Just how important is vitamin D? It’s been well-known since the 1930s, when doctors first understood the link between vitamin D deficiency and the skeletal disease known as rickets, which is the softening of bones and teeth.
Even if a person’s diet has sufficient levels of calcium, without enough vitamin D to properly control calcium and phosphate levels in the blood stream, a demineralization of the bones can take place.
Rickets symptoms include bowed legs, bone pain, dental problems, a widening of wrists and frequent bone fractures.
Here are nine of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
- Asthma – Vitamin D supplementation of 1,200 IU daily can reduce asthma attacks and their severity.
- Depression –Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to depression and other psychiatric illnesses.
- Heart disease –An article published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research says that cardiovascular disease is much more common in people with chronically low vitamin D levels.
- High blood pressure –High blood pressure has been associated with deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis –This is a devastating disease that causes widespread inflammation, major pain and joint damage. There are studies showing that vitamin D can ease the pain and stiffness associated with this disease.
- Multiple sclerosis – Studies have shown that geography matters when it comes to the odds of getting MS. Researchers have found that the farther you live from the equator, and the less sun exposure you get, the more likely you are to develop the disease.
- Cancer –Several forms of cancer have been linked to a deficiency in vitamin D including breast, colon and prostate cancers.
- Periodontal disease –This inflammation of the gums can cause pain, bleeding and tooth loss. Vitamin D helps in the formation of defensins and cathelicidins which, in turn, can lower the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Diabetes –An article from World’s Healthiest Foods says that poor blood-sugar control is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. This can then increase the risk of developing diabetes.