Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin

Introduction

Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is essential for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. It is unique among vitamins because the body can produce it when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Despite this, many people do not get enough Vitamin D, making supplementation and dietary intake important.

Benefits

Vitamin D offers several health benefits, including:

Promoting calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth.

Supporting immune system function.

Reducing inflammation.

Potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease.

Improving mood and potentially reducing the risk of depression.

Recommended Daily Allowance

10 micrograms (400 IU)

Food Sources

Vitamin D can be found in certain foods, including:

Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

Mushrooms

Tofu

Fortified dairy products and plant milks

Fortified cereals

Egg yolks

Cod liver oil

Symptoms of Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common and can lead to several health issues, including:

Bone pain and muscle weakness

Increased risk of fractures

Rickets in children

Osteomalacia in adults

Symptoms of Excess

Excessive Vitamin D intake, usually from supplements, can lead to toxicity. Symptoms of excess Vitamin D include:

Nausea and vomiting

Weakness

Frequent urination

Kidney stones

Elevated blood calcium levels