Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of a nutritious diet. The deficiency of any of these may hamper the normal functioning of the body. While deficiency symptoms of most vitamins are easily recognizable, Vitamin D deficiency symptoms may go undiagnosed for a long time.
Why does our body need Vitamin D?
Calcium is the foundation stone of our bones. Calcium absorption. It is also important for the muscle, nervous and immune systems.
How do we get Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency can be overcome by regulating the intake of this vitamin through three ways:
- Through the skin
- Through your Diet
- Through supplements.
Your body forms vitamin D naturally on exposure to sunlight. However, excessive exposure to sunlight may cause skin cancer and aging, so many people prefer to get their share of vitamin D from other sources.
What is the body’s Vitamin D requirement?
The amount of Vitamin D you need daily depends mainly on your age. Here are the recommended amounts in international units(IU):
- Till the age of one year – 400 IU
- Children from 1-13 years of age – 600 IU
- Teenagers between 14-16 years – 600 IU
- Adults between 19-70 years – 600 IU
- Adults 70 years and above – 800 IU
- Pregnant and lactating mothers – 600 IU
Please note that the above amount may vary according to your specific condition and needs. People at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency may need more amount. It is thus advisable to check with your doctor about your specific requirement.
What are the causes of Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency may be caused due to various reasons such as:
- You don’t get sufficient sunlight
- You have a malabsorption problem.
- Your body is not able to convert Vitamin D to its active form.
- You take certain medicines that interfere with calcium absorption in your body.
Who has more chances of suffering from Vitamin D deficiency?
Although all of us need Vitamin D, there are some people who are at a greater risk of suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. These are:
- People who take medication that adversely affects Vitamin D metabolism.
- People with Osteoporosis
- People who are obese
- People who are dark-skinned as dark skin produces less vitamin D from sunlight.
- Infants fed on breastmilk.
- People suffering from specific diseases.
Which food items are rich in Vitamin D?
Food items such as cheese, mushroom, egg yolk, salmon, tuna, etc. are rich in vitamin D. Some food items such as breakfast cereals, orange juice, soy drinks, and dairy products have added vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D toxicity?
Intake of excess amount of vitamin D causes vitamin D toxicity. This usually happens when people start taking a lot of supplements without consulting their health care provider. Symptoms of toxicity include nausea, weakness, poor appetite, and weight loss.
Take a healthy diet to prevent the occurrence of Vitamin D deficiency symptoms and stay healthy!