Vitamin D: Sarah Jarvis discusses use in combatting COVID-19
Vitamin D has a whole host of benefits including keeping our bones healthy, boosting your immune system, and ensures maintenance of normal muscle function, lowering blood pressure, combatting neurological disorders including depression seasonal affective disorder, bettering sports performance, lowering the risk of diabetes and even possibly dementia. Feeling pain in your muscles as if your legs are very heavy could indicate your levels are too low.
Having healthy bones protects a person from various conditions, including rickets.
Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft.
It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body.
A person will need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones.
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If your legs feel heavy, you notice difficulty getting out of your chair or are generally feeling weak this could be due to lack of vitamin D in the body affecting your muscles and bones, said Healthspan.
The health site added: “Being deficient can lead to bone deformities including rickets in children and joint pain and tenderness, muscle weakness and pain in the spine, ribs, shoulder or pelvis in adults, due to a condition called osteomalacia (soft bones).
“If you play sport it’s essential to keep your vitamin D levels topped up to maintain performance.”
What is osteomalacia?
Osteomalacia refers to a marked softening of your bones, most often caused by severe vitamin D deficiency, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site continued: “The softened bones of children and young adults with osteomalacia can lead to bowing during growth, especially in weight-bearing bones of the legs.
“Osteomalacia in older adults can lead to fractures.
“Treatment for osteomalacia involves providing enough vitamin D and calcium, both required to harden and strengthen bones, and treating disorders that might cause the condition.”
Those most at risk of a vitamin D deficiency are the elderly, people that are overweight, and those that rarely venture outside.
Everyone should aim for between 8.5 and 10mcg of vitamin D in a single day, said the NHS.
During the winter months, the sun isn’t strong enough for your body to make vitamin D.
It’s therefore usually recommended that everyone takes vitamin D supplements during these months to increase the amount in their diet.
A 10mcg supplement should be enough to help you avoid vitamin D deficiency symptoms.
If you’re not a big fan of taking vitamin D supplements, you can always increase your vitamin D intake through your diet.
The best sources of vitamin D include oily fish, liver and egg yolks.
If the weather permits, try getting some sunlight even for just 10 minutes in the day.
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