Nutrition & Diet

Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. Why is vitamin D so important?

Sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skin individuals can convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skin and over age 50. However, those who are younger are able to convert sunshine into vitamin D.

Why is vitamin D so important?

Vitamin D deficiency is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:-

Keeping bones strong:

Firstly, having healthy bones protect you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a skeletal disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. This can cause by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate in the body. In adults, having soft bones is a condition known as osteomalacia disorders.

Absorbing calcium:

Vitamin D deficiency, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can have osteoporosis problems, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D deficiency, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure which is transfer to an active stage of the vitamin. The active stage promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.

Working with parathyroid glands:

This gland works minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut, and skeleton. Instantly, if there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If the use of calcium is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will ‘borrow’ calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.

What are the sources of vitamin D?

The major sources of vitamin D may include:-

  • In three days per week, about 15-20 minutes being exposed to the sun is usually sufficient.
  • Through the foods, you may eat regularly.
  • Through nutritional supplements.

What are the health effects of vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency plays a vital role in helping to keep you healthy by protecting against the following conditions and possibly helping to treat them. The following conditions may include:-

  • High blood pressure (HBP) and heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immune system disorders
  • Falls in older people
  • Some kinds of cancer, such as colon, prostate, and breast cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis etc.

What does sunlight have to do with getting enough vitamin D?

There are some health benefits of sunlight. In the same kind, vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to sunshine, or rather, the ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation that the sun emits. The amount of vitamin D that your skin makes depends on the following factors:-

  • The season: This is the factor, which depends a bit on where you live. However, in such areas Cleveland, OH, the UV-B light does not reach the earth for six months out of the year due to the ozone layer and the zenith of the sun.
  • The time of day: The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10 am and 2 pm.
  • Where you live: Places near the equator have higher ultraviolet (UV) light levels. The UV-B light in sunlight causes your skin to make vitamin D.
  • The melanin content of your skin: Melanin is a brown-black pigment that is found in the eyes, hair, and skin. Melanin causes the skin to tan.

What does your diet have to do with getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D occurs naturally in some kinds of food. That’s the reason, only certain foods have added vitamin D. Naturally, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.

This may be more difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements.