The food that we eat comprises of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients which aid in keeping our body healthy. Vitamin D and calcium are essential for the formation of strong bones. Calcium is necessary for the functioning of nerves, heart and muscles and for clotting of blood. Osteoporosis results when there is deficiency in calcium. Several studies have confirmed that low intake of calcium all through the life was associated with less bone mass and high rate of fractures. The national survey on nutrition says that many people are deficient in calcium that is necessary for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones.
Taking calcium will reduce the bone loss and the bone fractures in the vertebrae. Taking calcium in the childhood will lead to increase in the bone mass in adulthood. The increased bone mass will help in decreasing the fracture risk in the later part of the life. Calcium insufficiency can also result when there is lactose intolerance in the individual. The reduction in cholesterol levels and blood pressure is also benefited by calcium intake. The vitamin D and calcium supplements were found to be beneficial for preventing loss of teeth in old people.
Importance of vitamin D3
It is important for the presence of vitamin D3 to be present in the body to absorb calcium.Vitamin D3 has to be present in adequate quantities to generate Calcitrol hormone, which is otherwise called as active vitamin D. Active vitamin D results in sufficient absorption of calcium from the diet. In this condition, the storage calcium in the body will result in the weakening of the bone and avoid in the formation of new strong bone. Vitamin D reduces bone loss and the risk of fracture in men and women. Calcium accompanied by vitamin D helps in preventing and treating osteoporosis. Calcium deficiency is treated by taking a supplement with calcium and vitamin D combination. Vitamin D also enhances immune health. Vitamin D is prepared in the skin of the human body after exposing to the sunlight.
The human body can get vitamin D in three different ways like diet, supplements and skin. The nutritionists recommend the daily intake of 600 IU of vitamin D till the age of 70 years. The men and women above 70 years of age should enhance their uptake of vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol to 800 IUs per day. Vitamin D can be obtained from vitamin D rich foods like salt water, egg yolks, fortified milk and fish. The institute of medicine will recommend not more than 4000IU per day for adults. A few people who are deficient of vitamin D are sometimes prescribed with high doses of vitamin D.
Taking calcium and vitamin D3 all through the life as a part of a balanced diet will decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, vitamin D by itself is less helpful and causes benefit in many situations in the presence of calcium. The elderly are twice prone to diabetes and obesity when they have lower levels of vitamin D in blood. Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are less common in women who are taking high amounts of vitamin D.
The latest recommendation of US Preventive services task force on calcium and vitamin D supplementation did not support the amount of 400 international units of vitamin-D3 and 1gm of calcium daily in preventing fractures of post-menopausal women. This dosage was definitely not sufficient for treating osteoporosis and deficiency of vitamin D.