Vitamin D plays an essential role in strengthening our bones for better health. Bone disease is a common condition that often occurs later in life. It has to do with the optimum peak bone mass as well as the sustenance of bone mass in our adulthood. Research indicates that not enough intake of vitamin D over a long time may lead to demineralization of the bone.
The deficiency of vitamin D may lead to a decreased absorption of calcium in the body, and ultimately, it results in the release of the mineral from bones to the blood. The resorption and continuous bone turnover of vitamin D may lead to the weakening of the bone architecture and an increase in the risk of bone fracture through secondary hyperparathyroidism. It may lead to the development of conditions like osteoporosis as well as osteomalacia. The former condition is defined as having a bone mass density lesser than 2.5 SD below the mean of considerably young individuals.
BMD and fracture risk also have a direct relationship. It is indicated by an alleviation in bone strength and the bone density linked with a decreased rate of fractures in the body. Bone fractures may occur at your wrist, hip, or spine. They come with considerable costs of health and also show an increase in mortality and a decrease in the quality of life.
Fracture incidence might show to elevate with age. Therefore, it is considered to be pivotal to create preventative strategies for minimizing the development. The optimal status of vitamin D is important to minimize the risk of bone fracture, considering the link between bone mineralization of vitamin D.
What is the Mechanism of Vitamin D and Bone Mineralization
Vitamin D is considered a hormone important for mineral metabolism as well as bone growth. One of the most dynamic effects of this vitamin is to support the overall absorption of calcium, although it aids in stimulating the absorption of magnesium ions as well as phosphate groups. Dietary calcium doesn’t get absorbed when there is no vitamin D intake in the body.
Vitamin D supports the expression of a lot of proteins that work to transport the calcium from the intestinal lumen across the intestinal epithelial cells towards the blood. The most studied of the calcium transporters in the calbindin transporter is an intracellular protein that carries calcium minerals across the IEC.
Research indicates multiple effects of the vitamin on the bone. Vitamin D is a transcriptional bone matrix protein regulator, which helps in the induction of osteocalcin expression. It also aids in the suppression of type 1 collagen synthesis. In the different cell cultures, vitamin D aids in the stimulation of the osteoclasts or bone-forming cell stimulation.
However, studies suggest that such effects indicate that vitamin D’s role in bone growth is to give a balance of phosphorus and calcium absorption. It will help in support of mineralization in the bone, ultimately.
We see that vitamin D receptors are mostly present in the cells in our body. What’s more, there are experiments showing that vitamin D comes with potent effects on the differentiation as well as the growth of different cells. Such findings indicate that vitamin D comes with physiologic effects much more significant than a role in bone function as well as mineral homeostasis.
Different immune cells are capable of making active vitamin D in the body. The deficiency of the vitamin is linked with an increase in the rate of susceptibility towards diseases like autoimmune diseases.
Why is Vitamin D Focused in Research Today
Studies indicate the importance of this vitamin even more recently. It is linked to maintaining a multitude of health functions, including the prevention of bone and other conditions. However, a lot of people are deficient in vitamin D.
There are certain reasons behind it. An important reason behind not getting enough vitamin D is that not all foods are high in vitamin D. Consequently, doctors and dietitians recommend individuals to get their vitamin D from sunlight and supplements.
Lifestyle factors also come to play in the development of vitamin D deficiency in the body. There are different aspects of the impact of modern-day lifestyle on vitamin D intake. These may include but are not limited to the following:
- Children and adults spend most of their time indoors on their screens
- There is a substantial decline in physical activity level seen in adults
- Different sports activities, including volleyball, basketball, and gymnastics in which adults may take part, are outdoors
- Dairy intake by individuals has decreased, and it has been considerably replaced by juice or soda
How Do We Get Vitamin D
Adults require about ten micrograms of vitamin D daily. It is not easy to get enough vitamin D daily from diet alone. So, spending some time in the sunlight may help in getting the recommended vitamin D intake in our body.
You may want to take vitamin D from sunlight with time-limited exposure to the sun with no use of sunscreen. Spring and fall seasons are the ideal times to get this sunlight. However, taking vitamin D supplementation may help individuals during summer or winter, when your exposure to direct sunlight becomes inconvenient or difficult.
What Are At-Risk Groups for Vitamin D Deficiency
Some individuals are at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency, and institutions recommend that such people need to take a dose of 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily around the year. Such groups include the following:
- Individuals who do not spend much of their time outdoors
- People who wear clothes with thick fabric material or cover themselves most of the day
- People having dark skin as melanin protects against UV rays
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of minerals like calcium and phosphorus in your bones. That way, it helps in improving and maintaining bone mineral density which is needed for the prevention of several conditions and accidents like osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, and bone fractures.