Vitamin D: Benefits, Side Effects and Deficiency

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How Can This Vitamin Help Me?

Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin,assists in absorbing calcium from the
food in to the bone, thereby maintaining strong and healthy bones. It
also reduces back pain and arthritis problems. It can also guard
against gum and teeth disease. It has also shown to prevent certain
types of skin cancer.

What are the Side Effects and How Much Should I Take?

There can be an overdose of vitamin D only from supplementation because
of Vitamin D’s ability to be synthesized in the body, with the help of
UV rays from the sun. Incidentally,over exposure to the sun can never
create an overdose. An overdose of the vitamin may cause
hypercalcaemia.  A dose of 50,000 IUs of supplementation is
considered an overdose. RDA is 400 IUs. The recommended daily allowance
is is in fact the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient
to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy
persons in each life-stage and gender group. However, unlike many other
nutrients, there is not enough evidence to establish a Recommended
Dietary Allowance for vitamin D. In place of this, an Adequate Intake
(AI) — a level of intake sufficient to maintain healthy blood levels
of an active form of vitamin D — has been established. The 1998 AIs
for vitamin D for adults are the same in males and females, but
increase with age. If you want to get obtain your intake from food
sources then Very little of vitamin D is got from dietary sources. Most
intake comes from fortified foods. It is a vitamin that is usually
taken for granted as it gets produced in the body. UV rays from the sun
promote the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin.

What Happens If I am Deficient in Vitamin D?

Deficiency of vitamin D affects the absorption of calcium in the
intestines. It causes rickets in children, which results in deformities
of the bone. In adults it causes osteomalacia, which weakens the
muscles and bones. The best course of action is to talk to your doctor
or health professional who can advise you on supplementation.

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