We all know that the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. It is synthesized in our bodies if we expose ourselves in sunlight for some time every day. This vitamin is essential for making our bones and muscles stronger. It also improves our regular physiological functions. We are often deficient of Vitamin D if we use sunscreen before going out or if we are staying at extreme cold climate. In such cases we need to take Vitamin D supplements to replenish the deficit amount. Vitamin D is responsible for controlling our calcium level in the body.
Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin D
There are people who have deficiency of Vitamin D and still their bodies do not show any clear symptoms. Usually those who are severely deficient of Vitamin D have aches in the joints and muscles accompanied with tiredness. At times there are various infections due to lack of Vitamin D in body. The most accurate way of understanding whether we are deficit of this vitamin is to undergo a blood test 25(OH) D. in children deficiency of Vitamin D leads to rickets in which the bone tissues cannot mineralize and the bones are susceptible to gradual deformation. In the adults, it leads to osteomalacia in which bones become weak which can be identified with pain in joints and muscles.
People who are at risk of low vitamin D
- Those with a darker complexion tend to have low Vitamin D. The melanin pigment of our skin prevents the UV rays from entering our skin surface thus barring synthesis of Vitamin D. also people who are less exposed to sun either for staying at cold areas or covering themselves for religious factors.
- Those who are suffering from chronic ailments- obesity, kidney and liver problems, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis etc. Also due to prolonged use of anti-convulsants Vitamin D is broken down.
- Those who work in the nightshift or stay inside the house for longer time of the day.
- Infants who survive on mother’s milk tend to have a deficiency of Vitamin D than those who live on infant formulas that are fortified with sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
- Usually people who intake ovo-vegetarian diet or intolerant toward lactose or any dairy products are associated with Vitamin D deficiency.
Foods containing Vitamin D
There are various types of food that contain sufficient amount of Vitamin D that can replenish your loss of the same vitamin in our bodies:
- Fishes like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich sources of Vitamin D. it is also present in cod liver oils and mushrooms. In mushrooms Vitamin D is present in the form of Vitamin D2 and it is obtained by exposing them under certain regulated conditions to ultraviolet light.
- Vitamin D is also present in egg yolks, cheese, meat liver in the form of Vitamin D3 and its metabolite 25(OD) D3.
- Most of the American fortified foods are rich in Vitamin D e.g. milk, cheese, breakfast cereals, margarine, yoghurt, cheese and even orange juice of some brands are fortified with sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D can be found in fortified soy products.
Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet which is replete with Vitamin D can keep many ailments away from you. Along with that, a little exposure to sunlight everyday will give you the perfect dose of this valuable Vitamin to keep you healthy!