Vitamin, a substance that is required by the body in small amounts but which the body cannot make and is therefore required to be supplied in the daily diet.
Vitamins are very important for our bodies just the same as water and vitamin D is one such vitamin that we definitely can’t live without.
It is essential for our overall health especially to give us strong bones and that our heart, brain and lungs function properly. Vitamin D is always readily available because we can get it from the sun through the skin but it is also available in foods and supplements.
Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin is fat soluble and can be considered unique because when the body gets this vitamin it turns into a harmone sometimes called “calcitriol”. The main function of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body.
Even though we get vitamin D from sunlight it can be found in salmons, sardines, herring, egg yolks, beef liver, dairy products and fish liver oils. Discovered in 1922 by Edward Mellanby while doing a research on rickets, which is a disease caused by insufficient vitamin D as well as the lack of calcium. Several forms of vitamin D was discovered namely, D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 which all have a specific purpose.
Vitamin D has numerous health benefits for the body and not getting enough can make us very sick.
The benefits of vitamin D are the protection from heart diseases, helps the immune system ward off infections, excellent for respiratory functions and brain development, prevents or treat cancer. With all these health benefits, not getting sufficient amount of this important vitamin can also lead to many deficiencies.
We have seen that as children grow, their bones become hard by taking up calcium salts and vitamin D is needed for this, else it will lead to rickets, a disease that occurs mainly in children, another disease is osteomalacia in adults, both of these conditions cause soft, thin and brittle bones.
Vitamin D is one we definitely can’t do without and a lack of it can cause a majority of illnesses like asthma, depression, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure, other symptoms also include bone pain and muscle weakness, low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and severe asthma in children and cancer.
With all that, it is of great importance to make sure we consume our vitamins daily.