VITAMIN D is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the growth and development of bones and teeth. It is a fat-soluble vitamin in the family of compounds that includes vitamins D1, D2 and D3. The body produces vitamin D when it is directly exposed to sunlight, the natural source of vitamin D. Apart from this, the body can attain the daily requirements of this nutrient by adding healthy foods to its diet that are an abundant source of vitamin D.
Also referred to as ‘calciferol’, vitamin D is known for its bone-building and strengthening powers. It also helps in regulating the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body and maintaining proper bone structure. Here are some vital reasons why you should add vitamin D-rich foods to your regular diet regime.
Health Benefits Of Including Vitamin D In Your Diet
1. Strengthens Bones
Vitamin D sufficiency can help in reducing the risk of infections and keeps diseases at bay. Several studies claim that low vitamin D levels in the body lead to increased risks of heart diseases including hypertension, heart failure, and stroke.
2. Reduce Inflammation
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps in building immunity. It supports the immune system by fighting harmful bacteria and viruses. A study in a 2017 Journal of Osteopathic Medicine found that high latitudes and winter season are risk factors for low vitamin D, as well as influenza, and other respiratory illness and adverse outcomes.
3. Supports Oral Health
From strengthening bones to the immune system, adequate levels of vitamin D in the body promote better oral health. A 2020 review in Nutrients stated that because vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium, it may lower the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
4. May Prevent Diabetes
Vitamin sufficiency in the body can help in preventing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A study, published in 2019 in the European Journal of Endocrinology, found that 6 months of vitamin D supplementation increased insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes or at high risk of the disease. This further leads to halting the development of diabetes or slowing down the progression in those who already have it.
5. Aids Weight Loss
Healthline states that people with higher body weights have a greater chance of low vitamin D levels. A small 2013 study in Nutrition Journal found that taking a combination of vitamin D and calcium, in particular, helped overweight and obese participants shed pounds when combined with a calorie-restricted diet.
How Much Vitamin D Levels Are Required By Human Body?
The National Institue of Health (NIH, World’s foremost medical research center) states that children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg).
(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.)
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