Vitamin D was originally identified in the 1930s.
This essential nutrient is critical for the correct functioning of the human body.
Researchers discovered in the early twentieth century that the disease which affects the development of bones in children may be prevented by using a chemical compound called "fat-soluble factor D," which is otherwise known as "calciferol."
The reason for this is that calciferol improves calcium deposits in the bones.
There are two major forms of this vitamin, which are critical for the human body: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.
Vitamin D2 is produced by plants and otherwise known as ergocalciferol.
Vitamin D3 is produced by the human body and otherwise known as cholecalciferol.
Although the correct amount of sun exposure along with an organic and natural diet is typically enough to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, there are some people that may require more than this.
For instance, breast-fed infants may require a daily supplement of fortified formula during the first few months of their lives.
For older adults that are housebound and not receiving sunlight, it is essential that they consume plenty of vitamin D rich foods to ensure that they are receiving the correct vitamin D dosage.
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining the correct levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
Vitamin D, along with several other vitamins, minerals, and hormones, is required to form and maintain strong, healthy bones.
A vitamin D deficiency may cause an increased risk of hip and bone fractures.
Concrete evidence has been shown which states that vitamin D may have the potential to protect the body against particular types of cancer, such as colon cancer.
Vitamin D health benefits are constantly being researched.
Clinical trials are being researched at present as to vitamin D promoting a healthier immune system, and preventing cancer.
However, more research is required to determine whether the increase of vitamin D does in fact protect the cells from cancer, or whether it is vitamin D deficiency that increases an individual's risk of cancer.
There are several reasons as to why insufficient vitamin D levels occur. There is also a variation in the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
A deficiency may be due to a diet, which is very low in this essential nutrient. It could be a result of the inadequate quantity of sunlight exposure in the body.
Another reason may be that the body in unable to absorb this vitamin, which would explain certain medical conditions, diseases and disorders.
Vitamin D deficiency side effects include rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
Rickets causes the bones to become soft, which results in them being prone to fractures. This can also lead to deformities of the long bones. Even though rickets can occur in adults, in most cases, it is found in children suffering from severe malnutrition.
Osteoporosis is a result of a reduction in bone mineral density. Therefore, the bones weaken and tend to fracture with ease.
This condition is extremely common in women after they reach menopause. However, it is also possible for men to suffer from osteoporosis due to old age.
As well as osteoporosis, osteomalacia can also be caused in adults with low levels of vitamin D. This results in the weakening of the muscles and softening of the bones.
Other vitamin D deficiency side effects include insomnia, pain in the bones and muscles, weakening of the immune system, and weight loss.
It is imperative that the correct intake of vitamin D is maintained, as inappropriate levels will result in vitamin D side effects.
Consuming a balanced diet of natural and organic foods will ensure that the body is absorbing the correct quantities of all necessary nutrients.
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