If you are confused about what does vitamin D do for your body you are not alone. Many of us have heard about the different types of vitamins but are unsure as how they work and their role concerning our health.
Vitamin D, also called the “sunshine vitamin” belongs to a cluster of secosteroids, which are fat soluble, in the human body. It functions as a pro-hormone because the body can synthesize it with adequate exposure to the sun.
The main two forms of vitamin D are:
1- Ergocalciferol, when synthesized by plants and not the human body which is the most commonly seen source and is used to fortify several foods like milk and other dairy products.
2- Cholecalciferol, which is produced in abundance by the human skin when exposed to sunlight. This category of vitamin can also be sourced from animals.
However, it must be remembered that both vitamins D2 and D3 have to be necessarily converted to di-hydroxyvitamin D, in the kidney and liver, if they are to be of any use to the body.
Its principal function in the body relates to maintaining balanced levels of phosphate and calcium in the blood, leading to control the mineralization of the bones, proper nerve and muscle function. Additionally, it helps the small intestine to absorb the calcium and the phosphate.
Another major attribute of vitamin D is that it supports the bone structure and prevents its deterioration which may otherwise lead to weak and deformed bones, and are responsible for rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
This is a very dangerous situation to get into, and much care should be taken well in advance of reaching a point of no return.
The main sources are primarily the UV rays of the sun. Vitamin D supplements could be a thing of the past, if some of the latest researches by eminent doctors are to be believed.
They opine that, contrary to early beliefs, the normal vitamin D level for the body for a day is only about 400 to 600 IU. Surprisingly, the earlier intake requirement was pegged at around 2000 IU. At any cost, you should consult your doctor and arrive at the required intake of this vitamin for your good health.
The good news is that a tin of canned Salmon can offer you 920 IU while an orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D can get you about 259 IU, not to speak of low-fat milk with vitamin A and D, which can offer up to 248 IU.
Other sources are canned sardines, tuna as well as mackerel, egg yolk, margarine and fortify cereals among others. Therefore, there seems to be no shortage of vitamin D sources to ensure that your body does not suffer from vitamin deficiency.
Top dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross has been researching the role of vitamin d in relation to the skin. His research has shown that this vitamin is essential for radiant and beautiful skin.
His findings about vitamin d benefits for the skin include:
1. Reducing lines and wrinkles while boosting collagen production.
2. Diminishing the appearance of brown spots and hyper-pigmentation.
3. Helping to clear acne.
4. Providing an overall glowing to the skin's complexion.
Dr Dennis Gross has created his own serum for complexions in need of revitalization and moisture. If you want to try it for yourself go to Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil.
Vitamin D is closely related with the absorption of calcium and phosphate into the body and also in metabolism, which is considered a very important biological function.
However, when there is a deficiency in calcium and phosphate, insufficient concentrations of this vitamin in the body, disable the absorption of these vital elements and also retard bone re-absorption, leading to inability of supplying these irons to the tissues.
This situation may be described as vitamin D deficiency and can lead to hypo-calcemia (low serum calcium) and hypophosphatemia (abnormally low level of phosphate in the blood), resulting in kidney and bone problems.
Low levels can lead to osteoporosis (brittle bones). People living mainly in the higher latitudes are often deprived of enough sunlight, and therefore, suffer vitamin D deficiency, which is showing a recorded increase in cancer.
Vitamin D deficiencies are said even to lead to bone and muscle pain, diabetes and even mood disorders.
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