Believe it or not, all vitamins play a vital role in the level of our health. Most often than not, people tend to take daily vitamins as a way to make sure they are getting the supplementation that they need to help the body function properly and to give the body nutrients we are not be getting from our daily diets. Vitamins in no way shape or form are ever able to replace a meal, but they can help stimulate and supply the nutrients that we desperately need to maintain a level of health and even weight loss.
More than three million cases in the United States are reported each year when it comes to vitamin deficiencies. Usually, medical tests are needed, such as lab work and the evaluation from a medical professional. However, the outlook is very good as it remains treatable and can be controlled within months of treatment. Vitamin D is important for the body, because we need it to help absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Without vitamin D, we can experience adverse health effects that we may not know could be happening, especially since early deficiencies show no symptoms.
It is said that most people with darker skin and people over the age of 65 are at more risk for the condition. What’s most compelling is that most people who are vitamin D deficient, have no idea they suffer from the condition, as early stages of deficiency show no symptoms at all. However, for more severe deficiency, it can lead to brittle, bone thinning and even misshapen bones. But that’s stunningly not all. In other cases, vitamin D deficiency can lead to seasonal depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, brain fog, pain within the bones, bone fractures and weakened immune system. Even short-term deficiencies can have a profound effect on long-term complications (1,2,4).
With that said, it comes as no surprise that vitamin D is very important to the body. It is responsible for “promoting calcium absorption, maintaining normal calcium and phosphate levels, promoting bone and cell growth, and reducing inflammation” (2).
According to healthline.com, there are several risk factors that can cause and have been attributed to the rising incidences of vitamin D deficiency cases. Because we can naturally absorb vitamin D through sunlight, wearing sunscreen, which blocks our skin from being able to produce vitamin D, is definitely a risk factor, in addition to not participating in outdoor activities. For women, if you breastfeed your children for longer periods of time, exclusively, you too, also run the risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. We all know that being obese can have many negative effects on your health, and when it comes to vitamin D deficiencies, being obese can raise your body’s vitamin D requirements. Sometimes, people can be born with vitamin D deficiencies or have diseases or medical conditions, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases, that cause them to be deficient as well (2, 4).
Luckily, should you find yourself suffering from a vitamin D deficiency or symptoms, there are several things you can do naturally to aid in resolving the issue. As we mentioned, spending time in the sun without sunscreen for short amounts of time can help your body naturally produce vitamin D. As it turns out, just simple sunlight can be the cure to your vitamin D woes, because according to Dr. Axe.com, our bodies are pretty good at producing all of the vitamin D we need, just from sunlight alone. If being in the sun without sunscreen is just not an option for you, something as simple as spending time outside in the sunlight, like taking a simple walk in the sun, or going to the park may work. There are also several foods that you can add to your diet that have vitamin D.
According to Dr. Axe.com, “Top Ten Vitamin D Rich Foods,” these foods include cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, raw milk, mushrooms and caviar (4). Healthline.com also adds, egg yolk, cereal, orange juice and yogurt. Luckily, if in the event none of these sound appetizing to you, a simple trip to the grocery store or health food store can offer a wide array of different vitamin D brand supplements that you can add first thing in the morning. The recommended daily dose, as reported in 2012 through the Mayo Clinic is 600 IU daily, however, it is important to note that vitamin D supplementation is included in all vitamin supplements that exist on the market. So, even taking a multivitamin alone, can help you get the vitamin D you need.
Aside from the fact that vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D rich foods and simple sun exposure can help fight depression and fight against the disease, it can all do wonders for weight loss as well! According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, those who took a Vitamin D supplement in addition to a calcium supplement lost a significant amount of more weight than those who took a placebo supplement. The study showed that both supplement combinations were able to aid in controlling and suppressing appetite (5).
Whether you are vitamin D deficient or not, whether or not you fear of the possibility of even becoming deficient and desire to prevent it, the benefits of ensuring that your body is getting the adequate amounts of the daily requirement is substantial. It is important to make sure that you do supply your body with enough vitamin D for better bone health, and if you are wanting to lose weight or help suppress your appetite, vitamin D in conjunction with a calcium supplement may just do the trick. Either way, it’s always important to of course, to consult a doctor if you are concerned that you may have a vitamin D deficiency, regardless, because all vitamins are essential to our health.