Vitamin D – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Vitamin D

Other names :: Ergosterol, viosterol, calciferol, sunshine vitamin, cholecalciferol

Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, is significant in normal body growth and development. Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin that has properties of both a vitamin and a hormone, is required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is a relatively recent discovery. In 1920, a scientist named Sir Edward Mellanby found that dogs raised exclusively indoors on a limited diet developed the bone disease called rickets.

Actions and benefits of vitamin D

  • Absorption of calcium.
  • Regulates and boosts resistance to infections.
  • Prevents rickets.
  • Benefits for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Essential for the formation of teeth and bones.
  • Aging symptoms may be treated.

Recommended dosage of vitamin D

  • Adults – 400 IU (10 mcg ) or 600 IU (maximum – should be consult with a health care provider)
  • Pregnant women – 600 IU (15 mcg )

Signs of Overdose:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Nausea.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Weight loss.
  • Seizures.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Appetite loss.

Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin D

  • Bone pain
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Pyorrhoea.
  • Arthritis.
  • Burning sensation in mouth and throat.
  • Visual problems.

When more may be required

When you are very seldom exposed to sunlight, or if you always wear sunscreens with a SPF factor higher than 8, you might need extra vitamin D. This is also the case if you are on a strict vegan diet and older people are also advised to check their level of vitamin D. People with compromised kidneys or liver are at risk of too little of this vitamin, since the kidneys and liver are required to activate this vitamin in processes taking place in those organs.

Best food sources of vitamin D

Sprouted seeds, alfalfa, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, sunshine, wheat germ. Smaller amounts are also present in dark leafy vegetables.

How to use vitamin D

Available as:

Liquid: the best form due to its high bio availability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets: available


Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.

Useful References

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