The fact that vitamins and nutrients are central components of your wellbeing is fairly common knowledge. So much so, that many of us have taken great care to incorporate the right amount of vitamins into our daily diets since childhood. While we understand that failing to do so could result in health issues, what most of us probably didn’t know is the extent of the health complications that could arise from a lack of one crucial vitamin in particular.
Vitamin D is vital to our health. In fact, doctors have found that a deficiency in Vitamin D could lead to some serious health concerns, not limited to joint pain, depression, and in some extreme cases, certain types of cancer. Here’s everything you need to know about Vitamin D deficiency, as well as how to prevent this serious issue.
What Happens When You Aren’t Getting Enough Vitamin D?
Vitamin D performs a number of essential tasks for your body. These include:
- strengthening your bones
- helping your body to absorb calcium (which is necessary for building and strengthening bones)
- supporting the parathyroid glands (these are used to balance the body’s calcium levels)
As you can see, vitamin D is involved in the performing of numerous necessary bodily functions. If ever you are vitamin D deficient, your body will have to learn how to function without enough vitamin D. This can result in a lack of calcium which, in turn, will weaken your bones and decrease your physical strength.
Below are three of the most pressing health concerns that arise as a result of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D and Depression
The issues arising from a lack of vitamin D are not just limited to physical health. Vitamin D deficiency can also trigger thoughts and feelings that lead to depression.
According to WebMD, there was a recent research study that tracked the potential correlation between vitamin D and depression. This study involved a group of 12 women who were suffering from depression as well as vitamin D deficiency. These women were given vitamin D therapy, and after 12 weeks, they each began to see improvements in their mental health. This study concluded that vitamin D can indeed relieve symptoms of depression.
The reason for this study’s outcome is because vitamin D can increase the serotonin levels in the brain, which is the same function of antidepressants. Therefore, getting the right amount of vitamin D can help you feel happier and more optimistic.
Vitamin D and Joint Pain
Joint pain is a regular occurrence for many people as they get older, whether a result of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or simple aging. What many people do not realize, however, is that joint pain can also arise from a lack of vitamin D.
Medical News Today reported that muscle and joint pain are common symptoms among people who lack vitamin D. More extreme symptoms can include pain in the knees, legs, and hips. There are also research studies that suggest that vitamin D has an inflammatory effect, meaning that vitamin D can actually help relieve joint pain. Of course, this means that a lack of vitamin D can have the opposite effect.
If you happen to be suffering from joint pain, consult with your doctor about your vitamin D levels and potential solutions.
Vitamin D and Cancer
Cancer is known for having the chilling reputation of being one of the most deadly terminal illnesses known to humankind. While there are several issues that can result in the contraction of this potentially-fatal illness, few people know that vitamin D deficiency is one of them.
BreastCancer.org found that women who have lower levels of vitamin D are typically more vulnerable to breast cancer. The reason for this is that vitamin D fuels the growth of breast cells.
Vitamin D can also slow down the onset of prostate cancer. This means that a lack of vitamin D can increase a man’s likelihood of getting prostate cancer. This notion is supported by other research studies that have found that prostate cancer is less rampant in areas where there is greater sun exposure.
As a result of such risks, it is always a good idea to speak to your doctor about recommended vitamin D levels as a safety measure. This way, you could increase your chances of avoiding cancer.
How You Can Avoid Suffering From Vitamin D Deficiency!
While there is still more research that will need to be done in order to learn more about vitamin D and its effects on the body, there are a number of measures that are already available for you to take so that can ensure that you are getting the right amount of vitamin D into your body.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that people under the age of 70 consume 600 IU of vitamin D. For people over the age of 70, it is recommended to get over 800 IU of vitamin D.
You can regulate your vitamin D intake by changing your diet and ensuring that you consume the nutrients you need. There are also a number of vitamin D supplements that you can take in order to regulate your vitamin D consumption.
If you ever fell unsure as to whether you are taking the right steps, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor. By taking the correct steps now, you can avoid the dangerous side effects of vitamin D deficiency in the future.