Why  vitamin D is very important for our health and vitamin D sources

   Why  vitamin D is very important for our health and vitamin D sources

Vitamin D has numerous health benefits, from keeping our bones and teeth healthy to potentially even protecting against diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. A new study suggests that vitamin D may also improve muscle strength

vitamin D is key for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. It also has many positive effects on the immune system, endocrine glands, and cardiovascular system.

A new study – carried out by researchers from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom – investigates the effect of vitamin D levels on muscle strength.

 

VITAMIN D
                        VITAMIN D

 Importance of vitamin D

A significant proportion of the UK population have low vitamin D levels, which has resulted in a
rising number of reported cases of rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. This is of
particular concern for all pregnant and breastfeeding women, young children, older people, black
and ethnic minority groups, and those at risk of inadequate sunshine exposure. Pregnant women
especially need to ensure their own requirement for vitamin D is met and to build adequate fetal
stores for early infancy.
Vitamin D deficiency impairs the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus, which can give
rise to bone deformities in children, and bone pain and tenderness as a result of osteomalacia in
adults. It is essential that everyone, especially those people most at risk, are aware of the
implications of vitamin D deficiency and most importantly what they can do to prevent it.

Risk factors for vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency

Pigmented skin (non-white ethnicity)
 Lack of sunlight exposure
 Skin concealing garments or strict sunscreen use
 Multiple, short interval pregnancies
 Elderly or housebound
 Vegan / vegetarian or high phytate consumption such as in chapatis
Malabsorption (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, pancreatic
insufficiency)
 Use of anticonvulsants, rifampicin, cholestyramine, anti-retrovirals

Sources of vitamin D

VITAMIN D SOURCES
              VITAMIN D SOURCES

The sun:

Our body creates most of our vitamin D from modest exposure to direct UVB sunlight.
Regular, short periods of UVB exposure without sunscreen during the summer months are
enough for most people. However, some groups (see risk factors listed above) may not be able to
get enough vitamin D in this way. In addition, those living at above 52° N latitude (the UK is at
latitude of 50–60° N) may not get enough vitamin D during the winter months.
Diet: Food in the diet can also contribute to vitamin D levels, but the average daily intake is just
2–4 micrograms, and it is difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from diet alone. Food sources
include:
Oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines)
Cod liver oil and other fish oils
Eggs
Meat
Mushrooms
Manufacturers also have to add it to all margarine and infant formula milk. Other manufacturers
add it voluntarily to some breakfast cereals, soya products, some dairy products, powdered milks
and low-fat spreads; however, this is often a minimal amount.
Breastfed babies get their vitamin D from their mother’s breast milk, which is one reason why it is
important for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to have adequate vitamin D levels of their own.

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