Vitamins have been thrown around so commonly in advertisements that it becomes difficult to accurately distinguish this nutrient, its subcategories and the benefits each possess. Vitamin D in particular is one of the most flexible among the lot and flies under the radar more than one might think. Vitamin D has several forms that offer different ranges of benefits. Here is a deeper look at the health benefits and sources of different forms of Vitamin D. What Is Vitamin D? Otherwise known as Calciferol, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is normally commonly consumed in certain foods or when UV rays from the sun makes contact with the skin and begins a sort of synthesis of the nutrient. In order to process this vitamin, hydroxylations are necessary for absorption and conversion. The liver is responsible for converting it into hydroxyvtamin D, known as Calcidiol. The kidney also undergoes through this process and produces dihydroxyvtamin D, also called Calcitriol. Essentially, the gut is the primary source of absorption that allows the nutrient to do a number of things for the body. Read Vitamin D: Benefits, food sources, recommended amounts, and risks Different Forms of Vitamin D Adolf Windaus, a renowned German researcher, discovered 3 different forms of vitamin D, which he referred as Vitamin D1, Vitamin D2, and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D1 is an assortment of compounds instead of a pure vitamin D product. The other two forms (D2 and D3) are significant for humans. Vitamin D2 is manmade. This synthetic form of Vitamin D is called ergocalciferol. Vitamin D2 is widely available in fortified foods and plant sources. Vitamin D3 can be consumed through vitamin D supplements like oral tablets, capsules. On the other hand, Vitamin D3 is known as cholecalciferol. It is mainly the internal form of Vitamin D that human produces. Vitamin D3 is found in the vitamin D supplements of diverse strengths. Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources such as egg yolks, fish oil, fish, liver, etc. Read Vitamin D can help reduce Covid-19 risk by 54 pc: Boston University doctor Health Benefits of Vitamin D2 and D3 Good For The Bones Working in tandem with calcium, one of Vitamin D’s most prevalent benefits is its role in regulating calcium and phosphorus within the blood. The two are recipes for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Naturally, calcium and Vitamin D are synonymous with each other and a deficiency in the latter can lead to the softening of bones, especially among children. Even with a surplus of calcium, the gut’s ability to process it highly depends on Vitamin D’s involvement. It Can Fight The Flu In 2010 and 2018, various studies have shown that Vitamin D has the ability to fight off the flu. As a relatively common illness, this perk alone should be an attractive reason to up the intake of this nutrient. Specifically, the lack of Vitamin D was shown in a 2017 study; demonstrating that the deficit of this nutrient can lead to respiratory infections. By no means can a Vitamin D surplus safeguard the body when one already has the flu, but regularly taking Vitamin D can help reduce the risk significantly. Read Vitamin C: Where to Found and How Much to Consume Reduces Risk Of Allergies For Children As their bodies develop, children tend to be more susceptible to allergies, however Vitamin D can reduce these risks considerably. Studies have shown that the deficiency of the nutrient has contributed to tolerance over potential allergic reactions. Foods rich in Vitamin D are ideal staples for babies between four to six months of age as the early years will determine how the body develops immunity. Also, Vitamin D is shown to have anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids which is a booster to asthma immunisation. It Can Help Strengthen Muscles Vitamin D doesn’t exactly function as a source of muscle growth like protein does, but it does preserve the health of muscles overall. It means preserving the integrity of muscle fibres and general movement for those who face muscle deterioration such as the elderly. For that demographic, having a good amount of Vitamin D is critical in order to avoid potential fall risks at a senior age. These falls can consequently lead to disabilities due to poor muscle maintenance which is where this nutrient arguably sees its greatest function. Read Higher Vitamin D in 1st year of life can help against obesity in adolescence: study Best Sources of Vitamin D2 and D3 Sunlight Sometimes known as the “Sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D (Specifically, Vitamin D3) has possibly one of the easiest ways to get into the body, that being standing under the sun. Interestingly enough, when the nutrient comes from the sun, it stay in the body for twice as long. It is difficult to find the right amount of exposure to the sun, but can be roughly gauged as long as the skin does not suffer from sunburns or drastic tans. Despite how enticing this sounds, this source should not be a replacement for food sources and serve as a complementary role. Seafood If you’re a fan of seafood, getting your fix of Vitamin D3 will be a treat. Seafood like tuna, oysters, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are all rich sources of the nutrient and arguably provide one of the highest count per serving. A can of salmon can provide up to 386 IU of Vitamin D which is already part of the regular daily intake. These seafood options are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, therefore moderation will be key to pile up without taking the drawbacks of excess. Read 4 Vitamin D-Rich Drinks You Must Add To Your Diet To Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency Mushrooms Mushrooms are another treasure trove of Vitamin D2, should you wish to stay far away from seafood. Mushrooms can also create their own Vitamin D when exposed to the UV from sunlight, however their Vitamin D is ergocalciferol. Not as effective as the ones humans produce, but still high in quantity and certainly a valuable source when in need of a fix. Different mushrooms will have varied amounts of Vitamin D per serving, but it is still worth committing to. Egg Yolk Classically, egg whites have been the favorite among many fitness buffs for its rich protein count, while egg yolk has been notorious for spiking cholesterol levels. While the concern has validity when egg yolk is consumed in excess, under the healthy amount of intake, it is an excellent source of Vitamin D3. Depending on how the environment that the chickens are raised in, the vitamin count differs between each egg - varying between two to five percent of the recommended daily dose. It may not offer the highest vitamin count, but it is a flexible ingredient that is worth more attention. Read Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of getting Covid-19: Study
