Over the recent years, there has been much debate about vitamin D. There are studies that suggest how the vitamin can benefit our health, while there are others that aren’t convinced with the lack of evidence. But there are a few studies that agree on the vitamin’s role in reducing the risk for early death.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has many uses within the body, including:
- Regulating the absorption of calcium
- Helping in phosphorus absorption
- Enhancing bone health and development
- Facilitating cell communication
- Strengthening the immune system
Many people associate calcium deficiency with poor bone health, but it is a fact that without enough vitamin D, the body cannot absorb the mineral properly. According to the US Institute of Medicine, low vitamin D levels can be hazardous since it increases bone disease risk. According to research, mild to moderate deficiency of the vitamin can result to weakening of the bones and bone pain as well, which denotes osteoporosis. This therefore increases the risk of fractures. Severe deficiency can lead to rickets, which is common in children. As for adults, osteomalacia may become a problem. Aside from bone diseases, this vitamin can also improve health and reduce mortality rates by means of the following:
- A study conducted by researchers from the University of Kentucky indicated that vitamin D deficiency can lead to brain damage.
- There are other studies that low levels of vitamin D, particularly in the first 26 weeks of pregnancy can up preeclampsia risk.
- Lower levels of the vitamin can result to up to 50% risk of premature death.
Although there are vitamin D supplements that you can buy over the counter, there is a natural source of the vitamin that you can turn to and all you need to do is go outside. Sun exposure is nature’s way of providing the vitamin for free. Since you can get the vitamin freely, it shouldn’t be an excuse to not get enough of it. Science has proven that vitamin D deficiency is linked to various problems, particularly serious ones like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers such as breast and bowel cancers.
How Much Vitamin D Do We Really Need?
According to previous reports, you need 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of the vitamin to reduce your risk of bone diseases. The new findings that associate vitamin D to premature death state that the blood should have at least 30 ng/ml of the vitamin. The vitamin remains safe in doses of up to 4,000 IU daily, especially with the supervision of a medical expert.