Vitamin D Deficiency Can Make You At Risk For Health Disorders
You know you’re supposed to take your vitamins – but will anything bad really happen if you don’t? It seems like everyday there are new rules and guidelines telling us how to care for ourselves to prevent sickness and disease, and it can be hard to keep up. Yet one thing stays the same: the importance of the 13 vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins work to keep our bodies functional and healthy, and vitamin D plays a big part in that. But nearly 42 percent of American adults aren’t consuming the recommended amount of vitamin D. This deficiency makes them more vulnerable to some scary health disorders.
What Does Vitamin D Help With?
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, helps the body to absorb calcium. This is good for bone health and helping your immune system to function properly. A vitamin D deficiency slows down this process or stops it altogether, which makes your body weaker.
By spending time outside in the sun, your body will make vitamin D itself. But if people live in colder climates or simply aren’t getting much sun, vitamin levels can deplete. That’s partly why vitamin D supplements and nutrient-filled foods are recommended by doctors to ensure you’re getting the right amount.
It’s recommended that you monitor your vitamin D intake. If not, you risk being vulnerable to the following life-threatening health issues.
The Link Between Depression and Vitamin D
Early studies show there might be a connection between those diagnosed with depression and a lack of vitamin D. A deficiency with vitamin D could be preventing (or even worsening) depressed patient symptoms without them even realizing it.
Since people with depression are more likely to spend their time indoors, it prevents them from soaking in the vitamin D you’d get from the sunshine. Also, those with depression might not have the ability to consume a healthy diet. This is another lifestyle pathway that can hinder vitamin D levels.
There is still a lot to be explored between depression and vitamin D. One study explores a direct connection between vitamin D and antidepressant medication. They each contain serotonin, an element that helps to boost happiness and overall well-being. This means vitamin D can play a role in easing depression symptoms. This was tested during a study with three women on antidepressants. They took vitamin D supplements in addition to their medication, and their symptoms actually improved by the end of the trial.
It’s important to note that even though vitamin D supplements is not an alternative for antidepressants, research is learning more about how it can be used to help treat symptoms.
The Link Between Arthritis And Vitamin D
As a kid, you were probably told to drink milk so the calcium will make your bones healthy and strong. That message holds up even as an adult, but your calcium intake won’t matter as much without a proper dosage of vitamin D. This nutrient helps your bones and joints to absorb calcium and keep them strong.
Muscle movement, fighting inflammation and nerve function are more essential parts that vitamin D aids in keeping your body functional. When there’s a lack of it, your bone health will be impacted.
Studies have shown that weaker bones can make you more prone to conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. Arthritis is a chronic condition with no exact cure, but vitamin D levels could play a role in just how severe yours is. Brittle bones make you more susceptible to fractures and pain in places like your back, legs and arms.
Vitamin D can help to reduce inflammation in your bones and lower pain. You can talk to your doctor about ways to manage your bone health alongside vitamin D supplements.
The Link Between Cancers and Vitamin D
Cancer is one of the scariest health issues for a human to experience. While it can be unavoidable in some situations, there are precautions that should be taken in order to prevent ever receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Vitamin D deficiencies have been associated with prostate and ovarian cancer patients, as well as multiple myeloma. Its connection to breast cancer has shown that vitamin D may help to control normal breast cell growth and stop cancerous ones from growing. This means that for women with a deficiency, there is a chance at having less protection to stop cancer from forming.
One piece of good news about the link between vitamin D and cancer is that this element is said to have helped those diagnosed with cancer live longer. Although it isn’t a cure or major preventative, this research shows that deficiencies between the two do exist.
How You Can Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency
Experts say a daily intake of 10-20 micrograms (or 400-800 IU) of vitamin D is sufficient to keep you healthy. The elderly, young women, infants and people with darker skin should closely monitor their vitamin levels since it’s most common for these demographics to have a deficiency.
There are lots of easy ways to make sure you’re getting the proper amount of vitamin D. Spending time in the sunshine is one simple way to do it naturally. There are foods you can also implement into your everyday diet like salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks and fortified foods that each contain vitamin D.
Talk to your doctor if you’re eligible to be taking vitamin supplements, a direct way to ensure proper health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a lot to manage, but remember to never underestimate the importance of taking your vitamins.