Vitamins And Minerals: What Is Vitamin D?

Are you getting enough D vitamins and minerals in your diet? FInd out about Vitamin D and it's important role in the human body.

Vitamin D comes in several forms, and it is alternately known by the names alfacalcidol, calciferol, calcefediol, calcitriol, cholecalciferol, ergocalciferol and Vitamins D2 and D3. Vitamin D along with parathyroid hormone helps the human body to maintain and regulate a balance of calcium andphosphate. Vitamin D is also essential for the absorption of calcium in the intestinal tract and without it the human body would not develop strong bones and teeth.

The dietary sources for Vitamin D are easily obtained, in your diet and Vitamin D is also activated in the body by rays of ultraviolet light. Sunlight interacts with chemicals naturally present in the human skin in order to produce the Vitamins. The absolute best source of Vitamin D in the diet can be obtained through whole, fortified milk. However, oily fish also provide an excellent source. Vitamin D can be found in herring, salmon, tuna and even sardines. Liver as well as milk and dairy products are also rich in dietarily obtained Vitamin D.

Even though it is so important to proper functioning of the human organism, Vitamin D deficiency does occur when the human body is deprived of sunlight for longe periods of time, or adequate dietary sources are not provided. Dark skinned individuals and those who work night or graveyard shifts are at higher risk. Vitamin D deficiency can result in certain bone disorders and liver disease can at times cause deficiency due to problems with absorption. Over the long-term, Vitamin D deficiency results in low blood levels of calcium, this condition then weakens and softens the bones. In children this causes rickets or abnormal bone development and in adults it causes osteomalacia. Osteomalacia is a condition which caused muscle weakness, back pain, and can result in bone pain and fractures.

Recommended intakes of Vitamin D vary, and you should be able to get all your sources from your diet. However, if a condition occurs where you cannot intakes of Vitamin D over the recommended 400 IU may be necessary, up to levels of 10,000 IU daily Of course, before starting any form of supplementation you should consult your health care practitioner.

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