How Vitamin D Helps Build Healthy Bones

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is required for muscles and bones to grow properly. A lack of vitamin D will make it impossible for the human body to absorb calcium in an effective manner. As such, optimal bone health can only be achieved with a sufficient level of vitamin D.

It should also be noted that vitamin D is not an actual vitamin. It is really a hormone. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, the body will produce vitamin D. Vitamins are actual nutrients that the body needs to develop and grow, but cannot produce on its own.

Vitamins can be obtained by consuming certain foods and beverages, or via supplements. The human body is unable to produce vitamin D on its own so ensuring you are getting enough on a regular basis is vital to overall body health. 

You can obtain vitamin D from sunlight, as mentioned. You can also get it by taking multivitamins or stand-alone vitamin D supplements. As well, it is possible to obtain vitamin D from certain foods and beverages, such as vitamin D-enriched milk.

How Vitamin D Helps Build Strong Bones

Vitamin D is essential in order for muscles and bones to grow as intended. Strong muscles and bones can only be obtained or achieved with an optimal level of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D will make it difficult for the body to properly absorb calcium.

Good bone health can only be maintained with an adequate level of calcium, so Vitamin D serves as a catalyst for proper calcium absorption. Both vitamin D and calcium work in tandem in order to help protect your bones from harm and degradation.

What is a vitamin D deficiency?

If you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency, that means you do not have a sufficient amount in your body. Vitamin D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Sun radiation is converted into vitamin D, which subsequently allows phosphorus and calcium to help grow bones.

Your ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D will be affected by your age as well as your skin pigmentation. That is, younger individuals are more efficient at converting sunlight into vitamin D, and people with fair or light skin also absorb sunlight more efficiently.

A lack of vitamin D may lead to rickets. Rickets is actually a terrible disorder that causes young children to have soft and weak bones. Osteomalacia is another condition that causes bones to soften, albeit it is common in adults instead of children.

Weak bones can lead to a serious and debilitating condition known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes a marked loss of bone density in the patient. It primarily affects seniors, and greatly increases the risk of fractures.

Vitamin D may also reduce the risk of developing certain conditions as you age, including, but not limited to, high blood pressure, immune system disorders, heart disease, diabetes, infections, MS, and certain forms of cancer (such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer).

A poor diet may lead to a vitamin D deficiency. However, lack of sunlight exposure is the most common cause. People who live in cold climates that have limited sunlight are more susceptible than those who live in tropical climates.

Living a sedentary lifestyle may also lead to a vitamin D deficiency. That is, if you spend most of your time indoors, then you may develop this condition. 

Many students and people who work indoors, for example, will develop a vitamin D deficiency at some point in their lives because they do not spend a sufficient amount of time outdoors absorbing the required levels of sunlight.

Different Ways to Get Sufficient Vitamin D

Being exposed to sunlight is the best way to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Most people will only need to spend between 15 and 20 minutes per day, three times per week, in order to get an adequate level of vitamin D from the sun.

Note that it is the ultraviolet B radiation that is emitted by the sun that is needed by the skin to produce vitamin D. The rays of the sun are the most powerful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Moreover, vitamin D does not occur naturally in the foods that we eat. As a result, vitamin D is commonly added to many of the food products that people consume on a daily basis, such as milk and cheese.

Cod liver oil, vitamin D supplements, salmon, tuna, swordfish, sardines, liver, beef, Swiss cheese, yogurt, cereals and orange juice beverages are good sources of vitamin D.

Why Vitamin Supplements are Important for Your Overall Health

Both minerals and vitamins are considered essential nutrients. Vitamin supplements may be required in order to obtain the necessary daily intake if your diet is deemed insufficient by your doctor or nutritionist.

Vitamins and minerals are needed to help your body maintain optimal health. From bones and muscles to hormones, organs, and your blood supply, the entire body requires vital vitamins and minerals in order to repair damages, eliminate free radicals, and fuel growth and healthy development.

Fortunately, there are essential vitamin supplements that can be purchased with or without a prescription in order to help you obtain the vitamin and mineral concentrations that you need to live a healthy life.

Health Matters

Meeting your nutritional needs is important if you want to live a long and healthy life and reduce the risk of certain diseases and disorders that can make your life difficult. 

A healthy and balanced diet that is low in sugar, trans and saturated fats, empty calories and carbohydrates, and sodium, will help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, gout, thyroid issues, diabetes, and a myriad of other serious and debilitating health problems.

A healthy diet will also elevate your mood, help you sleep better, and allow you to focus on your work or studies more efficiently. You will have more energy throughout the day and will retain your youthful appearance for longer by eating a balanced diet and by exercising regularly.

Author Bio: Erin Gregory is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.


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