Vitamin D – What Can Deficiency Cause?
You’ve probably heard that sunbathing is beneficial to the bones, right? Then know that this is correct, since sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D, which is necessary for bone health. Vitamin D, also known as calcitriol, is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in fat like vitamins A, E, and K. Although the precursor forms of this vitamin may be found in food, the diet can only satisfy 10% to 20% of the body’s requirements. Sun exposure is thus the greatest source of vitamin D, since the skin can produce more than 90% of the required quantities when exposed to UV radiation.
What is The Importance of Vitamin D for The Body
This vitamin’s primary role is to control calcium and phosphorus metabolism, two necessary elements for bone health, but it also has effects on other organs and systems. Learn more about vitamin D’s function in the body:
Strengthening The Bones
Vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from meals in the gut. Mineralization is the process through which the body uses these minerals to form and mend bones.
Heart and Muscle Health
Muscle contraction, which occurs even in the heart to pump blood, is reliant on calcium and phosphorus to function effectively.
Strengthening The Immune System
Vitamin D helps to boost immunity against infectious illnesses by activating some of our key defense cells, such as lymphocytes.
Several studies have linked adequate vitamin levels in the body to a decreased risk of disorders including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and cancers like breast, rectal, and colon cancer.
What Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause?
Vitamin D insufficiency, also known as hypovitaminosis D, causes the gut to absorb less calcium and phosphorus. As a result, all of the functions that rely on this vitamin or these minerals have been compromised. Here are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
Rickets and Growth Retardation
If a pregnant woman is lacking in vitamin D, the infant may be harmed as well, increasing the risk of rickets, a condition that causes the bones to soften and weaken. Hypovitaminosis D may also cause growth retardation, tooth development problems, an increased risk of cavities, and bent legs in children.
Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis
Adults with vitamin D deficiency may develop osteomalacia, which is characterized by softening and weakening of bones, rendering them more susceptible to fractures, much as children with rickets. Hypovitaminosis D may also cause demineralization, or the loss of calcium from bones, making them more porous and vulnerable to breaking. Osteoporosis is characterized by this disorder, which is more frequent in elderly adults, particularly women after menopause.
Muscle Weakness and Tendency To Fall
Because a deficiency of vitamin D causes decreased calcium absorption, muscular contraction may be affected. Symptoms such as discomfort, spasms, and muscular weakness might result as a result. In addition to bone thinning, muscular contraction injury increases the likelihood of falls and subsequent fractures.
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