Why Vitamin D Is Essential for Your Bones

Posted on June 13, 2018

Track Runner

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that has many important roles inside the human body. In addition to promoting a healthy mood and metabolism, vitamin D is also vital to forming strong bones and protecting them from degenerative diseases. Learn more about the importance of vitamin D and how you can increase your daily intake from the orthopedic clinics of Suffolk County, NY.

Vitamin D and Bone Health

Vitamin D is actually a steroid that helps the body absorb other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Calcium is needed by the body to help grow and protect your bones. Through a process called calcium homeostasis, vitamin D-dependent proteins bind to calcium, transporting it through the metabolic process so it can be used by the body. Calcium homeostasis takes place in the duodenum section of the small intestine. When a person is vitamin-D deficient, the duodenum cannot absorb and process calcium effectively. People who get enough vitamin D are less likely to develop deficiency-related conditions.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is more common than most people think because it’s almost impossible to get all the vitamin D you need through your daily intake of food. People who are deficient in vitamin D are at risk for developing serious conditions like rickets, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia. Rickets primarily affects bone growth in children. Children who don’t get enough vitamin D develop weak, deformed, long bones. They're more likely to have problems walking, and they're at a higher risk of developing osteomalacia. Osteoporosis and osteomalacia usually develop in adults after years of being vitamin D deficient. These diseases are characterized by the softening of the bones. Adults and children with these degenerative diseases can also developed bowed legs, muscle weakness, and scoliosis. They're also more vulnerable to fractures and breaks from slips or falls.

Daily Intake

Your Daily Intake

To prevent vitamin D deficiency, doctors and dieticians recommend at least 600 IU, or international units, of vitamin D per day. Adults over the age of 70 need at least 800 IU per day to deter the effects of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, only a few types of food are natural suppliers of vitamin D. The best source of food-based vitamin D is fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Cheese, milk, eggs, and liver are also good sources of vitamin D in moderation. The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is through supplementation or natural sunlight. Spending 10-15 minutes outside on a sunny day three times a week stimulates the production of vitamin D through your skin. For more tips to help increase your vitamin D levels, visit your doctor at Peconic Bay, your local orthopedic clinic in Suffolk County, NY.