Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for the overall body as it regulates the calcium and phosphorus absorption, and also takes care of the teeth and the bones. Its use is highly recommended in health conditions like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer due to its protective effect.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3, and it can affect 2,000 genes in the body.
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium thus providing the body with healthy bones, lack of vitamin D, especially in older age can lead to bone softening, osteoporosis or osteomalacia.
The best natural way of acquiring vitamin D is through the Sun. Expose your body moderately to summer sun rays and get that valuable sunshine vitamin. However, this vitamin can be taken also through certain foods, follow reading and find out which foods are packed with vitamin D.
Foods High in Vitamin D
- Cereals, some dairy products, orange juice, and soy milk.
- Beef liver
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, like tuna, and mackerel
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
7 Signs of Vitamin D Shortage
- Excessive Sweating
The first classic sign of vitamin D shortage is a sweaty head, as per the belief of Dr. Holick. Physicians usually ask the new mothers about head sweating in their newborns in order to find out if their infants lack vitamin D. In fact, excessive sweating in infants as a result of the neuromuscular irritability is still associated as an early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
- Cardiovascular Disorders
Numerous studies have confirmed that lack of vitamin D is a risk factor for congestive heart failure, strokes, heart attacks, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and conditions related to cardiovascular disease like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Regarding the importance of vitamin D for the body and its connection to the health of the heart Dr. Erin Michos, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Division of Cardiology published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. She maintains that the increase of vitamin D levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Increased Blood Pressure
Vitamin D shortage may be connected to hypertension (high blood pressure) and as well as heart disease. Yet, this cannot be stated for sure as there are still needed more researching on this issue. It is still not confirmed if not enough vitamin D causes high blood pressure, or if vitamin D supplements can take part in the treatment of high blood pressure.
- Stomach and Gut Problems
Vitamin D deficiency is connected to poor stomach emptying and also to bloating and constipation or otherwise known as “irritable bowel”. The irritable bowel may be a result from loss of the good bacteria in our lower GI tract. Good bacteria are depleted when there is not enough vitamin D as this vitamin is needed for their survival.
- Immune System Malfunction
Vitamin D takes a great role in enhancing the immunity, and because of that it is of vital importance for the body to have sufficient amounts of vitamin D to function accordingly. The best natural source of vitamin D is the Sun as then Vitamin D forms in our skin in response to sunlight. But, you should not over do it in order to avoid burning or over-exposure. It has been confirmed that vitamin D takes a key role in the immune system aside the effects it has on calcium and bone homeostasis. The vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells), which are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite. Hence, vitamin D has the capability of acting in an autocrine manner in a local immunologic milieu.
- Muscle Pain and Weakness
Bone softening in adults, or otherwise known as osteomalacia results from lack of vitamin D. Therefore, adults with severe vitamin D deficiency may experience bone pain and softness and also muscle weakness. This condition can be treated but the treatment depends on the cause of the disease and commonly includes pain control and surgery, and also vitamin D and phosphate-binding agents.
- Mood Swings or Anxiety
Vitamin D receptors are present in many parts of the brain. They are found on the surface of a cell where they receive chemical signals. These chemical signals command a cell to do something, like acting in a certain way, or to divide or die.
The human brain has many receptors, including vitamin D receptors, which means that this vitamin takes a part in the function of the brain. The vitamin D receptors are found in the areas of the brain that are related to the development of depression. Because of that vitamin D has been associated to depression and with other mental health conditions.