The sunshine vitamin, or vitamin D, is actually a pro-hormone that the body produces when exposed to sunlight. It’s a collection of vitamins, primarily found in fish oils and liver, that includes the vitamins D2 and D3 calciferol and cholecalciferol. As a result, the body gains various advantages from it as it plays a crucial part in calcium absorption.
Vitamin D Benefits
- plays a significant function in enhancing bone health as it is required for the body to absorb calcium.
- enhances the brain and nervous system as well as immunity.
- helps to manage Type 2 Diabetes by playing a part in managing insulin levels.
- help in the enhancement of cardiovascular and pulmonary health.
- Also plays an important role in the management of obesity.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to the deficiency of Calcium. This is mostly because the body requires the vitamin in order to absorb calcium. One cannot produce enough of the hormone calcitriol without enough of it. Insufficient calcium absorption from the diet follows from this. In circumstances like this, the body is compelled to obtain the mineral from the skeleton. This eventually weakens already-existing bones and inhibits youngsters from developing strong, new bones.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Lowered immunity
- Pain in the bones
- Fatigue and weakness
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
Vitamin D Deficiency Risk Factors
The following factors can increase your risk of deficiency of this invaluable nutrient:
Ideally, one should bask in the sun for at least 20 minutes each day. Anything less than that can cause the body to lack sufficient amounts of vitamin D. On the other side, you need to be careful not to spend too much time in the sun since this could result in an excess exposure to UVB radiation. Additionally, using sunscreen every time one is exposed to the sun can significantly reduce the risk of deficiency. While it can block out ultraviolet B rays, it also prevents the skin from producing vitamin D.
People who live nearer the equator must be exposed to the sun more, which eventually results in the synthesis of vitamin D in their bodies. Similar to this, those who reside in higher latitudes experience decreased body production. People who live closer to the Himalayas in a country like India create less vitamin D in their bodies than those who live in the south, who produce far more of the vitamin.
Your body’s capacity to generate this vital nutrient declines as you age. As a result, older persons have a rather considerable decline in their Vitamin D levels.
It is observed that individuals with high levels of body fat have very low quantities of the vitamin in their bodies. As a result, those who are overweight or obese are considerably more likely to experience Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Foods
Today, a lack of sun exposure is the primary cause of most cases of vitamin D insufficiency. So, exposure to sunshine is the greatest strategy to increase its absorption. However, eating a few specific meals can undoubtedly help the body’s vitamin levels rise.
Both red meat and poultry include vitamin D, despite the fact that they may not be the best sources. Having said that, increasing your consumption of this crucial component through organ meat is definitely the best option.
The only other plant sources of vitamin D are a few types of mushrooms and fortified meals. Mushrooms manufacture the vitamin when exposed to sunshine, just like people do.
The majority of fish species contain the vitamin, but oilier or fatty fish are probably to have a higher concentration of the nutrient than leaner fish. The most well-known fish that are high in the vitamin include tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and trout.
An egg’s whites may be its protein source, but the yolks are just as significant. Like other vitamins and minerals, vitamin D is also present in the egg yolk.
Vitamin D level in natural food sources is extremely low. However, the vitamin is added to some foods by fortification. The vitamin is added to several foods and beverages all around the world. The best examples of the same include orange juice, milk, breakfast cereals, and oatmeal.
Vitamin D and Sunlight
To ensure that enough ultraviolet B rays reach the skin’s cholesterol and provide the energy necessary for vitamin D synthesis, expose your skin to the sun for 20 minutes each day.
The best time to go outside is about midday when the sun is at its peak and the UVB rays are strongest. According to studies, the optimal time to encourage the synthesis of the vitamin in India is between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm.
The creation of this vitamin depends on skin exposure to the sun, however too much sun exposure might be dangerous. A few effects of too much sunshine include:
- These are the most frequent negative effects of excessive sun exposure. Redness, swelling that is accompanied by discomfort or soreness, and blisters are all signs of the same condition.
- Spending too much time in the sun might hasten the ageing process of your skin. Your skin may become more wrinkly, saggy, or leathery as a result.
- The retina can be harmed by too much UV radiation. This raises the possibility of eye issues like cataracts.
- Too much heat or exposure to the sun can cause the body’s core temperature to rise.
Vitamin D and Weight Loss
The link between vitamin D and weight loss is an interesting but less well-known phenomenon. Serotonin levels in the body drop when the vitamin is deficient. Neurotransmitter serotonin has a wide range of physiological effects, including regulating sleep and mood. Cortisol production is hence elevated. The person’s weight reduction eventually slows down as a result of this, and in some cases, a weight loss plateau results.