While many of us spend hours honing our physical stature, how often do we consider bone strength?
Let’s face it: bone strength is essential to living a healthy life. Besides, thanks to the abundant presence of Vitamin D, supporting your bone strength and immune system is no longer a challenge.
When it comes to the human body, vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients. Also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” this fat-soluble vitamin can help you regulate your blood pressure, enhance the immune system, and build better resistance against cancer.
This blog takes a deeper insight into different aspects of Vitamin D as a nutrient in our body. So continue reading as we decrypt more about how the vitamin functions, its benefits, and healthy intake, among other factors, in the following sections.
Vitamin D: The Nutrient In Detail
Vitamin D is one of the most important fat-soluble nutrients that helps the human body facilitate better calcium absorption. This essential nutrient also plays a crucial role in stimulating mineralization and growth of bones.
The importance of vitamin D becomes even more apparent when you realize there are more than 2,000 scientific articles published about vitamin D compared to any other vitamin.
Most research suggests that vitamin D can be critical in preventing different health-related complications such as cancer, depression, heart disease, and even diabetes in some instances. However, it is worth noting that the relationship between these illnesses and vitamin D still needs to be clarified, but this will change with more research.
What’s more? Vitamin D is also essential for facilitating better digestion, immunity, and circulation while enhancing the nervous system simultaneously. Besides, thanks to the innovation around the nutrient, you can now easily consume chewable vitamin D or take it in other soluble forms to meet your requirements.
Now that we know vitamin D’s role let’s delve into its function in the body in the next section.
How Does Vitamin D Function In The Body?
Contrary to widespread presumption, vitamin D is not an active nutrient in the human body. Instead, the nutrient must be converted into an active form before it can do its job in the body.
Studies around the nutrient suggest that the body does this with a two-step process that starts with the liver converting vitamin D into calcidiol. Next, the kidneys will act and convert the calcidiol into calcitriol. This calcitriol phase is when you can say vitamin D is in the active state within your body.
Unlike conventional chewable vitamin C and other similar nutrients, vitamin D functions are very similar to that of hormones. This means the body will produce it in one specific part, and the nutrient will travel into the other part to do its job.
In the case of vitamin D, it is generally produced in the skin, following which it travels to the bones to do its job. The fat-soluble nature of the nutrient means any excess amount is stored in the liver. This is different from the excess of similar nutrients flushed with urine.
Different Sources Of Vitamin D To Add To Your Everyday Lifestyle
As mentioned earlier, vitamin D is abundantly present around us. Many different sources of fat-soluble nutrients are available in natural and manufactured forms. Some of the best-known vitamin D sources include:
There is no argument for the fact that sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, considering it is called the “sunshine vitamin.” The human skin is an amazing organ with a specific cholesterol functioning as a precursor to the nutrient.
As soon as you expose this compound to UV rays, it will turn into vitamin D. More importantly, vitamin D derived from the sun tends to circulate twice longer than other sources.
Mushrooms are another excellent vitamin D source best suited for vegetarians. Like the human body, even mushrooms can produce their vitamin D when sunlight exposes them.
However, it is worth noting that different mushroom types make other compounds, so research beforehand. You must first learn to identify the right mushroom type before consuming it straightaway.
Fortified Food Items:
Fortification is adding vitamin D to staple food items since only a few items come with high levels of vitamin D compounds. Vitamin D concentration in fortified food items can vary based on the country or location.
This variation might also arise when you consume fortified food items from different brands. But some of the best-known fortified food items include orange juice, plant-based milk, yogurt, plant-based milk, and tofu, among many others.
Seafood and Fatty Fish:
Seafood and fatty fish are some of the best natural vitamin D sources. However, the precise content of vitamin D in seafood can vary based on multiple factors. Variations in different species can also influence the amount of vitamin D you can get from a specific seafood. However, mackerel, sardines, shrimp, tuna, anchovies, and oysters are some of the most excellent vitamin D sources.
Vitamin D Supplements:
Supplements are also great manufactured vitamin D sources across different places. However, one must always take high-quality vitamin D supplements since the cheaper ones can do more harm than good.
The best thing to do is seek advice from a dietitian or physician familiar with your medical history. These professionals can help you pick the best chewable multivitamin supplements to help you meet your vitamin D needs.
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much?
Our bodies are different, and so is their requirement for vitamin D. Therefore, it’s essential to determine the ideal amount of vitamin D required by a body. Additionally, even the scientific community is torn in debates to settle this matter.
However, the US National Academy of Medicine suggests that 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D daily should be enough for most people. Here’s a tabular representation of the intake for vitamin D according to different age groups:
|Age||Vitamin D Intake|
|0 – 12 months||10 mcg|
|1 – 13 years||15 mcg|
|14 – 18 years||15 mcg|
|19 –50 years||15 mcg|
|>70 years||20 mcg|
While these are suggestive measures, we recommend you consult a reliable dietician or physician to understand better vitamin D consumption based on your body’s specific needs. This will help you get the most out of vitamin D and benefit from all the wonder this nutrient does for your body.
Vitamin D is one of those few nutrients with many different health-related benefits for your body. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that your body gets the right amount of vitamin D to promote bone health, among many other perks. Besides that, refer to the information above and avoid complications from vitamin D deficiency.