Vitalize Through Vitamin D

Vitalize Through Vitamin D

Dr. S. Venkataramanan
MBBS, MS (Orth), D.Orth
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon,
Specialist Joint Replacement,
Arthroscopy & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Vitamins are vital supplements for human body to stay healthy. Of all the vitamins, Vita–min D is the only vitamin that can be made by the human body from sun exposure. Vitamin D is commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” and plays a very important role in maintaining stronger bones and good health.

Vitamin D is made by the body when the skin is exposed to the sun´s ultraviolet rays. When this happens, a cholesterol-like compound is converted first to a precursor to vitamin D and after to vitamin D3, (or cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is activated by enzymes from the liver and kidney. After activation, vitamin D functions as a hormone.

As little as 15 minutes under the sun (with–out sunscreen), three times a week enables your body to manufacture enough vitamin D, which can be stored in the body for several months. Although the AI is expressed in mcg, most vitamin D supplements are expressed in International Units (IU). One IU = 0.025 mcg cholecalciferol. The recommended adequate intake (AI) level for vitamin D3 is 5mcg daily for adults 31 to 50 years old. After age 50, the AI increases to 10mcg daily.

What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble Vitamin. It is natu–rally present in just a few foods. But it can be added to others thus creating fortified food. It is also available as a dietary supplement. Additionally, Vitamin D is produced when ul–traviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure, food and supple–ments. It must undergo two processes in the body for activation.

The first process occurs in the liver and converts Vitamin D to 25-hydroxyVitamin D, also known as calcidiol. The second process occurs primarily in the kidneys and forms the physiologically active 1, 25-dihydroxyVitamin D, also known as calcitriol.

Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D in promotes healthy bones, largely by promot–ing the absorption of calcium.

Vitamin D plays various other important roles within the body. They include modulation of cell growth, neuromus–cular and immune function, and reduction of inflamma–tion. Many gene encoding proteins that regulate cell pro–liferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by Vitamin D. Many cells have Vitamin D receptors, and some convert calcidiol to calcitriol. Stroke patients with low vitamin D are likely to have a slow recovery.

Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different condi–tions, including type1 and type2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance.

Vitamin D is the ideal nutrition for low blood pressure, be–sides Vitamin D also reduces the risk of diabetes, lower the chances of heart attacks and rheumatoid arthritis,

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
If the exposure to sunlight is limited, one may be at risk of deficiency. Because the body makes vitamin D only when one´s skin is exposed to sunlight.

If one need to wear long robes covering the entire body or may be due to religious reasons, or have an occupa–tion that prevents sun exposure, one is bound to have vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms & Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many people, the symptoms are subtle. Yet, even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following: a Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease a Cognitive impairment in older adults a Severe asthma in children

Vitamin D Deficiency with Depression & Anxiety
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that contributes to bone health, immune function and muscle wellness. In some cases, vitamin D deficiency is linked with anxiety and/or depression — illnesses in which intense fear, sad–ness and related symptoms.

A vitamin D deficiency is not known to cause psychologi–cal disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Insuf–ficient intake of the nutrient may trigger emotional symptoms, however, or make them worse. There may be a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and depres–sive symptoms associated with other illnesses.

A healthy diet and seeking treatment for psychological illnesses can help prevent vitamin D deficiency and pro–mote physical and emotional well-being. According to a study done on fibromyalgia patients, researchers found that depression was more common among participants with low levels of vitamin D than among patients with normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency may also increase depression and anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome, thyroid disease, anorexia, bulimia and obesity. Depression and anxiety may also contribute to a vitamin D deficiency if your illness hinders your appetite, eating habits and/or weight.

Symptoms of depression often include sadness, loneli–ness, fear, sleep difficulties, appetite and/or weight changes, body aches, and lost desire in participating in activities you´ve typically found pleasurable. Anxiety may cause similar symptoms, although its primary character–istic is intense worry. Anxiety may also cause increased heartbeat and sweating, particularly if you experience pronounced symptom episodes known as panic attacks.

Depression and anxiety disorders often occur together, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Vitamin D deficiency may cause low moods and muscle weakness — symptoms that may also stem from depres–sion and anxiety. Since vitamin D helps regulate your blood pressure, consuming too little may increase your risk for high blood pressure — a condition also associated with anxiety.

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