Answer : Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It may also protect against a range of diseases and conditions, such as type 1 diabetes.
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a prohormone, or precursor of a hormone.
Vitamins are nutrients that the body cannot create, and so a person must consume them in the diet. However, the body can produce vitamin D.
Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body. It assists in:
- promoting healthy bones and teeth
- supporting immune, brain, and nervous system health
- regulating insulin levels and supporting diabetes management
- supporting lung function and cardiovascular health
- influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development
Read on to find out about these roles in more detail:
Vitamin D plays a significant roleTrusted Source in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones.
People need vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete.
Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, which leads to a severely bowlegged appearance due to the softening of the bones.
Similarly, in adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalaciaTrusted Source, or softening of the bones. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density and muscular weakness.
A vitamin D deficiency can also present as osteoporosis, for which over 53 million people in the United States either seek treatment or face an increased risk.
Vitamin D deficiency has links to high blood pressure in children. One 2018 study found a possible connection between low vitamin D levels and stiffness in the arterial walls of children.
Problems Associated with Vitamin D
An increased focus on protecting the skin from sun damage and a change from an outdoor lifestyle to an indoor lifestyle in recent generations has led to a serious problem with vitamin D deficiency in many developed parts of the world. Too little vitamin D means the bones will not be able to grow strong, leading to problems like rickets for children or osteoporosis for adults. Due to the weakening of bones, individuals with low vitamin D levels are more prone to falling. Low vitamin D levels can also cause a poorly functioning immune system, cardiovascular disease, depression, development of diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. It has also been linked to certain types of cancer.
Even though people rarely struggle with dangerously high levels of vitamin D. If your body has too much of the vitamin it can also cause calcium levels in the blood to increase, causing hypercalcaemia. This condition can trigger confusion, depression, headaches, constipation, nausea, and feelings of thirst.
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