Vitamin D is known as “sunshine vitamin”because our body produce it when we are exposed to sunlight. But we also can obtain it from foods such as some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks and in fortified dairy and grain products.
Importance of Vitamin D
The main function of Vitamin D is that it promotes the proper growth of bones and muscles. It is very important as it helps to absorb calcium from the diet. Calcium is required for the body for proper functioning of heart, muscles, nerves and clotting of blood. Studies have shown deficiency of calcium is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.
Vitamin D is essential for production of hormone called calcitriol (known as active vitamin D). Insufficient amount of calcitriol leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In such situation body takes calcium store from the skeleton of the bones causing weakening of bones and also prevent further formation of strong bones.
Vitamin D deficiency
The medical term for vitamin D deficiency is called Hypovitaminosis D. Vitamin D deficiency or Hypovitaminosis D is common in people with cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown almost all people with heart failure has reduced levels of vitamin D.
Researchers believe that vitamin D plays important role in prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes,hypertension, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis.
Why Vitamin deficiency occurs?
Vitamin D deficiency can occur due to number of reasons
Inadequate amount of vitamin D from food
Limited exposure to sunlight
More amount of melanin pigment in skin which reduces the skin ability to makevitamin D
Malnutrition especially in children that leads to rickets
Inabilityof kidney to convert vitamin D to its active form
Inability of digestive system to absorb vitamin D due to medical problems like Crohn’sdisease, cystic fibrosis and celiac disease
Obesityproblem which causes extraction of vitamin D from body by fat cells alteringits releases into blood circulation
Symptoms and health risks associated with vitamin Ddeficiency
Weak bones and muscles aches
Osteomalaciain adults which is characterized by muscle weakness and bone fragility
Ricketsin children which is characterized by impeded growth and deformity in bones
Osteoporosis characterized by reduced bone mineral density and bone fragility
Fractures in bones and spinal deformities.
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart stroke
Cognitive impairment in older adults
Severe asthma in children
Riskof developing breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer
Therefore, deficiency of vitamin D should not be neglected as it can lead to various other health related problems. You can get vitamin D in three ways: exposing to sunlight, from diet and by taking vitamin D supplements. So try to incorporate one of these ways to supply adequate amount of vitamin D to your body for formation of health bones. And consult your doctor to know what dosage of vitamin D is required for your body.
“Expose to early sunlight and make yourbones stronger”