Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Another scientific or biological name used for this particular vitamin is calciferol. The health benefits and importance of vitamin D, along with its important natural sources are listed below:
- Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the bones and blood in the body. This helps to make bones and teeth, strong and healthy. Therefore lack of vitamin D makes bones soft, brittle and susceptible to fractures. This can also lead to many diseases of bones and cancers of bones and bone marrow. In old age this softness of bones is a source of diseases like osteoporosis and calcium deficits.
- Human body can also convert inactive form of vitamin D to its active form which is done by major organs of the body especially liver and kidney. The human body also has the capability of doing this y by its exposure to ultra violet rays from the sun. Hence, it is the main source to make vitamin D in the body. In fact sunlight is the only major source of vitamin D. It is easy as well as a direct source of this vitamin.
- Vitamin D prevents against many serious illnesses and anomalies. It helps to protect the human body from psoriasis, tuberculosis and cancers. Sufficient vitamin D in the neonatal stage of the baby is also equally important. It determines the health and strength of the baby s bones and teeth. Hence, expecting mothers should not have deficiency of this vitamin when they are pregnant. For this, consultancy can be taken from a good physician.
- This vitamin also helps to prevent osteoporosis, breast cancer, prostate cancers, depression, anxiety, obesity and even diabetes mellitus.
- This vitamin comes from many animal derived foods such as fish liver oils, livers, egg yolks, etc. These animal sources provide this vitamin in sufficient quantities to fulfil the daily need of the body for this vitamin.
- Green leafy vegetables also provide vitamin D. These are cabbages, spinach, celery, parsley, salad leaves, green onions; etc. Vitamin D present in these green vegetables helps to control the movement of calcium between the bones and in and out of blood.
- These days, many products are available in the market that are fortified with this vitamin. Soy milk (also called soya milk, soymilk, soybean milk, or soy juice) and cheese fortified with this vitamin are rich sources of vitamin D.
- Vitamin D is equally important for pregnant and lactating women. They should take plenty of green vegetables and egg yolks.
- In growing children, lack of this vitamin can cause bone weakness and rickets. This disease can continue for the rest of their lives!
Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to many health hazards. Hence, appropriate amount of foods containing this vitamin should be added in your daily diet. This vitamin, not only makes bones and teeth strong, but it also contributes to a healthy nervous system.