Vitamin is also called the sunshine vitamin, and is the main reason why we want to bathe in morning sunshine every now and then. You see, vitamin D strengthens bones and joints and protects us from illnesses by boosting immune resistance.
Facts about Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not only exclusive to sunshine; we can also get this vitamin from foods such as fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna. It has also been added to food such as milk, juices, cereals, dairy products and other food products fortified with Vitamin D. This is because health agencies have realized the importance of vitamin D supplementation in our diet. A lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets, a condition in which there are weak bones or osteoporosis, bone pain or osteomalacia and bone loss. Vitamin is especially important in preventing bone loss in patients with hyperparathyroidism and a genetic disease known as osteogenesis imperfecta. In people who have osteoporosis, it is able to prevent the risk of fractures and falls. In people who have kidney failure, it can prevent bone loss and elevate low calcium levels.
Aside from these, vitamin D is said to be favourable to the heart and blood vessels and can even help treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can be especially useful in the treatment of diseases such as muscle weakness, diabetes, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, tooth problems, gum disease and obesity. Vitamin D can also be helpful in treating skin diseases such as scleroderma, psoriasis, actinic keratosis, vitiligo and lupus vulgaris. It can help boost immune response and prevent autoimmune disease and cancers. In conditions caused by low phosphorus levels such as familial hypophosphatemia and Fanconi syndrome, it can regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus.
Vitamin D and Preeclampsia
In a new study, researchers found out that Vitamin D deficiency which occurred during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy was able to raise a mother's risk for preeclampsia. In the said study, researchers tested more than 3,000 pregnant women and analyzed their blood samples for Vitamin D. About 700 of these women developed pre-eclampsia and about 3,000 did not develop this complication. IT was found out that sufficient vitamin D levels were able to lower the risk for severe preeclampsia by 40 percent. This has led scientists to think that sufficient vitamin D levels can also maintain a healthy pregnancy. Its functions go beyond that of maintenance of bones and joints and of boosting immune resistance to illnesses. The results of this study were published in the journal Epidemiology.
It is said that preeclampsia has several causes and has several dangerous effects to the mother and the child. Preeclampsia may be caused by high blood pressure levels during pregnancy, a history of preeclampsia, having a positive family history, a history of obesity, twin or multiple pregnancies and a history of diabetes lupus, kidney disease and arthritis. Preeclampsia can cause signs and symptoms such as swelling, high blood pressure, protein in the urine, abdominal pain, severe headaches, decreased or no urine output, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Preeclampsia can pose dangers to the mother such as seizures, stroke, organ failure, and bleeding problems. The baby can have birth defects, lower birth weight and breathing difficulties; or it can be premature and can be dead.
The importance of this study is that it has identified one factor that may lead to the complications of preeclampsiavitamin D deficiency. More studies are needed to really establish whether lower vitamin D levels are related to the complications brought about by preeclampsia. To know more about Vitamin D, you can check out our other articles on this site.