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Written By THT Editorial Team

Reviewed by Liza Nagarkoti , BSc Nursing, MA(Nutrition), Project Officer (Health) LWF Nepal

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for maintaining healthy bones and overall health. It is unique in that the body can produce it when exposed to sunlight. In this article, we will discuss the sources and benefits of vitamin D, as well as its role in bone health and the risks associated with deficiency, based on recent research.

Sources of Vitamin D

There are two main sources of vitamin D: dietary sources and sunlight. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and cereal. Sunlight exposure triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin, making it an important natural source.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has several important health benefits, including:

Promoting Calcium Absorption: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the intestines and transport it to the bones, which helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Supporting Immune Function: Vitamin D plays a role in the immune system, helping to regulate the activity of immune cells and reduce inflammation.

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases: Research has linked vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

Role of Vitamin D in Bone Health

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone density. Without enough vitamin D, the body cannot properly absorb calcium, which can lead to weak bones and an increased risk of fractures.

Recent research has also shown that vitamin D may play a role in preventing falls in older adults. A 2019 meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of falls by 20%.

Deficiency Risks of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem, particularly in regions with limited sunlight exposure or in individuals who have limited dietary sources of the vitamin. Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked with many diseases, including:

Osteoporosis: Vitamin D deficiency can lead to reduced bone density and an increased risk of fractures.

Cardiovascular Disease: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Diabetes: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Cancer: Several studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer.


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health and overall health. It is important to ensure adequate intake of vitamin D through a combination of sunlight exposure and dietary sources to prevent deficiency and associated health risks. Recent research has further emphasized the importance of vitamin D in maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of falls in older adults.


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