Vitamin D is very important for the human body – it improves calcium absorption which is vital for proper bone health, while also strengthening the immune system and helping the nervous system work. According to research, vitamin D is vital for brain health as well and protects the brain from oxidative damage. We usually get our vitamin D from the sun, but a big part of the American population is vitamin D deficient, which leads to further health problems. Here are 6 serious diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency:
- Type 2 diabetes
Several studies have suggested that young people with high vitamin D levels in their bodies have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes later in their life. Scientists believe that vitamin D can regulate the blood sugar levels by regulating the calcium levels in the body. If you’re vitamin D deficient, your body can’t handle your blood sugar levels well, which will result in type 2 diabetes.
Scientists are still unsure what causes asthma, but according to a theory, not enough sun exposure and vitamin D deficiency may be the culprits. The main risk factors for asthma are obesity, living in a city of being African-American. These 3 groups of people are also most likely to be vitamin D deficient, which clearly shows that there’s a link between the factors and the disease. Asthma causes the airways to swell and tighten due to mucus and inflammation, but when the body has enough vitamin D in it, the inflammation is significantly reduced.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
As we mentioned in the beginning, vitamin D improves the calcium absorption in the body, which is crucial for strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a condition known as osteomalacia, a rare softening of the bones that can lead to brittle bones and underdeveloped muscles. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have also been found to be vitamin D deficient.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Cells in the body have vitamin D receptors on their surface where they receive chemical signals which instruct a certain cell to divide or die. The same receptors are present in the immune system and digestive tract. If the body has enough vitamin D in it, it can reduce inflammatory protein levels, but in people with vitamin D deficiency, these proteins multiply and cause digestive problems such as IBD.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Several studies have suggested that there’s a direct link between high blood pressure and vitamin D deficiency. The body produces too many cells in the muscles that line the blood vessels sometimes, and a buildup of these cells can cause plaque to buildup in the arteries which can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have found out that vitamin D can bind to these cells and reduce the risk of arterial plaque buildup.
The body produces about 10 000 new cancer cells every day, and vitamin D deficiency allows them to proliferate. If you have enough vitamin D in your system, the body works to inhibit the growth of these cells and reduces inflammation, which stops cancer in its tracks. However, being vitamin D deficient increases the risk of autoimmune complications, allowing cancer cells to grow and spread. Long-term vitamin D deficiency is even worse and increases the risk of several types of cancer.