Health Benefits of Vitamin D – In this modern era, most activities are carried out indoors, so many people are rarely exposed to sunlight which is a source of vitamin D.. This is certainly unfortunate considering that vitamin D has great benefits for the body.
Various Health benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D is best known for its properties that are good for bone health. In addition, this vitamin also plays a role in preventing the body from chronic diseases. Let’s look at the various health benefits of vitamin D below!
1. Helps maintain healthy bones and muscles
Your body needs vitamin D for calcium absorption. Calcium mineral is the main nutrient that makes up bones so that it makes bones strong and reduces the risk of fractures.
Without sufficient vitamin D, a person cannot form sufficient calcitriol hormone to absorb calcium from food.
In this situation, the body will take calcium supplies from the bones and cause the bones to become weak and result in bone diseases such as: osteoporosis and rickets.
In order not to happen, meet the needs of vitamin D intake. Together with calcium, this vitamin will reduce your risk of fractures.
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2. Help maintain the health of the mother and fetus
Vitamin D deficiency is common in young women, including women who are pregnant and the elderly.
During pregnancy, a woman is at risk of calcium loss due to the needs of the fetus in the womb, and due to increased excretion of calcium through the urine. It continues to increase with increasing gestational age.
Pregnant women should have enough vitamin D at the time of delivery to ensure their baby has adequate levels of vitamin D for the first 4–6 months of life.
In addition, studies have shown a possible association between low vitamin D in pregnant women and an increased risk of pregnancy such as preeclampsia, premature birth, gestational diabetes, and bacterial vaginosis infection.
3. Help prevent autoimmune diseases
Lately, there have been many studies linking vitamin D and its role in various diseases, not just bones and muscles.
Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, which is more common in women is known to be associated with low levels of vitamin D.
In addition to multiple sclerosis, vitamin D also acts as an immunosuppressant in rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism).
Vitamin D is also useful for the immune system in the human body to function normally to fight various diseases.
4. Help prevent other chronic diseases
Reduces your risk of chronic disease is one of health benefits of vitamin D.
One of them, the fulfillment of adequate vitamin D intake can help keep you from the risk of cancer, because vitamin D has an anti-carcinogenic effect.
The relationship between adequate vitamin D status and lower cancer risk has been demonstrated by many studies.
In addition, many studies have reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of various heart diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, and diabetes, ischemic heart disease.
5. Help prevent mood disorders
As it turns out, vitamin D may also help prevent symptoms associated with mood disorders. Indeed, the link between vitamin D and depression is not causal. However, the two can influence each other.
The health benefits of vitamin D for mental health have been widely proven. For example, a study published in 2008 showed that depressed people who received vitamin D supplements experienced improvements in their symptoms.
In another study, it was shown that vitamin D deficiency is more common in people who have diabetes, anxiety disorder, and depression.
For this reason, patients who have mood disorders are often advised to do activities outside the home so that they can get vitamin D intake from sunlight.
How much vitamin D intake is needed each day?
Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D? Each person’s daily requirement of vitamin D varies, depending on gender and age. Below is a list of vitamin D adequacy that is written in the Regulation of the Indonesian Minister of Health in 2019.
- Infants 1 month – 11 months: 10 micrograms per day.
- Children 1–9 years: 15 micrograms per day.
- Men 10–64 years: 15 micrograms per day.
- Men 65 years and over: 20 micrograms per day.
- Women 10–64 years: 15 micrograms per day.
- Women 65 years and over: 20 micrograms per day.
Where can you get vitamin D from?
Vitamin D comes from three main sources, namely sunlight, food, and supplements.
As many as 80% of vitamin D sources are obtained from sun exposure. In the skin, sunlight will produce vitamin D which will then go through metabolism in the body to get the active form of vitamin D.
Given the large role sunlight plays in the synthesis (reaction of the formation of new substances) of vitamin D, of course, outdoor activities to get enough sun exposure are very important.
In addition to sunlight, 20% of vitamin D you get through food. Food sources rich in vitamin D are salmon, tuna fish, sardines, eggs, milk and yogurt.
If you can’t get enough vitamin D from food and don’t get much sunlight, vitamin D supplements can help. However, you can consult with your doctor first before using supplements on a regular basis.