Vitamin D: Deficiency Symptoms, Benefits, Causes, Foods and Sources
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Vitamin D: Deficiency Symptoms, Benefits, Causes, Foods and Sources


Understanding Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for humans. The human body requires Vitamin D for regulating body minerals such as phosphorus and calcium, and also for the vital function of maintaining proper bone structure. A fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin D can be stored by the body for long periods of time. There are two variants of Vitamin D – D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is nearly twice as effective (as compared to D2) in boosting levels of Vitamin D in our blood, and thereby in our system. Technically and chemically speaking, Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is generated by our body’s cholesterol when our skin is exposed to the sun – the reason Vitamin D is also called the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. Exposure to the sun, however, is usually not able to meet the body’s full requirements of Vitamin D, causing doctors to prescribe dietary and medicinal supplements. Even so, not too many foods contain sufficient quantities of Vitamin D, making the deficiency of Vitamin D a fairly universal ‘ailment’ in the world today. The risk of Vitamin D deficiency tends to rise with age, and can be considerably higher for those above the age of 45. Dark skinned people who are not able to obtain satisfactory exposure to sunlight – as well as those who tend to avoid sunlight – are also prone to a deficiency of Vitamin D.


What Are The Benefits of Vitamin D?


Some of the areas where Vitamin D is beneficial to the human body are:
  • Facilitating absorption of calcium and phosphorus – which, in turn, influences the health of our bones, teeth and muscles.
  • Regulating cell growth.
  • Neuromuscular functioning.
  • Keeping our immune system robust.
  • Keeping heart ailments at bay.
Vitamin D has also been known to help us fight
  • Rickets – an ailment of the growing bones that mainly affects children in developing countries.
  • Osteoporosis – a condition characterized by brittle and weak bones.
  • Respiratory airway infection.
  • Asthma.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Depression.
  • Obesity.
  • Ear infection.
  • Stroke.
  • Diabetes.
  • Dementia.
  • Multiple sclerosis (and other autoimmune diseases)
  • Cavities in the teeth.
  • Cancer (of the Prostate, Colon and Breast, for example).

What Are The Best Sources of Vitamin D (Vitamin D Foods)?

Sunshine is freely available and effective source for the body to obtain Vitamin D. When the cholesterol in our skin comes in contact with UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays of the sun, it leads to the production of Vitamin D. The body can be pretty quick in converting the light of the sun into Vitamin D, and just 6 days of ‘normal’ exposure to the light of the sun can compensate for a lack of sunlight exposure of upto 50 days. Once Vitamin D has been generated, the fat cells store it up for long periods of time, much like a battery.

One must expose as much of the body to the sun as possible – and avoid using sunglasses and sunscreen – in order to generate sufficient levels of Vitamin D. Do note that too much of exposure to the sun isn’t good for your skin either and can cause sunburns. A good rule of thumb is to go ‘all out’ in the sunshine for 30 minutes to an hour – and thereafter only for shorter periods.

Food Sources That Are High in Vitamin D Are (Vitamin D Foods):

  • Mushrooms.
  • Cheese.
  • Fish – particularly fatty fish : Mackerel, eel, trout, cod, salmon, tuna, halibut, herring, sardine, catfish, carp, shrimp.
  • Soy milk.
  • Milk.
  • Yogurt.
  • Butter.
  • Sour cream.
  • Egg yolk.
  • Fortified cereals.
  • Oysters.
  • Orange juice.
  • Margarine.
  • Fortified foods.
  • Supplements.
  • UV lamps.

Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin D.

  • 400 IU (10 mcg): Infants, 0–12 months
  • 600 IU (15 mcg): Children & adults, 1–70 years old
  • 800 IU (20 mcg): Older adults, pregnant women, breastfeeding women.
    The recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin D is normally between 400 and 800 IU, although it is often recommended to get more than that. From another yardstick, a Vitamin D level of less than 20 ng/mL is considered insufficient.


Vitamin D Deficiency.

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that critically impacts various organs and aspects of the human body. In contrast to other vitamins, Vitamin D functions in the capacity of a hormone. Deficiency of Vitamin D is amongst the more common ‘maladies’ of the world today, and may be termed as one of the silent epidemics of our time.


People who are at a risk of Vitamin D deficiency are those:

  • Who are prone to falling ill.
  • Who suffer from fatigue and tiredness often.
  • Who have dark skin.
  • With a tendency to avoid sunlight.
  • Who follow a strictly ‘Vegan’ diet.
  • Who suffer from conditions such as milk or fish allergies – or are Lactose intolerant).
  • With gastric bypass surgeries.
  • With an anorexia nervosa condition.
  • Who have a malabsorption syndrome such as celiac sprue.
  • Who have a habit of covering their entire bodies, thus depriving the skin from Vitamin D.
  • Who are overweight or obese.
  • Who tend to suffer from ‘depression’.
  • Suffer from bone loss.
  • Experience frequent (or more-than-normal) bone and muscle pain.
  • Suffer from hair loss.
  • Take longer-than-normal to heal bruises and wounds.
  • Perimenopausal women.
  • Women who are pregnant.
  • Women who are lactating.
  • Women suffering from a reduced bone density condition such as osteopenia (reduced bone density) as opposed to osteoporosis.


Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms.

An insufficiency in the levels of Vitamin D in the blood can manifest itself in a variety of ways and signs. On one hand, symptoms may be weakness in the muscles and pain in the bone. On the other hand, symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency may be subtle and difficult to detect, but connected to serious ailments and hazards such as heart & cardiovascular diseases, intense cases of Asthma in children and cognitive disorders in older citizens. Indeed, older people are at a much higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency for two reasons: Firstly, the amount of receptors (that help convert sunlight into Vitamin D) in their skin tend to be less. Secondly – largely due to kidney ailments – they find it more difficult (than their younger counterparts) to convert dietary vitamins into a form their body can use.


How Much Can a Vitamin D Test Cost?

House of Diagnostics offers affordable and quick Vitamin D Test to ensure your preparedness against ailments and general well-being of your health. You can book a Consultation and Test for yourself – or someone else who needs help – in just a few clicks here.


Vitamin D, 25 – Hydroxy

This test is generally useful for monitoring vitamin d level. Check here Vitamin D, 25 hydroxy test cost in Delhi/NCR and details


Test Type : Blood Test
Preparation : No Special Preparation Required
Reporting : Within 24 Hours*
Test Price: Please click here to view Vitamin D, 25 Hydroxy test price in Delhi NCR.
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Vitamin D: Deficiency Symptoms, Benefits, Causes, Foods and Sources
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Vitamin D: Deficiency Symptoms, Benefits, Causes, Foods and Sources
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Here we are discussing vitamin d deficiency symptoms, benefits, causes, foods and sources. Vitamin D can lead to a loss of bone density because it helps your body to absorb calcium. People get vitamin D through foods and by exposure to sunlight. For most adults, vitamin D deficiency isn't a concern.
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