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Vitamin D and Bone Health – Why It Matters

eggs and avocado

Are you getting enough?

Did you know that I am also a health coach and that you can book with me in either Ascot or Kensington for a chat? One of the nice things about being a health coach is that I get to support people in developing healthy diets that provide enough nutrients – including vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin and it’s also the vitamin that is most frequently deficient. It is also the most frequently cited in the literature!

Like most vitamins, this vitamin plays an important role in many bodily functions. It’s mostly known for its ability to help build strong bones. But, it is also important for a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D in the body

Vitamin D (calciferol) isn’t “active” until it is converted into an active form using a two-step process in the liver.  The liver goes through a process of conversion and ends up creating the active and biologically available form – called calcitriol.  It then functions a bit like a hormone in that it’s created in one part of the body (the skin) and is active in a different part of the body (like the bones).

When you have more than enough vitamin D, the excess gets stored in the liver for use later.

Vitamin D for bones

Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health.  Bones are alive and are constantly remodeling themselves. Like all of our tissues, bones need a constant flow of nutrients, including vitamin D.

How does it support bone health? 

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium more effectively.  It can be absorbed only to a limited degree without vitamin D, and is very important in the mineralisation of bones – which is why we have concerns about deficiency and bone health.

It also works with other hormones to balance calcium levels in the blood because the blood brings calcium at certain levels to perform important functions (like keeping your heart beating).  This is why it’s more important to maintain blood calcium levels in the blood. 

What happens when we don’t have enough?

When there isn’t enough calcium in the blood two things happen. First, vitamin D stored in the liver is activated and helps absorb more calcium from the food we eat – and second, the body will remove calcium from the bones to increase the levels in the blood. 

When we don’t get enough one regular basis, our bones won’t remineralise well and they can become brittle and weak.  In children, severe deficiencies can cause rickets.  In adults, it can cause osteomalacia.  Deficiencies are increasingly common in who eat lots of processed food.

A depletion or insufficiency can promote the development of osteoporosis, and having enough in the blood is associated with higher bone density and lower risks of falls and fractures.

It is also very important for us in other ways, particularly the immune system.  More on that soon!

I’m a health coach and can support you in maintaining good overall health and can help you meet your health goals. Get in touch if you have any questions!  You can book a chat with me or come to me in the clinic either in Ascot or Kensington

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