When we hear the word vitamin D, the first thought that comes to the mind is a person basking in the glory of the sun. We have been told since childhood that sun exposure is one of the major sources of vitamin D. However, certain foods like salmon and mushroom, are also rich in this vitamin.
The vitamin D we get from the sun, or any other sources (even supplements) is in its inactive form and needs to go through certain processes in our body to get activated.
On getting activated, the sunshine vitamin supports our bodily functions such as maintaining bone health and immune function “Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium which in turn is essential for strong bones,” says Juliana Tamayo, a clinical dietitian from Washington DC.
Inadequate intake of vitamin D can thus cause our bones to become soft and weak. This condition is called osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
Moreover, it plays a crucial role in immune function. Tamayo says that low levels of this vitamin can lead to infections and other health conditions.
A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences also suggests that insufficient vitamin D can increase the risk of developing autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. It can also lead to progression of these conditions.
Getting sufficient amounts of it can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition where the bones lose mineral density and become fragile over time, states a 2011 study published in Best Practices & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Here are some tips to get vitamin D to support your overall well-being.