September 28, 2022

Why Do You Need Vitamin D?

Why Do You Need Vitamin D?
Quick Links

Vitamins are two types, ones that are soluble in water and ones that are soluble in fat. Vitamin D falls under the latter and exists in three common forms, D1, D2, and D3.

Our body naturally creates this nutrient directly from the sun. We can replenish it through external dietary sources and supplements. Relying solely on sunshine for adequate levels may not be possible. So, we can take ingestible vitamin D.

It plays a multifaceted role in our body. It performs essential functions like regulating minerals like calcium and phosphorus and assisting our immunity. Bone growth and development is also a vital function of vitamin D, particularly in growing human beings.

Its deficiency can often lead to a defective immune system prone to developing diseases. This article discusses the many benefits of vitamin D, its required dosages, and precautions.

Benefits of Vitamin D

1. Fighting Diseases

Vitamin D is an essential ingredient for the functioning of our immune system to keep diseases at bay. It may exhibit beneficial effects on several disorders.

  • Cardiac Health

Low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Decreased vitamin D levels may also lead to overall depletion in health rather than just affecting heart health. More research would be required to confirm this.

  • Immunity

People with inadequate vitamin D may suffer more from autoimmune disorders like inflammatory bowel disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. They may suffer from an inability to ward off infections too.

  • Respiratory Health

Though there are mixed opinions, sufficient vitamin D levels may decrease the signs and symptoms of respiratory-related ailments like the common cold, flu, Covid. Furthermore, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) may arise from insufficient vitamin D.

  • Multiple Sclerosis

A study from 2018 found an association between multiple sclerosis and low vitamin D levels.

2. Effect On Mental Health

Vitamin D may play a role in mood regulation and possibly decrease the symptoms of depression.

Around 7,534 people suffering from depression-like symptoms were given vitamin D supplements, with positive results. The subjects experienced an improvement in their mood and mental health. Supplementation may be beneficial regarding depression.

The researchers observed a link between anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia with insufficient vitamin D levels.

3. Weight Management

As per studies, the higher the weight of a person, the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency increases.

A study observed the effects of vitamin D on weight loss in two groups of people. They were split into two, with one group given only a diet plan and the other given vitamin D supplements along with the diet plan. The second group lost more weight than the group that did not take supplements.

Another study also exhibited similar effects of increased weight loss with vitamin D and calcium. Both the nutrients seem to have appetite-suppressing abilities.

Though we cannot confirm that vitamin D causes weight loss, there may be an association between vitamin D and weight.

Deficiency In Vitamin D

Most of the world likely suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Some of the reasons obstructing your ability to absorb or synthesize vitamin D might be:

  • Using sunscreen all the time
  • Residing in highly polluted areas
  • Spending less time out in the sun
  • Having a duskier skin tone (people with a dark complexion contain a pigment called melanin which blocks the creation of vitamin D).

The above factors can affect the amount of vitamin D your body makes. In such cases, taking external dietary sources or supplements may be recommended.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficient Levels of Vitamin D

Symptoms may appear as:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weak bones or muscles
  • Stress 
  • Fractures

Detecting a deficiency can be done through biochemical tests. Once determined, you might have to get an X-ray done to check the condition of your bones.

Once diagnosed with a deficiency, your physician may prescribe supplements and advise you to increase your dietary intake of vitamin D and exposure to sunshine.

Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D?

Excess supplements may lead to high levels of vitamin D in your body. It might not be a concern as our bodies can regulate levels through diet and sunlight.

Toxic levels of vitamin D can spike your serum calcium levels resulting in:

  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Mental confusion
  • Excess thirst

Sources Of Vitamin D

Natural sources of vitamin D are few. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D to up the intake of the nutrient in the general population. Some vitamin D-rich food items are:

  • Fatty fish
  • Fish liver oil
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Shrimp
  • Mushrooms (UV light treated and normal ones)
  • Vitamin D-fortified foods like grains, cereals, bread, and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and orange juice.

It may be challenging to rely just on sunshine and dietary sources for your vitamin D supply. Supplements can aid you with getting sufficient quantities.

Required Dosage Of Vitamin D

Scientists have discussed the adequate vitamin D levels needed for the proper functioning of the body. However, recent science suggests that we require more vitamin D than what has been recommended before.

Some controversial cases regarding vitamin D are:

  • A standard method to determine the amount of vitamin D required
  • Free and total vitamin D tests
  • Determining low levels of vitamin D
  • Treatment and Diagnosis
  • Threshold of vitamin D in cases like pregnancy, lactating mothers, kidney disorders, etc.

50-90 nanomoles per liter are considered the average amount needed. More amounts might be recommended depending upon blood levels.

The recommended levels for different ages are:

  • Infants: 10mcg (400IU)
  • Children and teenagers: 15mcg (600IU)
  • Ages between 18 and 70: 15mcg (600IU)
  • Over the age of 70: 20mcg (800IU)
  • Pregnancy or lactating: 15mcg (600IU)


Vitamin D is necessary for multiple bodily purposes. Without it, diseases and illnesses may be the outcome.

Relying solely on sunlight and diet is not recommended as you may suffer from deficit levels. Consult a doctor before starting supplementation.

Share this article

Livest Health's assurance

crossmenuchevron-down-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram