Osteoporosis and Vitamin D have a lot to do with each other. We all know that calcium is necessary for having healthy bones. It is actually Vitamin D that helps the body in absorbing Calcium. Therefore, Vitamin D is needed by children to develop strong bones, and adults need it to maintain their bone density. Studies have shown that a lower than normal level of Vitamin D can result in lower density of the bones, which make them susceptible to breaking even under slight pressure. So a lack of Vitamin D can be one of the main causes of osteoporosis.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 400 to 800 IU (International Units) for adults under fifty years of age. It goes to 800 to 1000 IU for people who are above fifty years. Osteoporosis and Vitamin D are closely associated for this very reason. There are basically two types of supplements in Vitamin D. They are Vitamin D3 which is called cholecalciferol and Vitamin D2 which is called ergocalciferol. While earlier it was believed that D3 was more effective than D2, recent research has shown that both forms of Vitamin D are equally effective at maintaining good bone health. While Vitamin D is essential for bone health, excess of the vitamin can be harmful to the body.
The body can get Vitamin D basically from three different sources viz., sunlight, food and nutrition supplements. The UVB rays from the sun are used by the body to synthesize Vitamin D. The amount of Vitamin D that the body can produce depends on the season of the year, the time of the day, the latitude where the person lives, their skin color and other factors. People who are more exposed to the sun generally synthesize more Vitamin D than those who are more protected from the sun. And since most people use a sunscreen to protect their skin, they may not be able to synthesize the required amount of Vitamin D from exposure to the sun alone. They need to have a good intake of Vitamin D through their regular food and / or diet supplements. Since Osteoporosis and Vitamin D are closely related, people suffering from the disease should ensure that they get their required amount of Vitamin D everyday.