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Important Vitamin D Facts

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 6/28/2011

How important is Vitamin D for our bodies? Learn about this vital nutrient including symptoms of deficiency and what foods are rich in Vitamin D.

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    What Does Vitamin D Do For The Body?

    Probably the most common understanding of the Vitamin D role in the body is the fact that it helps with calcium absorption. This is mandatory for bone growth and repair. Without the proper calcium being absorbed bone can become brittle or weak. It also help to prevent osteoporosis in aging individuals.

    Although this is generally what people think about when it comes to vitamin D facts, this is certainly not all this nutrient does for the body. Vitamin D optimizes the neuromuscular and immune systems and can even reduce inflammation. Some evidence also suggests that adequate Vitamin D intake can prevent or treat: diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. Too much Vitamin D can also be toxic and promote kidney stones.

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    Vitamin D Facts: Deficiencies

    Vitamin D facts should also include problems with deficiencies. If a person is not getting enough Vitamin D in their daily diet serious complications and conditions can pose significant health risks. They can occur in children and adults. Here are the things people with deficiencies can expect:

    Children:

    • Rickets- this is caused when bone tissues can’s mineralize properly. This can cause deformities or soft bones.

    • Osteomalacia- is when the muscles become too weak. Sufferers tend to experience pain in the bones as well as the muscles.

    Adults:

    • Osteomalacia

    • Osteoporosis

    • Cancer

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    Foods Rich in Vitamin D

    One Vitamin D fact is that there are surprisingly very few foods that have a generous amount of it present. The list below is designed to display the richest foods in Vitamin D. Starting with the highest levels first, down to the foods containing the least amounts according to the National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. These results might surprise you:

    • Cod Liver Oil

    • Salmon

    • Mackerel

    • Tuna

    • Sardines

    • Milk

    • Fortified Cereals

    • Egg

    • Beef Liver

    • Swiss Cheese

    Remember another important Vitamin D fact; you can get a good source of Vitamin D through the rays of the sun. It is essential to take precautions as too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer. Be sure to use sun block to combat harsh exposure but make sure to get some sun often for adequate absorption. Supplements can be taken for those sensitive to the sun.

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