In general, Vitamin D is known to be the nutrient for stronger bones and teeth and is manufactured with the help of sunlight only. The nutrient is divided into Vitamin D(2) and Vitamin D(3) based on the sources. While Vitamin D(2) can be acquired from vitamin D rich food, Vitamin D(3) can be produced when sun rays hit the skin.
Both vitamins travel in the bloodstream and reach the liver and are then reformed into a hormone called Hydroxy vitamin D in the liver, which reaches kidneys and is again transformed into 1, 25 – Dihydroxyvitamin, also called calcitriol. This helps in storing calcium in bones.
Vitamin D also boosts the defense mechanism of our body and reduces inflammation. Fat rich fishes like tuna, salmon, eggs, cheese, and milk products are high in vitamin D.
According to a Japanese study, exposure to sunlight or dietary supplement of vitamin D lessens the chances of liver cancer. Another US study states that people exposed to sunlight for a long duration have fewer chances of getting colon cancer than people exposed for a short duration.
Various studies on public health state that the incidence of cancer and death ratio is less in people exposed to sunlight. Few experimental research reveals a strong relation between carcinoma and vitamin D. An experiment on rats showed that normal vitamin D level in the blood reduces the chances of developing cancer cells, shrinks the tumor and decreases the cell growth in cancer. Intestinal and genital areas are the commonly affected area, both in men and women. Studies show that it is less among people living in a sunny area.
Frequent episodes of sickness, tiredness, joint pain, back pain, slower wound healing, loss of hair and muscle pain are the warning signals of vitamin D shortage.
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It is a difficult task for the elderly people to spend time outdoors. Less exposure to sunlight leads to vitamin D shortage. Aging skin loses the efficiency to manufacture vitamin D.
A person with a high BMI has more chances of acquiring vitamin D deficit. Increased fat distribution all over the body reduces the flow of vitamin D and is transformed into an active hormone in the liver and kidneys. Lack of circulation may lead to a vitamin D shortage.
Causes like an unexpected pregnancy, teenage pregnancy, and recurrent pregnancy lead to a vitamin D shortage. During gestation period, fetus demands increased calcium. Vitamin D insufficiency may raise blood pressure during pregnancy.
Especially during breastfeeding, all the nutritional needs of the infant are met by the mother. Breastfeeding may cause vitamin D shortage in mothers. Regular intake of calcium supplements during pregnancy and after delivery may prevent the feeding mothers from Vitamin D insufficiency.
By Satkam Divya, CEO, KlinicApp