Vitamin D deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent, with a prevalence of at least 50%-70% in the general population. So, many of us might be Vitamin D deficient without knowing it. Deficiency of vitamin D can present as excessive tiredness, excessive weakness, joint or muscle pains. About 83% females and 85% males in India are reported to have low Vitamin D levels. The best way to ensure adequate vitamin D levels is by sitting in the sun for 15-20 minutes daily, since there are very few foods that are rich in vitamin D. You could also take a supplement after doctor’s approval.
-A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people.
-A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.
-The most accurate way to measure the amount of vitamin D in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.
ROLE OF VITAMIN D IN THE BODY
-Our body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Hence, Calcium supplements are generally given with Vitamin D (Vitamin D3, Cholecalciferol).
-Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone problems (osteoporosis), heart disease, diabetes and even increase risk of cancer.
-The recommended form of Vitamin D as a supplement is Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol).
-Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is much more effective than its other form, Vitamin D2 (Calciferol).
WAYS TO GET VITAMIN D
The best way to get vitamin D is from sunlight. You can also get it from certain foods and supplements.
1 . SUNLIGHT
Most people get some vitamin D from sunlight. When the sun shines on your bare skin, your body makes its own vitamin D. The paler your skin type the more easily your skin can produce vitamin D. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind :
In summer, opt for early morning sun and in winters, sit under the sun closer to midday.
Fair skinned people need around 5-10 minutes on a sunny day, a few times a week.
People with darker skin tone and elderly need around 20-30 minutes of sun exposure.
Expose a large area of your skin , such as your back, rather than your face or arms, to make the most of the sunlight.
Do not apply sunscreen when exposing your body to sunlight as this might interfere with the production of vitamin D.
Don’t tan or burn your skin to get the vitamin D you need.
2 . FOODS
Most of the foods we eat have no naturally occurring vitamin D. Some foods that have vitamin D include milk fortified with vitamin D, mushrooms, fortified cereals, egg yolk, salmon, tuna, fish oils.
3 . SUPPLEMENTS
If you do not get enough sun exposure and cannot take foods that are rich in vitamin D, you may start taking vitamin D supplements. There are two kinds of supplements:
D2 (ergocalciferol), which is the type found in food.
D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the type made from sunlight.
Though produced differently,both can raise vitamin D levels in your blood. Always consult a doctor before starting any vitamin supplement.
So,make sure your vitamin D levels are in optimal range by following these effective tips. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!