Vitamin D is also known as the sun vitamin. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be obtained mostly from sunlight and a small trace amount from foods. Vitamin D deficiency happens when a person does not get enough vitamin D or is unable to metabolize the vitamin D and convert it into an active form. Vitamin D deficiency can result in many health problems such as low absorption of calcium that can lead to loss of bone mass, skeletal deformities, and rickets and may extend to other serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, infectious disease, and psychological disease. Find doctor has many specialists that can help you with your inquiries about the significance of health and other medical-related issues.
The function of vitamin D
Boost the function of the immune system.
- To promote cell growth and regulate the body’s metabolism.
- Support absorption of calcium for stronger bones and teeth.
- Maintain normal blood pressure.
- It involves brain development.
- It helps control the levels of insulin.
The common cause of vitamin D deficiency
There are two major fundamental causes of vitamin D deficiency, including a lack of sun exposure and inadequate nutritional intake. You can obtain vitamin D through certain foods such as red meat, sardines, tuna, salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms, red meat, and others. Sometimes, you may also consume vitamin D supplements to nourish your body if you have a low diet of vitamin D. On top of that, many people are also not aware of the importance of sun exposure and thus are not able to make time to spend at least 10 minutes in the early morning sungazing, probably from 10 am to 12 am, which is the best time to get the utmost amount of vitamin D. Consequently, the number of people who are suffering from vitamin D deficiency has caused many health problems in society and the number keep on increasing yearly.
Implications of vitamin D deficiency
There are a growing number of studies that have accentuated the effects of vitamin D on humans. According to the World Health Organisation, vitamin D contributes to pathological conditions such as cancer, which has become a leading cause of mortality in the world. Studies have also demonstrated the effects of vitamin D on the development and modification pathways of autoimmune disorders, which have shown a positive impact on the significance of vitamin D in cytokine production, reducing inflammation, and the induction of immune cells. Patients with low immunity are encouraged to replenish their bodies with an adequate amount of vitamin D to help them improve their body defense mechanisms to fight against bacteria and viruses.
Factors related to vitamin D deficiency
The geographical factor is the most notable influence on vitamin D3 synthesis, which counts the time of day when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Countries with low latitude levels exhibit a high presence of vitamin D deficiency. It has been evaluated that countries such as Europe and the Middle East have a higher percentage of people who have vitamin D deficiency. However, people who live in a hot and tropical climate such as Malaysia also have a potential risk of suffering from vitamin D insufficiency as they often try to avoid sunlight by staying indoors.
Some people are not comfortable spending time outdoors and limit their sun exposure, especially during weekends. Most of the employees who live in metropolitan cities work indoors and have fewer opportunities to expose themselves to sunlight. They are unaware that wearing thick clothes and using umbrellas can also become a factor in vitamin D deficiency.
People with a darker complexion need more sun exposure as compared to people with lighter complexions. This is because people with darker skin tones have thicker melanin. Melanin is a natural skin pigment that helps protect your body against harmful UV rays. It is advisable to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 50 30 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun to protect your skin against UVA and UVB to prevent conditions such as aging, sunburn, and skin disease such as cancer.
Some medications, such as steroids and medicine for lowering cholesterol, may reduce the ability to absorb and synthesize vitamin D. Anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital and phenytoin may increase the breakdown of vitamin D and reduce the absorption of calcium.