VITAMINS & MINERALS MARKERS
Vitamin D is important for bone strength as well as energy levels, mood, and immune health. You can check vitamin D levels using our at-home vitamin D test.
Vitamin D is needed by the body to facilitate the uptake of calcium from the diet. It is also needed for the regulation of phosphate from food, too. Therefore, it has a key role in maintaining bone health as well as the proper functioning of our immune system, muscle function, energy levels and helps to reduce inflammation. Vitamin D is needed by the body to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Both nutrients are essential for bone, tooth and muscle health, without it deformities such as rickets and osteomalacia can occur.
There are two forms of vitamin D, 25 hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D. The most common form is 25 hydroxyvitamin D and it is the most useful indicator of vitamin D status. 25 hydroxyvitamin D stays in the blood for longer and at higher concentrations.
There are two sources of vitamin D available to humans: it is produced in the skin following exposure to sunlight, taken in through the diet via food and supplements.
Low levels of vitamin D can indicate deficiency. In children, vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets. Deficiency of vitamin D prevents dietary calcium and phosphorus from being absorbed efficiently. Therefore, the deficiency can result in rickets which causes bone pain, poor growth as well as soft and weak bones which leads to bone deformities. Rickets was almost eradicated in the western world in the 20th century as foods like margarine and breakfast cereals were fortified with vitamin D, but more recently it has made a comeback.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia. The main symptoms are: bone pain, muscle pain, muscle cramps, fractures, gait disorders, increased risk of falling particularly in the elderly.
Vitamin D deficiency can also cause the following symptoms: fatigue, bone pain, recurrent infections, hair loss, muscle pain, depression.
Vitamin D toxicity usually occurs when too much of the vitamin is supplemented. Some of the symptoms include: nausea, anorexia, constipation, headaches, high blood pressure, kidney stones, Calcium toxicity.