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Vitamin D (Calciferol) Benefits and Signs of Deficiency

Benefits and Functions of Vitamin D (Calciferol):

The benefits of Vitamin D are felt the most by those who are able to maintain consistent, optimum vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D plays a vital part in the body propertly absorbing calcium and phosphorus, as well as with their utilization in the body. It acts to help keep bones and teeth strong, and prevents calcium from depositing where it shouldn't be.

It helps to bolster the immune system which inhibits infections. It can also help disrupt the development of certain auto-immune diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Vitamin D helps to regulate cell differentiation (differentiated cells are required for specialized functions) and also acts to limit the rate at which cells multiply. Essentially, it helps to encourage normal growth of cells.

It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Vitamin D helps to control blood sugar levels. Adequate levels help to guard against type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

 

Signs of Vitamin D (Calciferol) Deficiency:

The human body has adapted for getting most of its vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Historically speaking, people used to spend much more time out in the sunlight, so vitamin D deficiency was probably quite rare. Because we spend so little time in sunlight, it isn't surprising that many people suffer from a chronic deficiency of vitamin D. People with darker skin, and people who live in cooler climates are affected the most.

Those at the highest risk of Vitamin D deficiency are:

Older people, people with darker complexions, people who live in areas where sunlight is limited, people who don't go outdoors, people who have a problem absorbing dietary fat (such as with Crohn's disease or liver disease), and obese or overweight people (as they don't build up stores of vitamin D in a normal way).

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with numerous degenerateive diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency while pregnant may affect the development of the fetus. Inadequate levels in infants and children could negatively affect both mental and physical development.

Being severely deficient for a period of months could affect your health in a number of ways, including feelings of depression, low resistance to infections, and suffering from increased pain and inflammation.

A deficiency which last for a period of years may chronically damage your health and increase the likelihood that you will obtain a serious degenerative disease.

Vitamin D (Calciferol) Toxicity, Overdose:

Vitamin D is toxic in excessive quantities, but for the vast majority of people, this could only be possible by taking very large doses of vitamin D via supplements.

It is unknown for sunlight to cause toxicity. The amount of vitamin D found in foods is quite small, but from fortified food, a bit morer, but still not enough to lead to toxic levels.

The main concern regarding toxicity is from someone getting too much through supplements.

Evidence suggests that toxicity for humans starts at approximately 40,000 IU a day, but stil only when taken daily for a period of at least 3 months.

Vitamin D toxicity displays as excessive calcium in the blood - also known as hypercalcemia. The primary signs are vomiting, nausea, headache, weakness, dehydration, and loss of appetite.

More Information:

Vitamin D (Calciferol) Overview

Vitamin D (Calciferol) Daily Requirement, Dietary Sources

 

 

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