June 13, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Vitamin D for Adults: The Benefits of this Vital Nutrient

Are you aware that Vitamin D is one of the most crucial nutrients for adults? Besides being essential for our bones and teeth, it provides us with a host of other health benefits. Let’s talk about Vitamin D for adults, including how to get enough of this vital nutrient.

What Is Vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is an umbrella term. It can refer to two different things. First, it is a nutrient that your body needs for good health. Second, it is a group of compounds that your body can convert into calcitriol. The body needs this hormone to perform several critical functions, including regulating how much calcium is in the blood and helping cells communicate.

How It Benefits Adults

Vitamin D is essential for adults because it helps maintain bone health, prevent osteoporosis, improve muscle strength, reduce the risk of falls, and lower the risk of some cancers. Additionally, it regulates insulin levels, promotes immune system health, and reduces inflammation.

Here are two simple ways to make sure you get enough vitamin D:

  1. Spend time in the sun. Your body can produce enough vitamin D with just a few minutes of sun each day.
  2. Take a supplement. If you spend little time in the sun or do not eat enough foods that contain this nutrient, you might need to take a supplement to get enough of it. The quickest and most enjoyable way to get your daily recommended IU (international units) of vitamin D is to supplement with vitamin D gummies for adults.

Adults Most at Risk for Deficiency

People at risk for Vitamin D deficiency should ensure they get enough. Those at risk include older adults and obese individuals. Other groups are people with dark skin or who get little sun exposure.

You should incorporate this vitamin into your daily recommended vitamin intake if you belong to one of these groups. If you do not want to invest in supplements to get vitamin D or spend time in the sun due to time constraints or because you sunburn easily, then eat foods high in Vitamin D. One excellent source is fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Egg yolks also contain vitamin D, as do fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, and cereals.

Symptoms of Deficiency

In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone problems like osteomalacia. Postmenopausal women and adults over 50 are most susceptible to this condition. Since it can cause softening of the bones, it can lead to an increased risk of falling. Additionally, because of inadequate bone mineralization, their bones may become fragile and break easily.

Typically, this condition develops slowly and does not cause any symptoms in the initial stages. As the condition advances, however, people will notice bone pain and muscle weakness.

The primary treatment of osteomalacia is to correct the underlying vitamin D deficiency. You can do this by consuming certain foods, taking supplements, or exposing yourself to the sun. 

The most common treatment usually involves just taking vitamin D and calcium supplements; however, in severe cases, it may be necessary to take medication.

If you suspect that you may have osteomalacia, talk to your doctor. They can order tests to check your vitamin D levels and bone health. Early diagnosis and treatment of osteomalacia are essential for preventing complications.

Be Careful Not to Overdo It!

While vitamin D is good for you, too much can cause toxicity. Although this is a rare condition, it is worth mentioning. Vitamin D toxicity is characterized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and loss of appetite. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect you might have vitamin D toxicity. Also, stop taking supplements or eating vitamin D-rich foods.

in NEWS
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