Normal Vitamin D Levels
Normal vitamin D levels should be maintained for optimum health. People whose vitamin D levels are within the normal range will less likely sustain bone fractures because their bodies are able to absorb phosphorus and calcium with the aid of vitamin D. This vitamin is available through various food sources as well as exposure to sunlight.
More often than not, normal vitamin D levels are not achieved nor maintained by most people. Insufficient vitamin D levels can lead to various health problems. It is extremely important for an individual to have his or her level of vitamin D checked on a regular basis to rule out underlying problems and keep it within the normal levels.
Role of vitamin D in the human body
Maintaining normal vitamin D levels is very important. Vitamin D is among the fat-soluble vitamins which are essential for healthy bones and the proper functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D is vital for bone development and repair especially among the children and the elderly. This is because vitamin D plays an active role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the blood which is essential for strong bones and muscles. Vitamin D is also central in maintaining healthy kidneys, liver and thyroid gland, as well as in promoting cell growth. This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in the body for future use.
Significance of having vitamin D levels within the normal range
Normal vitamin D levels are markers of bone health, an indication that the body is absorbing calcium properly. Too much or too little vitamin D is bad for one’s health as insufficient levels of this vitamin force the body to get calcium from the bones in an attempt to normalize the calcium level, which makes the individual more susceptible to osteoporosis. On the other hand, an overabundance of vitamin D can cause toxicity which can harm the heart, kidney and liver. Aside from bone health, a normal vitamin D level is essential for a strong immune system to help the body ward off different sorts of infection caused by fungi, virus and bacteria. It is also important for the prevention of hypertension as vitamin D helps normalize the blood pressure.
Normal values for vitamin D levels
Normal vitamin D levels slightly differ depending on the laboratory and geographical location. Many laboratories adopt the healthy range of vitamin D between 35 ng/mL and 50 ng/mL. Figures below the normal vitamin D levels make the individual at risk of developing dreadful autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Values above the normal range increase the chances of vitamin D toxicity.
Causes of abnormal vitamin D levels
Normal vitamin D levels become abnormal due to various reasons, and some of these are:
- Vitamin D overdose
High levels of vitamin D occur when a person ingests vitamin D supplements beyond the recommended dosage which may lead to toxicity.
- Insufficient exposure to sunlight
Vitamin D can be synthesized in the body through sunlight exposure. Insufficient exposure to sunlight results in vitamin D deficiency.
- Inadequate consumption of vitamin D
Vitamin D can be obtained through diet and those who consume foods that are low in vitamin D content will have abnormal levels of vitamin D.
- Excessive weight gain
Excessive weight or obesity impairs the conversion of vitamin D from sunlight, as well as absorption from various food sources.
- Poor absorption
Digestive disorders impair the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D such as cystic fibrosis, colitis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
- Improper vitamin D conversion
Vitamin D must be converted into its active form before it is used by the body. The liver and kidney do the conversion and so problems in these organs hinder the effective absorption of vitamin D resulting in deficiency.
Effects of abnormal vitamin D levels
When normal vitamin D levels are not achieved, the person is at risk of developing various health problems. Oftentimes, the symptoms are incomprehensible until the condition is already in its advanced stage. Those who have abnormal levels of vitamin D will suffer from certain medical problems such as:
- Thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism
- Degenerating cognitive behavior
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Kidney and liver problems
- Cardiovascular diseases
Managing abnormal vitamin D levels
People with abnormal amounts of vitamin D can do something to achieve normal vitamin D levels. This often involves addressing the root cause by increasing one’s exposure to sunlight as well as eating foods that contain high amounts of vitamin D. If the abnormality is due to medical conditions, treating these diseases is the finest way to get the vitamin D level back to normal.
Normal vitamin D levels are essential for optimum health. Abnormal vitamin D levels call for immediate medical attention to resolve the root cause and prevent it from causing further health problems.