Why Vitamin D is Crucial to Bone Health

Posted On Monday, 20 October 2014
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 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 the 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; our 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.

Dr. Jan Szatkowski

Dr. Szatkowski is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon who specializes in preventing or reducing permanent disability in the most complex orthopaedic cases. Dr. Szatkowski treats patients for various orthopaedic needs such as post-traumatic arthritis, simple and complex fractures, revision surgery and joint replacement surgery at the Andrews Institute.

Dr. Szatkowski has previously practiced in Chicago, where he was the chairman of orthopaedics at one of the busiest trauma centers in the country, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Szatkowski completed a fellowship at Campbell Clinic's Level 1 Trauma Center at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Szatkowski is passionate about providing the highest quality of care possible with open, honest communications with patients; treating the patient as an entire person, rather than just the immediate medical problem.

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