We all know that calcium strengthens our bones. However, we may not know that vitamin D helps our body to absorb calcium properly. Apart from boosting calcium absorption, vitamin D also prevents our body from being affected by different diseases, and it improves our immune system too. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to keep our immune system balanced. Read on to know the vitamin D benefits, sources, and risks. Recommended Vitamin D Per Day Typically, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally available in few foods. An adult person needs to intake 10-20 micrograms or 400-800 IU (International Unit) of vitamin D per day while it is 10 micrograms or 400 IU for the children. Benefits of Vitamin D Usually, we don’t care much about vitamin D intake, but it has some surprising benefits. Reduce the risk of affected by flu A 2018 review suggests that some studies have found that vitamin D can work against the influenza virus. Therefore, it may fight the seasonal flu. Some study shows that vitamin D can prevent COVID-19 and defend any kind of serious symptoms. People with low vitamin D levels may have the chance to get infected in the upper respiratory tract. Hence, vitamin D can work against COVID-19 in two ways. Firstly, it works as a catalyst to increase the natural defense of our body, which actively prevents viruses and bacteria. Secondly, it can stop exaggerated inflammatory responses, which can cause severe illness top some COVID-19 patients. Read Zinc: Health Benefits, Food Sources and Daily Requirements Fight against depression Research has found that Vitamin D can play an important role in fighting depression. In one study, it has been proved that people with depression saw a significant improvement after vitamin D consumption. However, the study used vitamin D supplements instead of natural sources. But, the result should be the same either way. Boost weight loss Adding vitamin D to your diet would boost your weight loss progress. According to a study, people who take calcium and vitamin D supplements are able to reduce more weight and without supplements. The extra vitamin D consumption can suppress appetite intake. While it works on reducing weight, vitamin D can also work on heat diseases. Read Honey Benefits: What Happens to Your Body When You Consume Honey Strengths the bones Vitamin D is known for its bone-building powers. As we have mentioned earlier, it boosts calcium’s work and eventually powers up the normal mineralization of the bones. According to the medical experts, calcium actually cannot work properly without the D’s help. Hence, the importance of Vitamin D is undeniable. Strengthen muscles Besides the bone-building abilities, Vitamin D also helps strengthen the muscles. In other words, lack of vitamin D may lead to the risk of having weak muscles. This is mainly important for the elderly person. Hence, anyone aged 70+ is recommended to take more than 20 micrograms of vitamin D each day. Read Vitamin C: Where to Found and How Much to Consume Local Food Sources of Vitamin D It is evident that, like other vitamins and minerals, Vitamin D is highly essential for our body. Hence, you need to consume enriched vitamin D enriched foods. Egg Yolks Egg yolks are the easily accessible source of vitamin D. Besides; it also contains other nutritional ingredients. Each egg yolk may contain 18-39 IU of vitamin D. However, this might not be high in amount but, multiple consumptions may fill your daily needs. You can include some eggs in your daily diet chart to make your body grow and fetch the benefits of vitamin D. Read Honey Benefits: What Happens to Your Body When You Consume Honey Milk After egg, milk is another commonly known source of vitamin D. Apart from vitamin D; it contains phosphorus, calcium, and other vitamins as well. However, many of us do not know that milk can help us to get the desired amount of vitamin D each day. That is why packaged dairy milk producers add vitamin D words in their commercials and packages. Milk can provide around 130 IU of vitamin D for sure, which can easily serve the desired amount of vitamin D needed for our body. Mushrooms If you are a vegetarian, Mushrooms will be your only plant-based source for vitamin D. It is enriched with vitamin d2, which is highly essential for our body. The locally grown mushroom can give you 130-450 IU of vitamin D. The good thing about adding mushrooms to your daily diet is that they can provide you up to 2300 IU of vitamin D. So, mushrooms are the savior for vegetarians. Read Post Meal Bad Habits: Things You Must Avoid Right After Eating Meal Shrimp If you are not comfortable eating eggs or mushrooms, shrimp can be a good source for you. A regular size contains 152 IU of vitamin D, which can easily meet up with your vitamin D intake. Besides, they have minimal fat, and thus it reduces any inevitable side effects. So, seafood lovers can easily add shrimp to their diet list. Beef Liver Although excessive consumption of beef may cause multiple health issues, it is a great source of vitamin D. You may take beef liver once a month or week to meet your vitamin D requirement. Generally, beef liver contains 149 IU of vitamin D, which is good enough to meet the required vitamin D for your body. However, if you have health issues that are related to beef liver, you may take other foods we have mentioned above. Read Most creative ways to eat more fruits for the non-fruit eaters Orange Juice If you don’t want to eat any of the items we have mentioned above, you can try drinking orange juice. You can get 142 IU of vitamin D from one glass of orange juice. So grabbing a glass of orange juice in your breakfast will definitely serve the desired amount of vitamin D. You may find orange juice fortified with vitamin D in the super shops. Possible Side Effects of Vitamin D You may love the foods we have mentioned earlier and consume excessively. Therefore, you may face some side effects due to additional consumption. You may face bone pain, kidney stones. Frequent urination, muscle weakness, weight loss, vomiting, frequent thrust, and disorientation. So, we should refrain from eating excessive amounts of vitamin D. Read Fungus: Health Benefits, Nutritional Values, and Precautions It is widely known that sunlight is a source of vitamin D, and it is totally natural. Whenever your skin is exposed to sunlight, it creates vitamin D from the cholesterol. The ultraviolet B rays from the sun hit the cholesterol available in our skin cells which provides the desired energy for vitamin D synthesis. Hence, exposing your skin to the sun is necessary if you are unable to have vitamin D from food intake.
Stop waiting for a miracle drug: A Boston University doctor says a sufficient amount of vitamin D can cut the risk of catching coronavirus by 54%.
In a retrospective study of patients tested for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Chicago (UChicago) Medicine found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the coronavirus.