Taking vitamin D supplements is one of the best ways to get sufficient amounts of this vitamin. Vitamin D is produced in the skin during the direct exposure to sunrays, or it can be present in certain foods (eggs, animal meat, milk-based products and fish). However, these foods cannot fulfill your daily requirements. Some people have low levels of vitamin D because their sun exposure is limited. This is common in cold weather countries. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is more common than we think! The problem is that mild deficiency (at early stages) does not show any symptoms, so people don’t even know their vitamin D levels are low.
If you live in a cold weather country, or you are dark-skinned, (or both), you should talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements. Sometimes, the only way to get enough vitamin D is to use supplements. People who have darker skin are at greater risk of getting vitamin D deficiency, because melatonin in dark skin acts as a sun block. That is why dark skin needs longer exposure to sunrays.
What Are Vitamin D Supplements Used for?
● Vitamin D supplements are used in treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency. Supplements are effective in preventing vitamin D deficiency-related diseases, like rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, etc. Low levels of vitamin D have to be treated with supplements. Eating foods that contain vitamin D or spending more time in the sun will not be enough to treat deficiency. In fact, some patients have to take extremely large doses of vitamin D supplements to treat this condition.
● Vitamin D supplements are often used for heart disease, problems with blood vessels, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, type II diabetes, muscle weakness, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, COPD, bronchitis, asthma, gum disease, and PMS in women.
● Skin conditions like lupus vulgaris, scleroderma, vitiligo, actinic keratosis, and psoriasis can be treated with vitamin D supplements. Of course, other medications will be used, but vitamin D supplements will be a part of the treatment. Calcitriol is often used in people who have psoriasis.
● Vitamin D supplements are helpful preventing some autoimmune diseases. According to numerous researches, vitamin D is helpful in cancer prevention.
● It is also used for preventing cancer, boosting the immune system, and preventing some autoimmune diseases.
● This vitamin is important for regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in blood, so it is also used in treating problems related to calcium deficiency.
Vitamin D supplements are effective for:
● Calcium deficiency
● Psoriasis and other skin problems
● Severe cases of vitamin D deficiency
● Multiple sclerosis prevention
● Cancer prevention
● Rheumatoid arthritis prevention
● Tooth loss prevention in older people
However, effectiveness of vitamin D supplements will depend on various factors. We know this vitamin D is used in treating above-mentioned conditions, but its effectiveness is relative and it is different for each person. More researches will have to be done to find out more about possible effectiveness of this vitamin in treating other diseases.