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Here're the reasons why you should increase your Vitamin D intake

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our overall health, but many people are not getting enough of this vitamin

Mansi Chaudhary 

Mansi Chaudhary---- Senior Dietitian, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh

is one of the most important vitamins for our overall health, but many people are not getting enough of this vitamin. An expensive test can determine if you are getting enough of the vitamin. Everyday new studies highlight why is important.

The main purpose of is to keep adequate calcium and phosphorous in our blood, so that these two nutrients can keep our bones strong. A lack of Vitamin D leads to less absorption of calcium phosphorous. This leads to brittle bones.

Reasons why Vitamin D is so important

1) Prevent bone fractures

2) Prevent osteoporosis

3) To reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer

4) To reduce the risk of diabetes, especially in young people and those living in high altitude locations

5) To protect against heart diseases such as high blood pressure and heart failure

6) Reduces risks of multiple sclerosis

7) Improves one’s mood

8) Improves lung function

If one doesn’t get enough Vitamin D

1) Bones become weak and can break

2) Children can get rickets, a disease that prevents their bones from growing properly

3) Adults can develop osteomalacia, a disease that weakens the bones

How much Vitamin D does one need?

Most experts say that people should take much more of this vitamin. Also, exposure to sunlight is very important.

1) All children and adults need 800 to 1000 units of Vitamin D every day

2) People older than 65 probably need even more than 1000 because they don't spend much time in the sun and their bodies don't absorb vitamins the way it used to earlier

3) People who are at a risk of developing and those who are already Vitamin D deficient

Best Sources of Vitamin D

While the sun is the best source of vitamin D, too much exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. But, too little exposure leads to deficiency. The best remedy is a combination of a short time under the sun and daily Vitamin D supplements.

Foods rich in Vitamin D

1) Cod liver oil

2) Salmon/mackerel

3) Sardines/tuna fish

5) Milk pudding

6) Eggs

7) Liver/beef

8) Swiss cheese

Who is at risk of

1) Infants who are only breast fed or who get less than 2 cups each day of vitamin D

2) People with dark Skin (which does not absorb sunlight as well as light skin)

3) People who use sunscreen often

4) People who have medicinal conditions that interfere with their body's ability to absorb fat, such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease or pancreatitis

5) People who have liver or kidney problems

6) People who live in northern hemisphere in the winter months

7) People who take certain medicines like anti-seizure drugs or steroids

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

Brittle bones, fatigue, muscle pain, depression, impaired wound healing. hair loss and low immunity.

First Published: Sat, November 23 2019. 23:49 IST