Around 5.9 percent of the U.S population is reported to have a severe vitamin D deficiency. This is unfortunate, given the many health benefits of Vitamin D, and the various problems associated with a deficiency.
Generally, older individuals, those with darker skin, and people who live indoors are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D.
If you or someone you know has low levels of this nutrient, it is essential that you talk to a medical professional immediately. Increase your nutrient intake through supplements, sun exposure, or your diet.
A dietician or physician will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of this deficiency and recommend your next course of action.
This article outlines the role played by this essential nutrient in maintaining the health and efficiency of your bodily functions.
Let’s get to it!
1. Maintaining Your Bones and Teeth
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of important minerals. This includes calcium and phosphorous that help maintain your bones and joints. A deficiency can lead to reduced bone density, and in severe cases, osteoporosis.
Your bones begin to soften and become more prone to fractures due to poor absorption of minerals in the intestines and gut.
In addition to this, you may also experience muscular weakness and frequent body aches. Some studies show that it is a critical nutrient in the development of strength, particularly in older adults.
Further, a deficiency can also lead to dental caries or cavities, brittle teeth, tooth loss, gingival inflammation, and low mineral bone density. In children, this can lead to enamel and dentin defects. Later on, these children might also experience an increased risk of developing other dental problems during adulthood.
2. Reducing Your Risk of Cardiovascular and Related Diseases
A vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with an increased risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases. However, healthy levels can help prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, and more.
Additionally, a deficiency can also exacerbate symptoms or conditions that cause these diseases. For example, hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes can increase one’s chances of heart disease.
Your chances of developing these conditions are higher when you have low levels of vitamin D. In particular, this nutrient helps regulate your levels of insulin.
3. Benefits of Vitamin D During Pregnancy
Preeclampsia is a complication that sometimes occurs during pregnancy. This is characterized by high blood pressure. In severe cases, this proceeds to eclampsia which can further cause convulsions or even death.
Studies suggest that individuals who have lower levels of vitamin D are more likely to experience these conditions during their pregnancies. A deficiency also increases your chances of contracting gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.
Additionally, this can also increase the chances of your infant developing allergies, eczema, asthma, and other related conditions.
4. Improving Your Mood and Mental Health
Not only is vitamin D essential for your physical health, but it also plays an important role in regulating your mood and mental health.
Low levels of vitamin D exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions. It puts you at risk for developing mental illnesses. Some illnesses associated with vitamin D deficiency include seasonal affective disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and more.
Further, you may also experience fatigue, anhedonia, loss of appetite, weight gain, suicidal ideation, and become more prone to mood swings.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your physician and get your levels checked. Adequate levels of vitamin D are known to boost feel-good hormones like serotonin and improve the overall mood of those with deficiencies.
5. Lowering Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a key indicator of an underlying disease or overall physical health. There are various inflammatory diseases including asthma, chronic disease failure, fatty liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease that are associated with low levels of vitamin D.
Studies suggest that healthy levels of vitamin D can help treat inflammation and prevent severe inflammation as well. Vitamin D helps modulate inflammation by regulating the production of immune cells and cytokines.
Further, it also helps inhibit the development of proinflammatory cells in the body.
6. Promoting Immunity
Adequate or healthy levels of vitamin D can boost the function of your immune system. It can also assist in preventing the contraction of various diseases. It helps modulate immune responses for both, B and T cells.
Low levels of this vitamin make you more prone to infections including the flu and common cold.
Additionally, vitamin D deficiencies are also associated with a higher rate of autoimmunity and associated diseases. This includes multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hair loss, and lupus.
Do keep in mind that adequate levels of the nutrient won’t serve as guaranteed prevention, however, it does play a preventative role.
Protect Yourself Against a Vitamin D Deficiency
There are various benefits associated with having healthy levels of vitamin D. These include better immunity, reduced inflammation, a lowered risk of chronic illnesses and heart disease, better bone density, and improved mental health.
Make the most of the benefits of vitamin D by using a D3 patch designed to improve your levels and prevent deficiencies.
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