Health Benefits and Importance of Vitamin D
There are two types of Vitamin D: Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). Vitamin D3 is synthesized by plants whereas Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans via our skin and exposure to the UVB rays from the sun. Often we can get enough Vitamin D however during winter months, cloudy days and use of sunscreen, many people do not get as much Vitamin D as they need and deficiencies arise.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus. It helps with absorption of calcium which as we know, helps us maintain strong bones and increase bone density. Without enough Vitamin D, our bodies will not properly absorb these minerals and as a result, will become deficient in these areas as well.
Recent research also points in the direction that Vitamin D can help protect from other health conditions like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer and many autoimmune diseases.
Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
If we do not get enough Vitamin D our bodies do not properly absorb minerals and nutrients that we need, no matter how many supplements we may consume. Some health conditions from lack of Vitamin D include, but are not limited to:
- Rickets (skeletal deformaties in children) & Osteomalacia (weak muscles & bones in adults)
- Hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid)
- Hypoparathyroidism (low levels of hormone)
- Cognitive issues
- Kidney diseases
- Respiratory concerns
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Cardiovascular disease
- Muscle weakness & pain