Vitamin D Deficiency - Are you getting enough?
Vitamin D deficiency disrupts the metabolism of calcium and phosphates, leading to reduced bone density, increased risk of fractures, and the development of osteoporosis in later years.
November 2nd is observed as World Vitamin D Day, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of this crucial sunshine vitamin for health. Due to its proven role in normal immune system function, adequate vitamin D intake becomes even more critical during the autumn and winter months.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is quite different from most other vitamins; you could say it's unique. In fact, it's a steroid hormone produced from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet rays. That's why it's often referred to as the "sun vitamin."
However, sun exposure rarely provides enough vitamin D, and only a handful of foods contain significant amounts of this key vitamin, making vitamin D deficiency quite common.
Why is vitamin D so important?
Like most vitamins, vitamin D serves numerous functions in the body. It's most well-known for its role in bone health, but it also plays a crucial part in a healthy immune system, digestive system, heart health, mental well-being, blood sugar regulation, fertility, and cancer resistance.
Vitamin D for Bones
Vitamin D is best known for its importance in bone health. Bones are living tissue and constantly undergo remodeling. This means they require a constant supply of nutrients. Vitamin D helps the body more efficiently absorb calcium, a key factor in bone mineralization and strength.
Vitamin D also interacts with other hormones to maintain optimal blood calcium levels. When it comes to calcium, the body always prioritizes the blood over the bones because blood transports calcium throughout the body for vital functions like muscle and heart contractions. Therefore, it's more important to maintain blood calcium levels than bone levels.
When there's enough calcium in the blood, excess calcium is stored in the bones. This is when bones mineralize and strengthen. When there's insufficient calcium in the blood, two things happen to raise blood levels. First, stored vitamin D in the liver becomes active and helps absorb more calcium from food. Second, the body starts taking stored calcium from the bones to boost blood levels.
Regularly not getting enough vitamin D (and calcium) can weaken bones and make them more fragile. In children, severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, while in adults, it can result in osteomalacia. In less severe cases of vitamin D (and/or calcium) deficiency, osteoporosis may develop over the long term.
Vitamin D and its Impact on the Immune System
Numerous studies have shown a link between low vitamin D levels and immune-related conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. In the lab, vitamin D appears to have "anti-inflammatory" and "antioxidant" properties.
Inflammation is primarily a response of our immune system. Vitamin D can reduce the immune response and inflammatory markers. Some studies in people with immune conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and obesity) suggest that vitamin D supplementation can lower certain inflammatory markers in the blood, although not all studies agree.
How to Determine if You Lack Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and some even call it a modern pandemic of vitamin D deficiency.
The optimal level of vitamin D in the blood has been debated for a long time, but most experts agree that it should be at least 30 ng/ml. If you're concerned about your vitamin D level, consult your healthcare provider; they can order a simple blood test to measure your vitamin D levels.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency Vitamin D deficiency disrupts the metabolism of calcium and phosphates, which can lead to reduced bone density and an increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis in later years. In infants and young children, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, characterized by skeletal deformities and growths on the cartilage due to bone mineralization disturbances. Other symptoms of the disease include:
- Reduced muscle strength
- Decreased muscle tone
- Increased susceptibility to infections
Vitamin D in Dietary Supplements
As evident, it can be challenging to meet the conditions for synthesizing vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is produced in our bodies under the influence of sunlight, which also comes with certain risks. While proper dietary choices can influence the amount of vitamin D in the body, it often falls short.
Many people opt for dietary supplements with vitamin D. Dietary supplements containing vitamin D are an excellent solution, but it's important to choose high-quality supplements that contain appropriate ingredients.
That's why we've enhanced the formula of our Collagen Shot and introduced Collagen Shot 10,000 with added vitamin D. This way, by consuming collagen, you'll not only take care of strong nails, shiny hair, beautiful skin, and flexible joints but also support a healthy immune system. Collagen Shot 10,000 contains 120% of the recommended daily vitamin D intake, effectively contributing to normal immune system function.