Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions like a steroid hormone in your body. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones). Severe vitamin D deficiency can also lead to other diseases. This article tells you about the causes and food requirements of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is not usually obvious, as its symptoms are subtle and may develop over years or decades. It travels through your bloodstream and into cells, telling them to turn genes on or off. Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D.
Vitamin D is produced from cholesterol in your skin upon exposure to sunlight. Thus, people who live far from the equator are likely to be deficient unless their dietary intake is adequate or they supplement with vitamin D.
In the United States, about 42% of people may be deficient in this vitamin. This number rises to 74% in older adults and 82% in people with dark skin since their skin produces less vitamin D in response to sunlight.
What does Vitamin D causes?
In children, it can cause rickets. Rickets is a rare disease that causes the bones to become soft and bend. African American infants and children are at higher risk of getting rickets. In adults, severe vitamin D deficiency leads to osteomalacia. Osteomalacia causes weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness.
Adults who are deficient in vitamin D may experience muscle weakness, bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures. In children, it may cause growth delays and soft bones (rickets).
Vitamin D connects to several medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Anyway, there is need to do more research before they can understand the effects of vitamin D on these conditions.
Did you Know?
Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in reduced immune function and an increased risk of cancer.
How Much Amount Of Vitamin D Do You Need?
The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age.
- Birth to 12 months: 400 IU
- Children 1-13 years: 600 IU
- Teens 14-18 years: 600 IU
- Adults 19-70 years: 600 IU
- Adults 71 years and older: 800 IU
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600 IU
People at high risk of vitamin D deficiency may need more. Consult your doctor about how much you need.
Foods To Be Taken
Here there are few foods that naturally have some vitamin D:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods. You can check the food labels to find out whether a food has vitamin D. Foods that often have added vitamin D include
- Breakfast cereals
- Orange juice
- Other dairy products, such as yogurt
- Soy drinks
While very few foods contain significant amounts of this vitamin, the best dietary sources are:
- Cod liver oil. A single tablespoon (15 ml) packs 227% of the DV.
- Fatty fish. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are rich in vitamin D. A small, 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked salmon provides 75% of the DV.
- Egg yolks. One large egg yolk contains 7% of the DV.
Vitamin D is in many multivitamins. There are also vitamin D supplements, both in pills and a liquid for babies. People who are deficient may want to take a supplement or increase their sun exposure. It is hard to get sufficient amounts through diet alone.
If you have vitamin D deficiency, the treatment is with supplements. Check with your health care provider about how much you need to take, how often you need to take it, and how long you need to take it.
Also know about: Iodine deficiency-Goitre.