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What Does Vitamin D Do?

Rajib Singha
Without vitamin D, our body would not be able to absorb calcium. What else does vitamin D do for the body? Know about it from the following....
As little as 10 minutes of exposure to the sun helps in the daily production of vitamin D in the body. It is believed that it is also enough to prevent various deficiencies. Common foods rich in vitamin D include fish, eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil, etc. Vitamin D is required for the growth and development of the bones and teeth.
Children who lack vitamin D are vulnerable to develop bone deformities. One of the most common, and perhaps severe repercussions of low levels of vitamin D in childhood is a condition known as rickets. In adults, a condition known as osteoporosis may come into the picture.

Benefits of Vitamin D

The normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body is kept under a stabilized process with the help of vitamin D. The body is able to absorb calcium with the help of this vitamin, and this is how one can maintain strong bones.
Severe conditions such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, certain forms of cancer, and various kinds of autoimmune diseases can be kept at bay, if the daily requirement of vitamin D is met by the body.
What is also important to know is, the skin is where most part of this vitamin is manufactured. So, when it is consumed, with the aid of the bile (produced by the liver), it gets absorbed into the blood stream from the intestines.
Another important fact is its function in the process of cell differentiation. With the help of this process, the body manufactures cells that are specialized for specific functions in the body, which are required for survival.
While this process is necessary, it may also give rise to proliferation, which is again an essential factor for growth and recovery from wounds. However, there are cases where this proliferation goes out of control, and this may eventually result in cancer.
So, what vitamin D does is, it helps in curbing the risk of proliferation, and at the same time, create a stimulating environment for the cell differentiation process.
Vitamin D is known to be a potent booster for the immune system of the body. Also, in some studies, scientists discovered that vitamin D may also prevent the chances of developing autoimmune diseases.
Although not many studies could prove its role in insulin secretion, and therefore, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, experts are still researching with a hope that this theory turns out to be a reality.
Research conducted in various groups of people have revealed that, vitamin D is, in fact, able to lower the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) in men and women. However, more studies are required to take this finding further.
Likewise, there are facts which associate its role in treating diseases, like certain forms of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
To conclude, Vitamin D is only harmful when its supplements are taken in excess. However, there are no such problems when the nutrient is acquired from natural sources such as food or the sun.