Vitamin D benefits, sources, and supplements
Vitamin D, which is also called the sun vitamin, has great importance and an important role in the human body, so what do you know about vitamin D benefits and vitamin D sources?
In this article, we will discuss the following points about vitamin D:
- What is vitamin D meaning?
- Vitamin D benefits
- Vitamin D sources
- Adequate exposure to sunlight
- Taking vitamin D supplements
- The appropriate dose of vitamin D
- Vitamin D deficiency
What is vitamin D meaning?
The benefits of vitamin D are many and many, as the human body manufactures it as a result of exposure to sunlight, and it can also be consumed from its sources or through supplements.
Despite its name vitamin D, it is not considered a hormone in the sense of the word, because it is synthesized inside the body, in contrast to the reality of vitamins.
And since the body needs the sun for this, this means that you need to be exposed to sunlight for 5-10 minutes twice or three a week, but unfortunately, most people do not do that, and these levels decrease in the winter.
Vitamin D benefits
But do you know what are the benefits of vitamin D for the body and why we need it? Here are the details:
1- Promote bone health
Vitamin D plays a role in regulating calcium and maintaining levels of phosphorous in the blood, which are essential and important minerals for bone health.
The body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, so its low levels can cause rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
2- Reducing the risk of getting the flu
Vitamin D plays a good role in fighting the flu during the winter.
One scientific study found that getting children 1,200 international units of vitamin D per day in the winter reduces the risk of getting the flu by nearly 40%.
3- Protection from diabetes
Many different scientific studies have indicated the relationship between vitamin D and type 2 diabetes.
This means that getting and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D will protect you and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
4- Maintaining the health of infants
It is essential for infants to get adequate levels of vitamin D, in order to protect them from asthma, eczema, and many different infections.
5- Benefits of Vitamin D for a healthy pregnancy
The low level of vitamin D in pregnant women increases their risk of preeclampsia, undergoing cesarean delivery, and developing gestational diabetes.
It is necessary to ensure that the level of vitamin D does not exceed the required level in pregnant women, as it may pose a risk to the health of the pregnancy as well.
6- Reducing the risk of cancer
Vitamin D is important in regulating the growth of body cells and communicating with each other, which means that adequate levels of vitamin D have an effect on reducing the risk of developing cancer.
Vitamin D protects the body from cancers, especially breast cancer in women, and helps protect against prostate and colon cancer.
7- Protecting from heart diseases
Vitamin D works to protect against heart disease, atherosclerosis, blood pressure disease, and strokes.
Vitamin D sources
As we mentioned, the sun is the main source of vitamin D. As for food, its sources are:
- whale liver oil
- Fortified milk
Adequate exposure to sunlight
People are usually advised to devote 5-15 minutes three days a week to sun exposure, with a focus on some areas of the body: such as arms, legs, face, and back.
However, it is worth noting the need to use a sun protection factor with a sun protection factor of at least 30, and not to exaggerate staying under the sun because of the health complications on the skin, such as increasing the skin’s aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Taking vitamin D supplements
Types of vitamin D are available in two forms that work effectively to maintain bone health: Vitamin D2 or which knows as Ergocalciferol and Vitamin D3 known as Cholecalciferol.
Nutritional supplement, quantity, and the appropriate dose needed by the injured person’s body.
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The appropriate dose of vitamin
The daily dose or ration of vitamin D varies depending on the age group, and according to the US Food and Drug Administration, it includes:
- Infants (0-12 months): 400 IU (10 mcg)
- Children (1-18 years): 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Adults (up to 70 years of age): 600 IU (15 mcg)
- Over 70 years old: 800 IU (20 mcg)
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600 IU (15 mcg).
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is the decrease of levels of vitamin D in the blood
which explained in the following:
The normal range of Vitamin D: The normal range of Vitamin D ranges between 50 to 125 nmol/liter.
Insufficient levels of vitamin D: the ratio between 30 to 49 nmol/liter indicates that the body does not get adequate levels of vitamin D.
The risk of vitamin D deficiency: A person considers to have a vitamin D deficiency if the vitamin D level falls below 30 nmol / L.
Significantly increased vitamin D level: A person is considered to have high vitamin D if its blood level is higher than 125 nmol / L.
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