Vitamin D is crucial for healthy bones. It is the vitamin that encourages the absorption of calcium in the bones. Without vitamin D, calcium is useless to your bones. Despite its significance, about three-quarters of the US population of teens and adults are vitamin D deficient.
This is partly due to our sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits. The chief source of vitamin D is the sunlight, which is why it is nicknamed as the sunlight vitamin. Since the time we spend outdoors has declined significantly, the intake of vitamin D has also dipped.
Here are the health consequences of vitamin D deficiency:
The first and foremost problem that surfaces due to a lack of vitamin D in the body is osteoporosis. This is recognized by weak, porous bones. The problem occurs because of the inability of the body to absorb calcium due to a lack of vitamin D in the body. Osteoporosis mainly affects women with over 210 million affected women around the globe suffering weak bones.
A shortage of vitamin D in the body also corresponds with the increased likelihood of depression. People with a lack of vitamin D in their body are at two times the risk of developing depression as compared to those who don’t face a vitamin D deficiency.
The hippocampus and other parts of the brain, which are associated with mood regulation have Vit D receptors. Consequently, when there is a decline in the vitamin’s content, it impairs the brain ability, leading to depression.
Shortage in the levels of the sunlight vitamin can also reach a finale of dementia. Evidence suggests that a moderate to severe decline in vitamin D among elderly individuals doubles their odds of certain dementia types including Alzheimer’s disease.
- Prostate Cancer
Research also confirms that link between the deficiency of vitamin D and risk of prostate cancer among European-American and African-American men. The study did not conclude that sunlight vitamin’s deficiency causes prostate cancer. But, it learned that the drop in the vitamin’s levels can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Low Vit D levels can also spiral the risk of pneumonia by more than 2.5 times. This is because deficiency of the vitamin leaves its negative imprint on the immune system, causing it to weaken. This weakens the body’s resistance to contracting illnesses such as pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
- Erectile Dysfunction
Lastly, researchers also highlight that a deficiency of vitamin D plays a role in causing erectile dysfunction (ED) as well. It is understood that a lack of the vitamin hinders the ability of the arteries to dilate. Such a condition is known as endothelial dysfunction and it often chips in erectile dysfunction.
Moreover, a study showed that men with severe erectile dysfunction exhibited critical low levels of vitamin D in contrast with men with mild ED. Evidence also says that a lack of the vitamins culminates in arterial stiffness that leads to ED.