What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D (calciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in a few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Endogenous production occurs when ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight strike the skin and initiate vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is both a nutrient that we consume and a hormone that our bodies produce. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help with the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus in the body, both of which are required for bone formation. Furthermore, laboratory studies show that vitamin D can aid in infection control and inflammation reduction. Many organs and tissues in the body have vitamin D receptors, implying important functions other than bone health, and scientists are actively researching other possible functions.
Why do we need vitamin D?
Vitamin D serves several functions. Perhaps the most important are calcium and phosphorus absorption regulation and normal immune system function.
Getting enough vitamin D is important for normal bone and tooth development, as well as improved resistance to certain diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone deformities in children, such as rickets, and bone pain in adults, a condition is known as osteomalacia.
Vitamin D is both a nutrient and a hormone that we produce. Vitamin D aids in the regulation of calcium and phosphate levels in the body. These nutrients are necessary for strong bones, teeth, and muscles.
What happens when vitamin D is low?
A lack of vitamin D can cause bone density loss, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones). Rickets is caused by a severe lack of vitamin D, and it manifests in children as abnormal growth patterns, muscle weakness, bone pain, and joint deformities. This is extremely unusual. Children who are vitamin D deficient, on the other hand, may experience muscle weakness as well as sore and painful muscles.
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