“Exposure of Sufficient Sunlight to Skin Yields Vital Vitamin D That Help in Leading a Happy and Healthy Life.”
“Calcium deficiency” has become a common disease worldwide nowadays. The modern lifestyle made the majority of people suffer from malnutrition, especially, vitamin deficiency. Almost 90% of people are homebound or spending their time working in AC rooms where there is no exposure to the sunlight, the major source of Vitamin D. This vitamin has its vital role in the functionality of the bones, nerves, muscles, and immune system. That is the reason, it has become necessary for people to go for a Vitamin D test regularly to maintain a healthy life.
First things first.
What is Vitamin D?
In a nutshell, Vitamin D (aka sunshine vitamin and calciferol), a fat-soluble vitamin is an essential nutrient needed for humans for healthy bones. The human skin can absorb this vitamin through sunlight exposure. It can be converted to hormone form through the liver and kidney. The human body must need it because it helps in absorbing Calcium which is vital for bone growth. It is also needed for other body functions such as the immune system and skeletal integrity.
The Reasons Why Vitamin D Is So Important:
Here are the valid reasons why Vitamin D is crucial for humans’ health.
- It helps in maintaining normal blood levels of Phosphorous and Calcium.
- It supports a healthy immune system.
- It aids in the absorption of calcium.
- It prevents depression and encourages good moods.
- It promotes cell growth and bone mineralization.
- It improves the functionality of the lungs.
- It helps in weight loss.
- protects against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, depression.
Symptoms and Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency among age groups:
If you lack or exceed Vitamin D, it affects your health because you will be suffered from two types of disorders such as Hypovitaminosis D and Hypervitaminosis D.
Hypovitaminosis D is the case where you lack Vitamin D. Hypervitaminosis D (also called vitamin D toxicity) is the case where you have an exceeding amount of Vitamin D. It exists in the people who takes excessive amounts of Vitamin D supplements.
If you want to know the levels of Vitamin D, go for the bone profile test at any diagnostic and medical clinic in your vicinity.
The symptoms for Vitamin D deficiency are subtle as it has own set of risks as shown in the below table.
Rickets (soft, thin, and brittle bone)
Bowed legs in toddlers, Floppiness in the limbs of an infant, Knock knees in older children, A soft skull, Skeletal and Dental deformities, Delayed formation of teeth, Short stature, Harrison's groove, Low levels of calcium in the blood.
Frequent coughing, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Chest congestion.
Weak bones(bone pain, bones break easily, bone tenderness), Costochondral swelling or Prominent knobs on the bone, Muscle weakness (weakened heart muscles, muscle spasms), Spinal, Pelvic, or Cranial deformities, Widening wrists.
High blood pressure
Confusion, dullness, loss of memory (short/long-term)
Increased tumors cells, cancer cells
Table: Symptoms and Health Risks of Vitamin D Deficiency among age groups
What are the Best Sources of Vitamin D?
These are four sources of Vitamin D namely Sun, Diet, Fortified foods, and Supplements.
It is the natural source for Vitamin D and skin the medium that absorbs it and sends it to the body directly.
Fatty Fish, mackerel, cod liver oil, beef liver, meat, egg yolks, margarine, mushrooms, milk, cheese, salmon, yogurt, soy drinks, tuna.
Fortified foods: Dry cereal, juice drinks, soy milk, cow’s milk, cereal, and oatmeal
Supplements: Oral Vitamin D supplements (as per healthcare provider’s prescription after taking Vitamin D test.)
Vitamin D intake should be as mentioned below according to the age groups:
- Age between 1-70: 600 IU per day.
- Age >70: 800 IU per day.
Why vitamin D test is important in adults?
The people who need extra Vitamin D are adults/ seniors, breastfed infants, people with obesity/liver disease/chronic disease, and dark-skinned people.
Among all of them, the adults need more amount of Calciferol as they are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency in adults occurs because
- As people age (starting from 5o years of age), the kidneys perform poor functionality while transforming the vitamin D to the hormone.
- As adults age, their skin shows less ability in making Vitamin D.
- The elder people are more homebound than other age groups.
- The dark-skinned elder people lack the ability to make Vitamin D because dark skin absorbs less sunlight.
- If adults have chronic diseases, obesity, liver or kidney problems, or under medical conditions, they suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
- The adults will have trouble absorbing vitamin D in the food or didn’t consume the required amount of vitamin D daily.
How much does the Vitamin D test cost?
The cost for the Vitamin D test depends on the clinic to clinic and location to location. However, it doesn’t cost you much. Moreover, there are many diagnostic centers such as Tesla diagnostics in Hyderabad that are emerging by providing the best health checkup packages that include bone profile and all types of vitamin tests at reasonable price ranges of INR 2500.
In a nutshell, having a good amount of vitamin D is essential for all humankind irrespective of age groups. Get exposure to the natural source of vitamin D, the sunlight at least for 30 minutes and have a proper diet that consists of vitamin D or fortified vitamin D products or supplements. Minimize the western diet that lacks essential vitamins. Be regular in taking the bone profile and vitamin tests, especially adults in the family as they are more prone to vitamin D deficiency and lead a happy and healthy life.