Vitamin D Benefits, Advantages & Rich Sources Explained
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin beneficial for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. It also strengthens a body’s immune system. Therefore, an adequate amount of dietary vitamin D is essential for individuals to develop strong bones and improves resistance to specific diseases.
Want to learn more about vitamin D benefits?
If yes, scroll down.
Top 4 Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Do you experience fatigue or suffer from aching bones frequently? If yes, it can be a tell-tale sign of vitamin D deficiency. Hence, you must consume food items rich in this nutrient to recover and prevent such conditions in future.
Here are some important vitamin D benefits –
Reduces the Risk of Depression
People with fibromyalgia commonly suffer from vitamin D deficiency. However, as per the Healthline, vitamin D regulates your mood and helps in reducing the risk of depression.
Fights against Diseases
Vitamin D reduces the potential risk of developing multiple sclerosis, heart diseases, and flu. It improves the functioning of T-cells, macrophages, and protects against pathogens. Also, as per Healthline, 51.5% of patients (40 years+) with adequate dietary vitamin D levels were less likely to suffer from severe outcomes from COVID-19.
Helps in Weight Loss
A study suggests that people with obesity experienced weight loss after including vitamin D-rich diets and vitamin D supplements. Reduction of obesity is also helpful in reducing the risk of diabetes type 2 by normal insulin regulation.
Controls Gestational Diabetes
Pregnant women suffering from a lack of vitamin D are more prone to developing gestational diabetes. However, WHO states that there is no prominent evidence of vitamin D supplements improving maternal health. Hence, a pregnant woman must consult a doctor before making any dietary changes. Most healthcare professionals prescribe consuming a balanced diet to ensure wholesome nutrition.
Now that you are aware of the uses and benefits of vitamin D, scroll down to know the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
How to Know if You Have Vitamin D Deficiency?
Take note of the following 8 symptoms to understand what happens with vitamin D deficiency –
- Frequent infections and flu
- Delay in the healing of wound or infection
- Hair loss
- Poor bone health
- Muscle aches
- Back pain
- Chronic exhaustion
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, make sure to consult a doctor. He/she will recommend getting a blood test to determine the vitamin D levels in your blood.
The most common blood test is 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D. You do not need to fast to prepare yourself for this test.
Take a look at the list below to determine whether your vitamin D levels fall under adequate, low and high –
Healthcare professionals will prescribe you medication or recommend dietary changes as per the severity of your condition.
However, maintaining a daily diet comprising rich sources of vitamin D can help prevent these symptoms from occurring in the first place.
Main Sources of Vitamin D
After knowing how to check vitamin D deficiency, supplement it with food items rich in vitamin D if you notice your vitamin D level is lower than the average.
Here is a table comprising top 8 food items rich in vitamin D. Have a look!
Cod liver oil
36 IU/2.5 ounces cooked
216 IU/3.5 ounces; cooked
Cereal and Oatmeals
54-136IU (1/2 a cup)
Salmon (Farmed Atlantic Origin)
526 IU/3.5 ounces; cooked
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Too Much Vitamin D?
Note that despite vitamin D benefits, vitamin D levels exceeding 100ng/ml in your blood is considered harmful.
Take a look at the risk factors associated with overconsumption of vitamin D –
- High Calcium Level in Blood – The normal range of calcium levels in your blood should be 8.5–10.2 mg/dl. Excessively high blood calcium levels lead to hypercalcemia. Symptoms include fatigue, excessive thirst, and frequent urination, among others.
- Poor Appetite and Nausea – People consuming higher amounts of vitamin D3 than necessary witness poor appetite and nausea.
- Reduced Bone Density – Excessive intake of vitamin D reduces the functionality of vitamin K2, leading to poor bone health.
Other risk factors include –
- Kidney damage
Thus, keep all these vitamin D benefits in mind and maintain a balanced diet to increase vitamin D levels in your body. Also, supplement it with proper exercises and lifestyle changes for better results. Plus, do not forget to consult a trusted healthcare professional before chalking out a diet chart.