Why do we need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of Calcium. It also plays a major role in muscle, immune system and muscles.
One can get Vitamin D through skin, diet and supplements. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D. Too much exposure to sunlight can lead to skin problems and cancer.
What causes Vitamin D deficiency?
- Mal-absorption or not getting enough from the diet is the primary cause. Other causes are due to the urban setup and lifestyle changes, staying indoors and air-conditioning also play a contributory factor for vitamin D deficiency.
- Also, other factors like obesity, people who are obese are less active and need more vitamin D as compared to people with a normal BMI.
- High consumption of soft drinks and fructose leads to vitamin D deficiency.
- Consuming farm fed chicken; eggs and mutton have far-less vitamin D content than wild game, which stays mainly outdoors.
- As more people are getting conscious and have cut down on fatty foods like full-fat milk or consuming leaner part of the chicken which also leads to a deficiency of vitamin D.
- Increase in consumption of PUFA rich oils/fats which decreases bio-availability of vitamin D.
- Increased consumption of processed foods and high salt intake also hampers other co-factors like calcium and magnesium. As magnesium is required to utilize vitamin D.
- Lactose intolerance or vegans too suffer from vitamin D deficiency
- Also, studies indicate that people working for long hours and leading a sedentary lifestyle or in night shifts have reduced vitamin D levels by 8%
Natural sources of Vitamin D
- Egg yolk
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
- Fortified foods like milk, orange juice, yoghurts, soy milk and breakfast cereals
Vitamin D is also available in the form of supplements, both in the form of tablets, powder or liquid for babies.
Please always ensure to check with your Doctor / Healthcare / Family Physician before starting with any new medication or therapy.