Dr. Jan Szatkowski is an orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Szatkowski specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, diseases and disorders of the bodys musculoskeletal system. As an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Szatkowski tends to bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, nerves and... more
Bone health is important to people of all ages. Vitamin D has become an important topic over the last few years as our understanding of its important role in the body expands
Why Vitamin D is Crucial to Bone Health
Vitamin D is often considered the Wonder Vitamin. It is one of several fat-soluble vitamins. This wonder vitamin plays key roles in the body throughout our lifetime. The vitamin comes in two forms, D2, which is sourced from plants, and D3, which we synthesize from the sun. The human body benefits from Vitamin D because it enhances the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and phosphate from our daily diet and supplements. Of great importance is the absorption of calcium, which plays a major role in keeping bones healthy. Without Vitamin D, our bones wouldn’t be able to absorb the necessary calcium needed to be strong.
Vitamin D: Calcium and Bone Strength
Vitamin D and calcium are two essential nutrients that work together in the body. First, Vitamin D enhances the digestive system’s ability to absorb and utilize calcium. Without it, the process is severely limited. Low levels of calcium absorption will lead to bones becoming weak and soft, possibly leading to osteoporosis. Low vitamin D has also been linked to increased cancer risks, neuromuscular issues, and even some forms of heart disease. To combat this condition, it is essential that you get adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium throughout your life.
How to Get Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D is found naturally in several different foods such as fatty fish like salmon and tuna, in mushrooms and also in fortified milks, cereals and orange juice. Sun exposure is also an important factor in the synthesis of vitamin D. Our sedentary lifestyle and use of sunscreen are just two factors thought to contribute to our society’s low vitamin D levels. Although sun exposure is important, it is still wise to limit exposure to UV rays to reduce the risk for skin cancer. As a result, it’s essential to consider supplementation and diet rich in vitamin D to help this.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
When there is a lack of Vitamin D over a long period of time, several things may begin to happen. A person may feel pain in their bones and muscles, weakness in muscles, increased falls and even bone fractures. Those who are at a higher risk are people who are obese or overweight, those with Celiac or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and anyone who does not get exposure to the sun on a regular basis.
There can be many causes of vitamin D deficiency beyond just a lack of sunlight or our diet. A thorough evaluation by a licensed healthcare professional is recommended to find out if you and your family are getting enough vitamin D and the ways to solve the problem if you are not. Active evaluation and management of vitamin D population is safe and simple and most importantly can help improve patient care.
Vitamin D is a key component in human health, as it contributes to the foundational strength of the body and bones, and is important in other processes as well including muscles, nerves, and the immune system. Luckily it is not a difficult Vitamin to obtain, and with the knowledge of its importance, most can ensure they get their daily recommended amount.