Friday, March 19th, 2010

Vitamin D–Sunshine Vitamin

sunshineSince our body can directly absorb vitamin D, fat-soluble vitamin from sunshine, hence the name.

The Need

  • Vitamin D is critical for bone health. In children it promotes bone development and growth. In adults, it is necessary for bone maintenance. In the elderly, vitamin D helps prevent bone loss and fractures.
  • Most importantly vitamin D works with parathyroid hormone to regulate blood calcium and phosphorus levels in a normal range.
  • With parathyroid hormone, vitamin D stimulates the body to move calcium back and forth between the blood and the reservoir of calcium in bone.
  •  Vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine.
  •  It protects against muscle weakness and is involved in regulation of the heartbeat.
  • It is also important in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancer, enhances immunity and is necessary for thyroid function and normal blood clotting.

Shortfall

Deficiency of sunshine vitamin D is difficult to happen. Yet, in a warm tropical country like ours the deficiency is happening. For fifteen minutes expose your skin to rays of the sun and plug in vitamin D naturally.

 

Symptoms of deficiency

 Loss of appetite
 Burning sensation in the mouth and throat
 Diarrohea
 Insomnia
 Visual Problems
 Weight loss
 Severe deficiency of vitamin D can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia, a similar kind of disorder in adults.

Sources

Exposing the face and arms to the sun for fifteen minutes three times a week is the cheapest way to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body.

Dietary sources include fish liver oils, fatty saltwater fish, dairy products and eggs.

Other sources include butter, cold liver oil, greens, egg yolks, liver, milk, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, tuna and vegetable oils.

Herbs that contain vitamin D include alfalfa, horsetail and parsley.

What blocks absorption of Vitamin D

 Intestinal disorders and liver and gallbladder malfunctions interfere with the absorption of vitamin D
 Some cholesterol lowering drugs, antacids, mineral oil, and steroid hormones, such as cortisone also interfere with absorption.

Vitamin D Toxicity

The natural form of D does not cause toxicity, but supplemental mega doses do. Hallmarks of toxicity are high concentration of calcium in the blood, severe depression, nausea vomiting and loss of appetite. Ironically high doses of D can damage bone mass.

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Category: Vitamins
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