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The Sunshine Vitamin: Understanding the Significance of Vitamin D



Vitamin D is fat-soluble vitamin produced by the body as a response to sun exposure, which is why it is also known as the sunshine vitamin. It can also be introduced to the body through food or supplements consumption.

According to research, it is estimated that sensible exposure of the skin to the sun for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times per week will help the body produce sufficient vitamin D. However, vitamin D breaks down quickly which means that its storage can run low, especially during the winter season.

Body functions

Vitamin D is important for the body, and it helps the body in a number of ways that include;

-          Reduced risk of flu

-          Reduces the risk of Diabetes

-          Help keep infants healthy

-          Cancer prevention

Deficiency Symptoms

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include; fatigue, painful bones and back, depressed mood, hair loss, muscle pain, impaired wound healing, and frequent sickness. Also, if vitamin D deficiency occurs for long period, it can result in; obesity, diabetes, depress, or hypertension.

Causes of Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can occur due to lack of adequate sunlight, and this can happen through the use of strong sunscreen protection, lack of exposure to adequate sunlight due to high pollution or living in the northern latitudes,

Food sources

You can get vitamin D through the consumption of certain types of food. Example of this type of food include; oily fish, swordfish, mushrooms, herring, and egg yolks.

Medicinal sources

There are vitamin D supplements that can be consumed to help prevent vitamin D deficiency.

Daily recommended value

The recommended intake for vitamin D for

·         Infants is 400 IU

·         Children - 600 IU

·         adults to age 70 - 600 IU

·         Adults over 70 800 - IU

·         Pregnant or lactating women - 600 IU.

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