What diseases could be caused by vitamin D deficiency?

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Vitamin D deficiency can lead to several diseases. The one that's best understood is bone disease. Without adequate vitamin D, your body can't make enough of the hormone calcitriol, which you need to absorb calcium. If you can't absorb adequate amounts of calcium from food, your body will steal the mineral from the bones, leading to bone weakness diseases: rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults and, most commonly, osteoporosis, the brittle-bone disease that affects millions of older Americans.

The risk of other diseases from vitamin D deficiency is less well established. There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for several chronic diseases, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis, but more research is needed to confirm these links.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.