Vitamin D Facts

Vitamin D Facts
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a very important vitamin. It helps us absorb calcium and phosphorus, so we can have strong bones. Vitamin D was discovered due to some people having too little of it in their diets, causing a disease called rickets. In our body, sunlight can help produce vitamin D, beginning with our skin, being changed by our liver, and finally becoming the vitamin we can use when our kidney processes it. The vitamin D pills you can get at the store usually need a working liver and kidney to make them useable by the body. Read on for more fun facts about this very important vitamin!
Interesting Vitamin D Facts:
Vitamin D, although extremely important for the health of your bones, also affects other things. It can be important for the immune system, your heart, and may be helpful in fighting certain cancers. It also plays a role in helping muscles move, and helping nerves carry messages throughout the body.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, this means that it sticks around in our bodies for a while. So getting enough vitamin D is important, but taking too much can make people sick.
Some foods naturally have vitamin D. These include fatty fish (tuna, salmon), beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
There are lots of foods that are fortified with vitamin D (means they have vitamin D added). These include milk, breakfast cereals, some orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and some soy drinks.
Low vitamin D levels can be bad for you. Some things low levels of this vitamin can cause include high blood pressure and diabetes. If they are really low, you can get a condition called rickets.
Rickets (the big medical name for this is osteomalacia when it occurs in adults) is a softening of the bones in kids, and leads to bowing out of the legs. It can also cause tender bones, some weakness, easily broken bones, muscle spasms, and if it happens in babies can cause a soft skull.
One of the ways that food is fortified with vitamin D is to shine ultraviolet light on it, which changes some of the chemicals into vitamin D.
Low vitamin D levels are becoming a problem in the United States, and is thought to be due to kids spending more time indoors playing games or watching TV, instead of being outside in the sunshine.
A popular remedy many years ago for rickets was cod liver oil, which is a very good source of both vitamin D and vitamin A.
Being indoors and having the sun shine through windows does not help your body make vitamin D. The glass doesn't allow the type of light, called ultraviolet B light, to go through.
Sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 8 or more will block the ultraviolet B light needed for the skin to make vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements come in two different forms - vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.

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