Are you familiar with Vitamin D? Do you know the benefits of taking in Vitamin D rich foods or vitamin supplements? If your answer is a big NO, then better read on, what is Vitamin D good for?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin together with vitamins A, E and K. Fat soluble vitamins mean that body fats are needed in order for the vitamins to be absorbed and used. Two major forms of Vitamin D are vitamin D2 (ergocaliferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the skin of vertebrates after exposure to sunlight or artificial sources with ultraviolet B light and occurs naturally as a vitamin constituent of some foods.
Foods rich in vitamin D are meat, eggs, and fatty fish. Mushrooms that are exposed to light could provide up to 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D. Today, staple foods such as milk, flour and margarine are fortified with Vitamin D in order to meet the daily dietary requirement of the public.
Daily intake of Vitamin D has a lot of healthy benefits that are often unnoticed. Some of these are as follows:
- When Vitamin D is carried off t o the liver through the blood stream, it is converted into prohormone calcidiol which is then converted into calcitriol by either the kidneys or the monocyte-macrophages in the immune system. When the monocyte-macrophages synthesize calcitriol, it becomes a cytokine which helps the body fight pathogenic mircroorganisms.
- When calcitriol is synthesized by the kidneys, it becomes a hormone that regulates the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the blood stream which plays a significant role in the mineralization, remodeling and growth of bones.
- Vitamin D prevents rickets (in children), Osteomalacia (in adults), osteoporosis (in elderly).
- Appropriate Vitamin D intake helps lower one’s risk of acquiring colon cancer by 50% and breast and ovarian cancer by 30% . Studies have shown that low vitamin D level in the blood can lead to progression of breast cancer and bone metastasis.
- According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, low serum level of vitamin D is associated with the risk of acquiring peripheral artery disease, high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Newer studies regarding the healthful effects of vitamin D reveals that it can slow down age related losses of mental function and helps alleviate breathing problems of asthmatic patients.
These are some of the beneficial effect of Vitamin D. You can talk to your doctor regarding the appropriate amount that you should take daily. Vitamin D now comes in tablet or capsule form that you can take in the morning after your breakfast. You can now purchase vitamin D supplements online or in your favorite pharmacy or health shop.