Vitamin D Deficiency Causes, Symptoms, Health Risk

People eat vitamin D foods all the time without realizing it, but if you are deficient then it is very important to tailor your diet to include certain groups.

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What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a pro-hormone which can be naturally synthesized by the body. Sunlight is the primary source of Vitamin D for most people; most expert agree that a total of 30 -60 minutes of sunshine per week should be sufficient to keep your vitamin D levels high, but in certain parts of the world, and in some seasons, it can be difficult to get the requisite sunshine.
Vitamin D has many benefits that include
Improving bone strength
Boost the immune system
• Regulation of diabetic symptoms
• healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery
Clearly, the presence of this vitamin is essential for your health, so knowing which foods can boost your intake is critical.

Foods High in Vitamin D

The best vitamin D foods include herring, salmon, oysters, cod liver oil, shrimp, raw milk and canned tuna among others. Depending on your age, you should be consuming between 5 and 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.

1. Vitamin D fights disease

In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:
• reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis
• decreasing your chance of developing heart disease
• helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu

2. 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.
In another study of people with fibromyalgia and researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety depression.

3. Vitamin D boosts weight loss

Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease.
People who are taking daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.
In another study, overweight people who took a daily vitamin D supplement improved their heart disease risk markers.


Beware of Vitamin D Deficiency

Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
• Being in an area with high pollution
• Using sunscreen
• Spending more time indoors
• Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
• Having darker skin. (The higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb.)

These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.

The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
• Tiredness, ache and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
• severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or get up from the floor or a low chair
• 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.

If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. If you have a severe deficiency, they may instead recommend high-dose vitamin D tablets or liquids. You should also make sure to get vitamin D from sunlight and the foods you eat.

Clearly, the presence of this vitamin is essential for your health, so knowing which foods can boost your intake is critical.

Foods High in Vitamin D

Depending on your age, you should be consuming between 5 and 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added.

Foods that contain vitamin D include:
• sardines
• egg yolk
• shrimp
• milk (fortified)
• cereal (fortified)
• yoghurt (fortified)
• orange juice (fortified)

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day from sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

How much do you need?

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per deciliter. Depending on your blood level, you may need more vitamin D.

The new recommendations based on international units (IUs) per day. IUs are a standard type of measurement for drugs and vitamins. IUs help experts determine the recommended dose, toxicity, and deficiency levels for each person.
One IU is not the same for each type of vitamin. An IU is determined by how much of a substance produces an effect in your body. The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:
• children and teens: 600 IU
• adults up to age 70: 600 IU
• adults over age 70: 800 IU
• pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU


Vitamin D is good for our skin, hair growth, bones, heart and our healthy liver. Vitamin D is also good in depression.
We should always keep an eye on Vitamin D. The only real way to know for sure is to have a blood test. Eat Vitamin D rich food and take supplements if required.

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