Vitamin D functions -
For musculo-skeletal health, to make calcium more bio available to the body,
hormonal health, for immunity and for cancer prevention.
What leads to deficiency? Lifestyle factors, inadequate exposure to sunlight and age.
Complications of deficiency - can affect the heart, kidney, nerves and bones, can also lead to diabetes mellitus
Ideal dose - 10 mg for children, pregnant and lactating women, 5 mg for normal adults
While the world is talking about obesity, diabetes and other chronic problems, there has been a silent rise of nutritional deficiencies in the overall population.
Malnutrition has two faces. One side resulting from over nutrition like obesity due to excess calories and low physical activity. The other side is under-nutrition especially micro-nutrient deficiency triggering other health problems.
Earlier malnutrition was equated with lack of food availability and poverty. Of late malnutrition is more due to lack of quality than quantity. Food is readily available but the quality has dwindled of late which may be due to the following factors:
- Substandard quality of fruits and vegetables available
- Improper food choices leading to imbalance of macro and micro nutrition
- Lack of nutritional knowledge
Deficiency of Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also called as the Sunshine vitamin since body synthesises it in presence of sunlight, is a fat soluble vitamin which is required for a number of functions in the body.
Deficiency of Vitamin D (VDD) has become quite common now with more than 75% population of varied age group suffering from it.
Function of Vitamin D
- Help in skeletal development and bone health
- Required for absorption of calcium in the body
- Required for neuro-muscular development.
- For hormonal health
- Help in building immunity of the body (Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jan;55(1):96-108.)
- Cancer prevention - Studies suggest the protective effect of Vitamin D and lower incidence of cancer. (American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) February 2006)