Health risks due to lack of vitamin D in the body is a major concern worldwide. Most people believe that exposure to a substantial amount of sunlight is just enough. Well, it’s true that adequate levels of the vital vitamin are produced on regular exposure to sunlight. But in India which is a continent with most of its parts still languishing in poverty other factors like diet, pollution effects and genetics are major contributors to the low level of Vitamin D. Statistics show that over a billion people in the world have low level of Vitamin D.
The risks involved with low levels of Vitamin D are numerous. Statistics show that chronic diseases like cancer can be prevented by maintaining the right level of vitamin D in the body. Persons with cancer taking foods with increased vitamin D showed 75% reduced growth in the cancer cells. Intestinal infections like inflammatory bowel can be regulated with intake of Vitamin D. Low level of the vitamin have major effects on the genetic expression of the disease. The symptoms become worse and unbearable to the patient.
Understanding what vitamin D does in the body is the first step to living a healthy life. Here are 6 health risks of low vitamin D levels in the body.
1. Vitamin D is required in the blood to regulate secretion of insulin. Insulin is secreted to balance sugar levels in the body. Low levels or high levels of insulin can cause the different types of diabetes. Apparently most people who are diabetic also lack vitamin D.
2. One type of Vitamin D known as 25-hydroxyvitamin regulates blood pressure. The risk of high blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg and above (against the normal 120/80 mmHg) is higher in people who having low levels of Vitamin D. In the presence of factors like genetics and poor eating habits, obesity and high cholesterol levels in the body cannot be overlooked as causes of chronic diseases e.g. hypertension.
3. Vitamin D activates the white blood cells which fight infections your body. Common infections like flu and other recurrent respiratory infections are caused by low levels of Vitamin D. Instead of blaming the weather, taking foods rich in vitamin D might be the solution to the infections. Oranges, carrots, pumpkins and papayas are just a few examples of foods that can make up for low level vitamin D. Generally immune boosting foods should be taken in to boost the ability of the immune system.
4. Strong bones are developed by the absorption of calcium which requires vitamin D to be absorbed. Naturally, people with low levels of vitamin D also show deficiency in calcium. Stronger healthier bones cannot be built without the vitamin. You are more likely to have weaker bones due to low levels of Vitamin D. Chronic muscle and joint pain alongside fatigue also known as fibromyalgia can be controlled by intake of vitamin D. It is economical in the treatment since only food supplements have to be used.
5. Fertility hormones production. Vitamin D boosts the production of testosterone in male and progesterone in female. The reproductive system is not healthy at all without those hormones.
6. Anti aging agent. Vitamin D insufficiency in the body causes premature ageing effects. The body mass reduces gradually with low level Vitamin D. You can pep your health up by taking in food supplements with Vitamin D.
With the above knowledge, you should monitor your Vitamin D level regularly especially in seasons with minimal sunlight. Following the right health practices goes a long way in keeping you healthy.