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What is the Importance of Vitamin D for Nutrition?

Patti Kate
Patti Kate

The importance of vitamin D for nutrition has been studied by nutritionists and scientists for a very long time. Over the years, studies have concluded that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to softening of the bones, due to the body's inability to properly disperse calcium without enough vitamin D. Calcium is necessary for strong and healthy bones and teeth, and vitamin D works in conjunction with this mineral for more effective absorption.

Those who want to ensure they receive sufficient vitamin D may prefer to take calcium supplements. This may not be necessary for healthy individuals who consume adequate milk and other dairy products in their daily diets. Children and pregnant women, however, may be advised by a physician to add a supplement containing vitamin D and calcium. Some elderly individuals may also need to increase their vitamin D or calcium intake.

Vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D supplements.

Elderly individuals are prone to developing brittle bones that can fracture easily. Vitamin D for nutrition for these people means ensuring calcium is properly absorbed by the body. This also holds true for women who are nursing, as they too have special nutritional requirements.

Finding the right does of vitamin D can be tricky. If an individual consumes excessive amounts of this vitamin, excess calcium can build up in the bloodstream. This could lead to bone calcification, causing various complications and pain. Kidney stones may be another side effect and complication of over-dosage of vitamin D.

Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D.
Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D.

The importance of vitamin D for nutrition is also related to its essential function of depositing phosphorus directly into the blood. Phosphorus aids in proper development of bones and teeth. Essentially, vitamin D helps calcium and phosphorus work more efficiently to help keep bodies strong and healthy.

Recommended dietary allowances of specific vitamins are generally decided by a nutrition board. Proper dosages depend on age and other circumstances. For example, a patient with a broken bone may be advised by her physician to increase vitamin D and/or calcium in her diet to promote healing.

Another factor that contributes to the importance of vitamin D for nutrition is rickets prevention. Rickets typically develops in children whose bodies are unable to metabolize calcium or phosphorus. Rickets is considered uncommon in developed countries. Controlled exposure to sunlight may help prevent bone softening in some individuals afflicted by this condition. Increasing levels of vitamin D can help reverse minor symptoms, although bone deformities may require other means of treatment.

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    • Vitamin D supplements.
      By: Mara Zemgaliete
      Vitamin D supplements.
    • Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D.
      By: dalajlama
      Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D.