Vitamin D is otherwise called “Sunshine Vitamin” and is claimed to be one of the most important nutrients required to sustain strong bones. It is vital for daily intake. Your body with the help of mild sunlight can produce this nutrient. We will soon discuss the various ways through which you can acquire vitamin D. It is vital to balance your vitamin D intake, as it is useful for phosphorous absorption and calcium regulation. Considering this, today, we will tell you what does vitamin D do or your body and how much are the everyday requirements. Read on.
What Does Vitamin D Do For You?
While you are catching some sun rays during summer, think of vitamin D because it is great for your skin. This fat-soluble vitamin has its family members, which are:
- Vitamin D1
- Vitamin D2 and
- Vitamin D3
Vitamin-D has many significant functions. Maybe, the most crucial are
- Regulating the phosphorous as well as calcium absorption and
- Facilitating the immune function
As said earlier, it is vital that your body acquires sufficient amounts of vitamin D, as it helps in growth of bones. Moreover, it protects from various harmful diseases too. If your body lacks in D vitamin, you are at the risk of developing different bone abnormalities such as osteoporosis (or fragile bones) and osteomalacia (or soft bones). Believe it or not, vitamin D can do wonders to your body. Below are some to make a note of:
Vitamin D Mainly Helps In Fighting Disease
Apart from the primary benefits of vitamin D, studies suggest that this nutrient plays a very important role in:
- Decreasing the risk of sclerosis
- Reducing the chances of heart strokes
- Diminishing the chances of flu
How To Get Vitamin D?
Your body has an ability to produce vitamin D on its own. Hence, it isn’t an important part of your daily diet. It is considered as a pro-hormone. It is claimed that reasonable sun exposure for 5 to 10 minutes on bare skin (2 to 3 times a week) helps the body to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. Regardless of the fact, studies have shown that 50% of world’s population are still vitamin-D deficient.
The vitamin D you acquire from sunrays depends on few things. These include:
- What time of the day?
Our skin produces vitamin D in excess if it is exposed during midday.
- Where you reside?
The closer you are to the equator, easier it is to generate vitamin D all year round.
- The type of skin color you possess
Believe it or not, people with pale skin tone produce vitamin-d much quickly when compared to dark skin tone.
- The amount of sunrays you get
The more is the skin exposure, excess vitamin D your body produces.
First, we would want you to be acquainted with the measurements. Vitamin-D consumption is measured in 2 ways. These include:
- International Units (IU) and
- Micrograms (mcg)
Note: 1 mcg of vitamin-D = 40 IU of vitamin-D
0 to 50 years (in age) requires 200 IU or 5 mcg in a day
51 to 70 years (in age) requires 400 IU or 10 mcg in a day
71+ years (in age) requires 600 IU or 10 mcg in a day
You can acquire vitamin-D in two ways:
- With the help of sun exposure
- With the help of supplements or food
Even though your body can produce vitamin-D on its own, there are various reasons why deficiency occurs. Everyday sunscreen use and dark skin pigments can vitally reduce the body’s ability to absorb UV rays required for producing vitamin-D. Believe it or not, sunscreens with SPF 30 or more can greatly reduce the body’s ability in synthesizing the nutrient (vitamin-D) by 95%. If you really want to get vitamin-d from sunlight, make sure that clothes don’t cover your body. It has to be undressed. Moreover, people living in highly polluted regions or in northern latitudes should try to consume vitamin D from various food sources. In addition, children who are breastfed are at the risk of becoming vitamin-d deficient, especially if they have minimum sun exposure or have dark skin. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfed infants must receive at least 400 IU vitamin D a day. You have supplements in market these days, which fulfills your vitamin-D intake requirements.
Beware Of D-Deficiency
Several environmental and lifestyle factors can affect the body’ ability to acquire adequate amounts of vitamin-D from sun. These include:
- Use of sunscreens
- Working for long time in office
- Spending most of the time indoors
- Living in cities, where the building blocks sunlight
If you fall in any of the above-mentioned factors, then you have a higher chances of becoming vitamin-D deficient. This is the reason why it is important to obtain vitamin D sources from food besides sunlight.
Some Vital Food Sources Of Vitamin D
Few foods are naturally fortified with vitamin D. These are as follows:
- Egg yolk
- Orange juice
Sometimes, it might be hard to obtain vitamin-D from food and sun exposure alone. Hence, taking some supplements can greatly help.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D?
A person’s body should have sufficient amounts of vitamin-D for promoting bone growth and absorbing calcium. Lack in vitamin-D results in:
- Rickets (more commonly seen in children)
- Misshapen bones (more commonly seen in adults)
- Fragile bones
Vitamin D is linked with different important functions of your body. In fact, it has been associated with colon cancer, breast cancer, depression, weight gain, heart diseases, prostate cancer and so on. Studies have shown that people with high vitamin D levels have a low risk of diseases.