Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Vitamin D has several important functions. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).
Read on to learn more about the additional benefits of vitamin D.
Vitamin D fights disease
- reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis,
- decreasing your chance of developing heart disease,
- helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu,
Vitamin D reduces depression
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
Beware of “D-ficiency”
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
- tiredness, achesand pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
- severe boneor muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause you to walk with a waddling gait
- stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips
Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.