes.
- Fortified Cereal
Choose a fortified cereal to get part of your daily fill of Vitamin D.
- Orange Juice
As orange juice is commonly fortified, one glass of orange juice a day will give you a good dose of Vitamin D.
So what are you waiting for? Get your dose of the ‘Superstar Vitamin’ and lead a long, healthy and stress free life.
More from my site
Get Healthcare Articles Directly in Your Inbox
Tags: can a vitamin d deficiency cause anxiety, can a vitamin d deficiency cause depression, does a vitamin d deficiency cause fatigue, is a vitamin d deficiency serious, is vitamin d deficiency chronic, is vitamin d deficiency dangerous, vitamin a & d deficiency symptoms, vitamin c & d deficiency, vitamin d deficiency and back pain, vitamin d deficiency and cancer, vitamin d deficiency and depression, vitamin d deficiency and diabetes, vitamin d deficiency and hair loss, vitamin d deficiency and hypertension, vitamin d deficiency and infertility, vitamin d deficiency and skin problems, vitamin d deficiency and thyroid, vitamin d deficiency and weight gain, vitamin d deficiency blood test, vitamin d deficiency burning sensation, vitamin d deficiency cause infertility, vitamin d deficiency causes symptoms, vitamin d deficiency depression, vitamin d deficiency disease, vitamin d deficiency diseases, vitamin d deficiency diseases list, vitamin d deficiency disorders, vitamin d deficiency dizziness, vitamin d deficiency during pregnancy in india, vitamin d deficiency effect on skin, vitamin d deficiency effects on body, vitamin d deficiency effects on hair, vitamin d deficiency erectile dysfunction, vitamin d deficiency fatigue, vitamin d deficiency fever, vitamin d deficiency foods, vitamin d deficiency in children, vitamin d deficiency signs, vitamin d deficiency skin symptoms, vitamin d deficiency symptoms, vitamin d deficiency symptoms depression, vitamin d deficiency symptoms hair loss, vitamin d deficiency treatment, vitamin d deficiency treatment food