Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — created by Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. On November 7, 2019

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A human body produces vitamin D as a response to sun exposure. A person can likewise boost their vitamin D input through particular foods or supplements.

Vitamin D is essential for numerous reasons, consisting of maintaining healthy and balanced bones and teeth. The may also protect against a selection of diseases and conditions, such as kind 1 diabetes.

Despite its name, vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a prohormone, or precursor the a hormone.

Vitamins are nutrients the the human body cannot create, and so a human must consume lock in the diet. However, the human body can develop vitamin D.

In this article, we look at the services of vitamin D, what happens to the body when people do not gain enough, and also how to rise vitamin D intake.


Share ~ above PinterestDuring sun exposure, a person’s body produces vitamin D.
Vitamin D has multiple functions in the body. The assists in:

promoting healthy and balanced bones and also teethsupporting immune, brain, and nervous system healthsupporting lung duty and cardiovascular health

Read ~ above to find out about these duties in an ext detail:

1. Healthy bones

Vitamin D dram a far-ranging role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These components are vital for maintaining healthy and balanced bones.

People require vitamin D to enable the intestines come stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would certainly otherwise excrete.

Vitamin D deficiency in kids can cause rickets, which leads to a severely bowlegged appearance because of the softening the the bones.

Similarly, in adults, vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. Osteomalacia results in poor bone density and also muscular weakness.

A vitamin D deficiency can also present as osteoporosis, for which end 53 million civilization in the United says either seek treatment or confront an boosted risk.

2. Reduced risk the flu

A 2018 review of currently research said that some research studies had discovered that vitamin D had a protective effect versus the influenza virus.

However, the authors also looked at other studies wherein vitamin D did not have actually this impact on flu and flu risk.

Further study is, therefore, important to confirm the protective effect of vitamin D on the flu.

3. Healthy infants

Vitamin D deficiency has actually links come high blood press in children. One 2018 study uncovered a feasible connection between low vitamin D levels and stiffness in the arterial wall surfaces of children.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) suggest that proof points to a connection in between low vitamin D exposure and also an raised risk of allergy sensitization.

An example of this is youngsters who live closer come the equator and have reduced rates of admission to hospital because that allergies plus fewer prescriptions of epinephrine autoinjectors. They are also less most likely to have a peanut allergy.

The AAAAI likewise highlight one Australian study of egg intake. Eggs room a typical early source of vitamin D. The children who began eating eggs after 6 months were much more likely to build food allergies than youngsters who started in between 4–6 months of age.

Furthermore, vitamin D may enhance the anti-inflammatory results of glucocorticoids. This advantage makes it potentially beneficial as a supportive treatment for world with steroid resistant asthma.

4. Healthy and balanced pregnancy

A 2019 review suggests that pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D may have actually a better risk of arising preeclampsia and giving bear preterm.

Doctors also associate poor vitamin D condition with gestational diabetes and also bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.

It is additionally important to keep in mind that in a 2013 study, researchers connected high vitamin D levels throughout pregnancy through an boosted risk that food allergy in the child during the very first 2 year of life.

Although the body can create vitamin D, a deficiency can occur for countless reasons.


Skin type: Darker skin, because that example, and also sunscreen, reduce the body’s capacity to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun. Soaking up sunlight is necessary for the skin to produce vitamin D.

Sunscreen: A sunscreen with a sunlight protection variable (SPF) of 30 have the right to reduce the body’s capacity to synthesize the vitamin by 95% or more. Spanning the skin with clothing can inhibit vitamin D manufacturing also.

Geographical location: world who live in northern latitudes or areas of high pollution, work night shifts, or are homebound need to aim come consume vitamin D indigenous food sources whenever possible.

Breastfeeding: infants who exclusively breastfeed need a vitamin D supplement, specifically if they have actually dark skin or have actually minimal sunlight exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the all breastfed babies receive 400 global units (IU) every day of oral vitamin D.

Supplement drops because that babies are accessible online.

Although people can take it vitamin D supplements, that is best to obtain any vitamins or mineral through natural sources where possible.

Read much more on vitamin D deficiency.

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Symptoms that vitamin D deficiency may include:

regular sickness or infectionlow moodimpaired wound healingmuscle pain

If Vitamin D deficiency continues for lengthy periods, the may an outcome in complications, such as:

cardiovascular conditionsautoimmune problemsneurological diseasesinfectionspregnancy complicationscertain cancers, specifically breast, prostate, and colon.