Popularly known as the ” sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for your overall health. It plays a protective role in the body by strengthening both the skeletal system as well as your immunity. It belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins that include vitamin A, E, and K. Vitamin D2 and D3 are its two major forms.
Its primary role is to regulate minerals like calcium and phosphorus in the body. It is a versatile nutrient that has numerous benefits for the human body.
Importance Of Vitamin D In Your Wellbeing
Below are the important functions of vitamin D in the human body.
- Prevents bone loss and osteoporosis: Adequate levels of vitamin D are needed to strengthen bones and avoid fractures that are associated with bone demineralization.1
- Halves the risk of colorectal cancer: Scientific studies have revealed that people with blood levels of more than 33 ng/ml of vitamin D had 50% lower risk of colorectal cancer than people who had vitamin D levels below 12 ng/ml.2
- Vitamin D has a cardioprotective role: Another scientific research found that people who maintained a long-term intake of 1000 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis were 10% less likely to suffer from heart disease.3
- Wards away depression: Researchers have also found that overweight or obese people who had normal vitamin D levels were less likely to suffer from depressive mental disorders.4
- Lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis: Since vitamin D is a potent immunomodulator, it can prevent the neurodegenerative processes that happen in conditions like multiple sclerosis.5
Vitamin D Dosage Across All Ages
If you happen to be someone who doesn’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, its main source, you should ensure that you meet your daily requirements by consuming foods or supplements that contain vitamin D. The dosage for vitamin D varies with age and should be consumed accordingly.6
- Infants within 0–6 months of age: At least 400 IU/day and not more than 1,000 IU/day.
- Infants within 6–12 months of age: At least 400 IU/day and not more than 1,500 IU/day.
- Toddlers within 1–3 years of age: At least 600 IU/day and not more than 2,500 IU/day.
- Kids within 4–8 years of age: At
After the age of 9, children need about 600–4000 IU/day until the age of 70. Once an individual turns 70 years of age, a daily intake of at least 800 IU/day is mandatory without exceeding 4000 IU/day. Pregnant and lactating women need at least 600 IU of vitamin D for the sake of their health as well as that of the growing baby.
Problems With Too Little And Too Much Vitamin D
Not getting enough vitamin D daily or getting too much could wreak havoc with your health.
- Too little: Deficiency of vitamin D shows up in the body as fatigue, bone pain, muscle soreness, hair loss, and depression.
- Too much: As far as excess vitamin D intake is concerned, several scientific studies have proved that it could mess with your kidney functioning. It can also interfere with vitamin K2 functioning and trigger bone loss. Digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea can also occur. Therefore, it’s best to have not more than 4000 IU per day.7
Sources Of Vitamin D
Eggs, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, mushrooms, fortified milk, and cereals are good dietary sources of vitamin D. Getting sun exposure at least 3 times a week can help boost it’s levels naturally.
Vitamin D is an integral nutrient which needs to be consumed on a daily basis in recommended doses for being beneficial for your body and mind.
|↑1||Holick, Michael F. “Vitamin D and bone health.” The Journal of nutrition 126, no. 4S (1996): 1159S.|
|↑2||Ng, Kimmie. “Vitamin D for Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer: What is the Evidence?.” Current colorectal cancer reports 10, no. 3 (2014): 339-345.|
|↑3||Judd, Suzanne E., and Vin Tangpricha. “Vitamin D deficiency and risk for cardiovascular disease.” The American journal of the medical sciences 338, no. 1 (2009): 40.|
|↑4||Jorde, R., M. Sneve, Y. Figenschau, J. Svartberg, and K. Waterloo. “Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: randomized double blind trial.” Journal of internal medicine 264, no. 6 (2008): 599-609.|
|↑5||Munger, Kassandra L., Lynn I. Levin, Bruce W. Hollis, Noel S. Howard, and Alberto Ascherio. “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis.” Jama 296, no. 23 (2006): 2832-2838.|
|↑6||Vitamin D. National Institute Of Health|
|↑7||Masterjohn, Christopher. “Vitamin D toxicity redefined: vitamin K and the molecular mechanism.” Medical hypotheses 68, no. 5 (2007): 1026-1034.|