Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has strong effects on the human body. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D acts like a hormone, and every single cell in our body has a receptor for it. It is also found in certain foods like fatty fish and fortified dairy products, although it is very difficult to get enough of it just from the diet.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is usually around 400-800 IU, but many experts say you should take more. Especially because vitamin D deficiency is very common and it is estimated that about one billion people worldwide have low levels of vitamins in their blood.
According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and these are the seven groups that are more likely to suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin:
- people who have dark hair
- elderly people who are overweight
- people who don’t eat a lot of fish or dairy products
- people who live in places with little sun
- people who always use sunscreen
- people who often and a lot stay indoors
Most people do not realize they have vitamin D deficiency because the symptoms are generally subtle and not easily recognized even though they have a significant and negative impact on quality of life, and these are the six most common symptoms.
Frequent infections and diseases
One of the most important roles of vitamin D is to strengthen the immune system so that it can fight viruses and bacteria that cause disease. It communicates directly with the cells responsible for fighting the infection, and if you get sick often, especially when it comes to colds or flu, low levels of vitamin D can be a contributing factor. But numerous studies have found that taking vitamin D supplements at a dose of up to 4,000 IU a day can reduce the risk of a respiratory infection.
Feeling tired can have many causes, and vitamin D deficiency can be one of them. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked as a potential cause. Case studies have shown that very low levels of vitamin D in the blood can cause fatigue which has a serious negative impact on quality of life. In one case, for a woman who complained of chronic daily fatigue and headache, the level of vitamin D in her blood was only 5.9 ng / ml. This is extremely small, as anything below 20 ng / ml is considered insufficient. When the woman took the vitamin D supplement, her level increased to 39 ng / ml and the symptoms disappeared.
Back and Bone Pain
Vitamin D helps maintain bone health in a number of ways. For starters, it improves the absorption of calcium in your body, and bone pain and lower back pain can be signs of insufficient levels of vitamin D in the blood. One study examined the association between vitamin D levels and back pain in more than 9,000 older women. The researchers found that those with vitamin D deficiency were likely to have back pain, including severe back pain that limited their daily activities.
Depressed mood can also be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. In review studies, researchers have linked vitamin D deficiency to depression, especially in older adults, and some controlled studies have shown that giving vitamin D to people with vitamin D deficiency helps fight depression. including seasonal depression that occurs during the colder months.
Impaired wound healing
Slow wound healing after surgery or injury may be a sign that these vitamin D levels are too low. The test results show that vitamin D increases the production of compounds that are crucial for the formation of new skin as part of the wound healing process.
Hair loss is often attributed to stress, which is certainly a common cause. However, when hair loss is severe, it can be the result of disease or a lack of nutrients, and in some women it is associated with low levels of vitamin D.
It is difficult to determine the specific cause of muscle pain, but it can be associated with vitamin D deficiency. Namely, vitamin D receptors are present in nociceptors. Nociceptors are sensory neurons that send signals about potential problems in the body. If our brain interprets this signal as an objective problem / threat, a feeling of pain is created. Prolonged muscle pain may indicate increased sensitivity to pain, that is, a lack of vitamin D in the body.
Vitamin D plays a very important role in maintaining the health of our bones. Many elderly patients, who have been diagnosed with bone loss, feel they need to take more calcium. However, the fact that it may be a lack of vitamin D, which is responsible for the absorption of calcium, is often overlooked. So we can ingest calcium, but without vitamin D, our body cannot adequately utilize that calcium. Decreased cation levels consequently lead to an increased risk of bone fractures.