Vitamin D: Why it’s so essential, what happens when you don’t get enough of it?

Publication: Zee News
Posted on: April 11, 2017

New Delhi: Do you make some time to spend out in the Sun? If not, you better do so to prevent various health conditions triggered by Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential nutrient that helps maintain strong bones, teeth and keep the muscles healthy.

Vitamin D also serves several important functions in the body, including regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, reducing inflammation.

Symptoms and health risks of Vitamin D have been linked to –

  • Bone deformities such as rickets in children
  • Bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Cognitive impairment in adults
  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Severe asthma in children

Vitamin D is naturally found in a small number of foods such as fatty fish (salman, sardines, mackeral and tuna), red meat, egg yolks, fortified dairy and grain products (cereals and milk), fish liver oils, mushrooms, etc.

Your body also produces Vitamin D in response to skin being exposed to sunlight.

Steps you can take to prevent Vitamin D deficiency may include-

  • Spending some time in the sun each day.
  • Eating foods that are high in Vitamin D.
  • Taking dietary supplements, but should be taken only under your doctor supervision.

However, see that you do not overtake it as taking too much Vitamin D can be harmful for your health. This can weaken the bones, damage the kidneys and the heart.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by Metropolis Healthcare – a global chain of pathology labs and diagnostic centers – found that about 80% of people in Chennai suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.