Are you aware of which vitamin deficiency is common in old age? If you know, that’s good. For those who don’t know, it’s vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a significant role in maintaining bone and teeth health, besides many other functions. Its deficiency is mostly found in people above 65 years of age.
But the good news is that this deficiency is preventable.
To learn in detail about vitamin D, keep reading this article.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in a few foods and our body also produces it when we get exposed to sunlight. It helps with many body functions but most importantly with bones and teeth health.
If you ever develop vitamin D deficiency the first sign you notice is your bones go weak. People who don’t get enough sunlight or don’t eat foods that contain vitamin D develop this deficiency. Severe levels of vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious health conditions such as arthritis, osteomalacia, rickets, etc.
But you can easily manage its deficiency by eating food products that have vitamin D, taking supplements of vitamin D, or getting sunlight regularly so that your body automatically produces vitamin D.
Vitamin D performs many functions in your body:
- Vitamin D helps to maintain and absorb calcium and phosphorus in the blood which is used to build healthy bones and tissues.
- Vitamin D supports your immune system and reduces the risks of autoimmune diseases.
- It helps the nerves to send messages and signals from the brain to various parts of the body.
- Vitamin D also helps the muscles to contract.
- Vitamin D also decreases cancer cell growth and helps to control infections and inflammation.
Dosage and dietary sources
The recommended dosages of vitamin D are:
- For adults, who are below the age of 70 years it is 600IU.
- For older people, who are above the age of 70 years, it is 800IU.
- For infants, whose ages are between 0 to 12 months, is 400IU.
- For Children, whose ages are between 1 to 18 years is 600IU.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D
- Oily or fatty Fishes – Salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods
- Soy milk
Deficiency of vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency happens when you don’t have enough vitamin D in your body which leads to several health problems. It is most found in older people and people with darker skin tones. As vitamin D’s main function is to maintain bone health. Deficiency leads to bone problems such as osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.
- Osteomalacia is a condition in which your bone becomes soft and weak.
- Similarly in children, rickets happen when their legs bones and muscles get weak giving them ‘bow-legs.’
Severe vitamin d deficiency leads to serious health diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, asthma, arthritis, etc.
Excess Vitamin D
Excess vitamin D can be life-threatening because it can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia. In this condition, calcium levels increase in the bloodstream which can lead to calcification of bones and harden the blood vessels, kidneys, lungs, and heart tissues. In severe cases, surgery is required to treat this condition.
So, you must follow the dietary intake of vitamin D to avoid this type of condition.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for our body. It helps to maintain healthy bones and tissues. But not having enough or having it in excess is bad for health. So, it is important that you consume the right amount of Vitamin D that fulfills daily nutritional requirements.
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