Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, made in the body with help of sunlight. Explore information on the health benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D Benefits

Vitamin D is a very important fat-soluble vitamin that is required by the body in maintenance of essential organ systems. It is found in mainly two forms - D2 (or ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (or cholecalciferol). It is the latter form of vitamin D that can be made by the body when it comes in contact with sunlight. This is the reason why people who spend a significant amount of their time in sun do not require consuming food supplements of the vitamin. However, those who either do not venture much outdoors or are always lathered with sunscreens need to consume a diet rich in vitamin D. The vitamin is most active in the intestine, kidneys and bones. In the following lines, we have provided some more information on the benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin D. Go through it and explore the vitamin completely.
Health Benefits 
  • It is believed to be associated with decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • When stored in body in adequate amounts, it helps keep bones strong and may help prevent osteoporosis in older adults.
  • It is beneficial for people with difficulty in walking and exercising, post-menopausal women and individuals on chronic steroid therapy.
  • Studies have revealed that it might provide protection against some forms of cancer, especially colon and colorectal cancers.
  • It helps keep teeth and gums healthy, especially in older adults.
  • It might be beneficial for those suffering from Diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It strengthens bones, helps fight infections and might prevent autoimmune disorders.
  • It slows down parathyroid hormone secretion from the parathyroid gland.
Recommended Daily Intake
Age Group
Male (mcg/day)
Female (mcg/day)
0-6 months 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
7-12 months 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
1-3 years 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
4-8 years 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
9-13 years   
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
14-18 years
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
19-50 years
5 mcg (200 IU) 
5 mcg (200 IU) 
51-70 years
10 mcg (200 IU) 
10 mcg (200 IU) 
71 years and above
15 mcg (200 IU) 
15 mcg (200 IU) 
  • Beef
  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Cheese
  • Cod
  • Cod liver oil
  • Eggs
  • Halibut
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Margarine
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Snapper
  • Sunlight
  • Tuna fish 
  • Essential for the efficient utilization of calcium by the body
  • Inhibits the proliferation and stimulates the differentiation, of cells
  • Promotes phagocytosis, anti-tumor activity & immunomodulatory functions
  • Plays a role in insulin secretion, under conditions of increased insulin demand
  • Vital to bone development and strength
  • Regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood
  • Promotes soft tissue calcification 
The following symptoms will be seen in case of deficiency of Vitamin D 
  • Muscle pain
  • Weak bones/fractures
  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Lowered immunity
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep irregularities 
In case, the deficiency is extreme, it might lead to the following ailments: 
  • Rickets, in children
  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Parathyroid problems

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