Vitamin D Defficiency Effects
Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin as it is also known, is a vital nutrient with a huge influence on the body. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones as it helps the calcium absorption of the body.
Vitamin D is part of the fat soluble secosteroids, with two main forms, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is obtained in the skin following exposure to direct sunlight or artificial sources with ultraviolet B light. It can be also naturally found in a number of foods. In certain countries, some foods including milk, margarine and flour are fortified with vitamin D. Further more, vitamin D is available as supplement in the form of pills. Such foods as fish, meat and eggs are rich in vitamin D and are frequently suggested for consumption for people with vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
How the vitamin D works?
Vitamin D reaches the liver through the bloodstream and it is transformed into prohormone calcidiol. Later on when it is circulated, the calcidiol is converted into calcitriol, the naturally active form of vitamin D. This process takes place in the kidneys or by monocyte-macrophages. As calcitriol is synthesized by monocyte-macrophages, the calcitriol will work as cytokine, protecting the body against microbes.
On the other hand, when the synthesis takes place in the kidneys, calcitriol acts as a hormone, controlling for instance the calcium and phosphate level in the bloodstream, supporting the adequate mineralization, growth and reconstruction of the bone. Low vitamin D level can lead to weak, brittle bones, while an adequate level prevents rickets in children and osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults. Additionally, vitamin D controls neuromuscular function and affects the genes that controls cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D defficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are a warning sign that let’s you know something is not quite right. You need to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D from exposure to direct sunlight, vitamin D rich food and vitamin supplements.
- Rickets – It is the most frequent vitamin D deficiency symptom in children. As a result of vitamin D deficiency, the bones are weakened, the bone tissue fail to mineralize leading to soft and deformed bones.
- Osteoporosis – It is a similar symptom to ricket, but it is found as vitamin D deficiency symptom in adults. Because of the low vitamin D level in the body there is deficient calcification in bones, which become brittle and soft.
- Depression – According to scientists, depression is the result of the lack of vitamin D. They argue that because of urbanization, the sunlight can’t adequately reach the skin, reducing thus the 25(OH) level in the body, causing depression. It has been also discovered that a great number of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the winter due to insufficient exposure to direct sunlight. The parathyroid hormone is the one causing the vitamin D deficiency symptom – depression.
- Hyperparathyroidism – Results from hypocalcemia, which is a blood condition with unusually low vitamin D level, resulting in hyperparathyroidism.Fatigue – According to old remedies, sunshine and fresh air are essential for good health. The absence of vitamin D synthesis in the morning can result in fatigue.
- Obesity – Vitamin D deficiency is frequently linked to obesity, as the insufficient level of vitamin D holds back the production of hormone leptin, which regulates the fat in the body. Inadequate exposure to sunlight disrupts the normal function of the body, determining the individual to eat more than it is necessary for the body.