Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in the human body that regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential in maintaining bone health. The body manufactures vitamin D from sunlight exposure however a sufficiently large area of ​​the skin must be exposed to the sun to allow the body to manufacture vitamin D. This is usually accomplished through exposing more than 60% of the skin on the face, hands and feet to the sunlight for a sufficient amount of time.


In Arabian regions, traditions and religious beliefs may affect the choice of clothing thus many of the residents of these areas do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight, leading to its deficiency in their body. Although vitamin D is found in foods such as fish and meat, its requirements by the body exceed the vitamin D content of these foods, rendering them an insufficient source of this vitamin. The body needs vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as optimal functioning of the immune system. It also plays a role in multiple cell functions.


Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency


  • Excessive Exposure to Relapses and Diseases

Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening the immune system. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is an increased risk of various diseases or infections.


  • Fatigue & Stress

Stress and fatigue may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency therefore taking vitamin D supplements may help improve energy levels.


  • Bone & Lower Back Pain

Low levels of vitamin D may be a cause or contributing factor to bone pain and lower back pain.


  • Depression

Depression is associated with low levels of vitamin D in the blood. Some studies have found that taking vitamin D pills can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.


  • Osteoporosis

A diagnosis of osteoporosis may be a sign of a vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough of this vitamin is important for maintaining bone mass with age.


  • Hair Loss

Hair loss may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, especially in women.


  • Muscle Pain

There is a link between muscle pain and low levels of vitamin D in the blood, which may be due to an interaction between vitamin D receptors and pain-sensing neurons.


Benefits of Vitamin D


  • Vitamin D & Bone Health

Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium phosphate absorption, which builds bones. Consequently, vitamin D deficiency leads to complications such as osteoporosis, an increased risk of fractures and their complications. Vitamin D deficiency also causes bone and joint pain, in addition to fatigue and exhaustion.


  • Vitamin D & Parathyroid Glands Dysfunction

Weakness in the parathyroid glands and a decrease in parathyroid hormone secretion, leads to a lack of calcium absorption, which in turn may affect the bone and teeth health. Vitamin D aids in intestinal calcium absorption.


  • Vitamin D & Psoriasis

Applying ointments containing Vitamin D along with cortisone containing ointments can help reduce and treat psoriasis symptoms.


  • Vitamin D & the Heart

Some research indicates that people with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of suffering from heart failure, compared to people with higher levels of vitamin D. Some research also shows that taking vitamin D supplements can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Moreover, taking vitamin D supplements might reduce mortality in people with heart disease.


  • Vitamin D & Anxiety

Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are at a higher risk of developing depression, symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and low mood. Through research it was concluded that taking vitamin D pills may alleviate all these symptoms.


  • Vitamin D & the Menstrual Cycle

Studies have shown that lack of vitamin D in young women may precipitate menstrual irregularity. Therefore taking supplements such as vitamin D may help regulate menstruation. It has also been shown that taking vitamin D along with other vitamins, such as vitamin B, can prevent PMS symptoms and severe back pain associated with menstruation.


  • Vitamin D & Multiple Sclerosis

Studies have shown that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) taking vitamin D may experience many benefits, including reduced frequency of relapse. Healthy intake of vitamin D may also prevent multiple sclerosis.


  • Vitamin D for Babies

Vitamin D is crucial for the development of a child’s immune system and its strength. Breast milk generally contains less vitamin D than needed by the baby. Therefore, it is added to some formula milk products for children.


Side Effects of Vitamin D


  • Vitamin D for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women

Vitamin D is very safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women since it has many benefits.  They are also advised to take vitamin D in a dose determined by their doctor and avoid exceeding it.


  • Vitamin D for Children

Vitamin D is safe for children of all ages in different doses. Vitamin D helps build and strengthen the immune system during childhood and protects against various diseases including immune diseases.


  • Some diseases in which vitamin D is contraindicated and shouldn’t be taken:
  • Atherosclerosis: Some studies have shown that taking vitamin D may increase the risk of atherosclerosis in people with this condition.
  • High calcium level: Taking vitamin D may increase calcium absorption, leading to increase of calcium levels. This causes major problems, especially for people whose blood calcium concentration is already elevated.
  • High parathyroid hormone: This hormone helps in the absorption of calcium and increases its concentration, so it is contraindicated to take vitamin D in such cases.
  • Lymphoma: In these cases, vitamin D increases calcium concentration, which may lead to kidney stones.
  • Sarcoidosis and tuberculosis: These are two rare pneumonias, which are associated with elevated levels of calcium. Vitamin D should be avoided in these cases to prevent kidney stones.


Drug Interactions of Vitamin D


  • Aluminum

Aluminum is present in most heartburn/antacid medications. Vitamin D increases the absorption of aluminum by the body. Therefore, it is recommended to take vitamin D two hours before taking such drugs or four hours after taking them.


  • Calcipotriene

Calcipotriene increases calcium absorption, just as vitamin D does, so it is contraindicated to take them together. In clinical practice, doctors usually prefer to use vitamin D instead of this drug.


  • Digoxin

This drug is used in patients with heart disease. It helps in strengthening the heart muscle. However, an increase in the concentration of calcium or intake of vitamin D may increase the efficacy of this medicine, causing heart rhythm disturbances.


  • Vitamin D & Antihypertensive Drugs: Diltiazem And Verapamil

Medications containing diltiazem and verapamil are commonly used in hypertensive patients to reduce blood pressure. However, they interfere with vitamin D since they both work by blocking calcium channels, which helps lower blood pressure. Therefore, a doctor must be informed and avoid prescribing them in conjunction with vitamin D.


  • Vitamin D & Diuretics

Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. Diuretics, such as Lasix, increase the level of calcium, which leads to a massive increase of calcium concentration in the blood leading to problems such as kidney stones.


Among the most important diuretics are:

  • Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Esidrix)
  • Indapamide (Lozol)
  • Metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
  • Chlorthalidone (Hygroton)