Vitamin D Builds Strong Bones And Muscles
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin needed to support strong bones and muscles. A lack of vitamin D can affect muscle movement and nerve communication. While individuals can get the vitamin from certain food sources and sunlight, vitamin D deficiencies are common. A deficiency can not only affect bone health but other systems throughout the body.
Calcium and phosphorus absorption
Vitamin D is a crucial component of absorbing calcium and phosphorus. For example, children that don’t receive enough of the vitamin can end up developing rickets, bone weakness, or other skeletal irregularities. Calcium can help stave off osteoporosis, a disease characterized by porous and fragile bones. Bones use up more than 99% of the body’s calcium. Calcium’s bone-strengthening properties are only useful if the body has enough vitamin D to ensure maximum absorption. Proper calcium intake from dairy products is a waste if the body is deficient in vitamin D.
Sources of the nutrient
One of vitamin D’s main functions is to absorb calcium, but the vitamin also affects the heart, lungs, brain, and muscles. Most people get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. The body makes naturally-occurring vitamin D from cholesterol when exposed to sunlight. Fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, as well as fortified cereals and milk, are excellent sources of vitamin D but don’t contain nearly enough of the recommended daily allowance.
Recommended daily allowance
According to health organizations, the amount of vitamin D needed depends on a person’s age. For example, individuals up to the age of 70 are suggested to consume 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D. Anyone over 70 is expected to take 800 IU a day. Other experts warn that current recommended daily allowances are too low.
Given the importance of vitamin D in bone health and a lack of dietary sources for the vitamin, supplements are a worthwhile option for individuals worried about deficiencies. Patients should speak to a physician about using supplements to improve overall health. Supplements often contain vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, an active and readily-absorbed form of the vitamin.
Vitamin D for optimized health
Vitamin D is not only good for bone health, but can also reduce inflammation, improve immune function, support cellular growth, and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Along with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, proper vitamin intake can improve the strength of bones and the effects of aging on the skeletal structure. Speak with a pharmacist to learn more about vitamin D supplement options.