Vitamin D deficiency: Reasons your Vit D levels are low; signs to watch out for | Health

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Vitamin D deficiency has been on rise in populations across the globe as per a report published in the scientific journal Osteoporosis International. Low Vitamin D levels could increase risk of osteoporosis, fractures, loss of bone density, rickets among many other diseases. There are several researchers that are studying Vitamin D for its possible connection to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. We get Vitamin D from our skin which makes the crucial compound upon exposure to sunlight and also various food sources from egg, fatty fish, cheese, soy milk and fortified foods. (Also read: Is too much of Vitamin D harming your body and what should you keep in mind while taking supplements. Experts answer)

There are many factors that are responsible for low levels of Vitamin D and it could range from low exposure to sunlight, old age to chronic kidney disease.

“Deficiency of Vitamin D has increased nowadays. There are lesser available dietary sources for Vitamin D and people are not getting sufficient sunlight. Early morning – before 8am – exposure to sunlight helps to manufacture Vitamin D. Unfortunately, due to lockdown and later due to hectic schedule, people don’t have exposure to sun. In some cases, people suffer from chronic kidney disease due to which active form of Vitamin D is not produced in the body. Another reason could be malabsorption syndrome that leads to decreased or no absorption of Vitamin A, D E and K from our food,” says Dr Honey Savla, Consultant Internal Medicine, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.

“Struggling to get your Vitamin D levels up? The reference range for Vitamin D deficiency varies but many consider deficiency

Siim Land lists several reasons for Vitamin D deficiency

Lack of sunlight: It is important to get sufficient sunlight especially in morning hours as our skin needs it to manufacture Vitamin D. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays interact with a protein called 7-DHC in the skin and converts it into Vitamin D3, a form of Vitamin D.

There is no enough sulfur in the body: It a major mineral that is part of the proteins of your body, and it helps out with many bodily processes.

Due to non-exposure to sunlight, our body is not able to make sufficient amounts of Vitamin D3. Not eating food rich in broccoli, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes which are the sources of sulfur could also lead to a deficiency.

Low magnesium: Magnesium helps in the activation of Vitamin D, which helps regulate calcium and phosphate homeostasis to influence the growth and maintenance of bones. According to National Library of Medicine, all of the enzymes that metabolize Vitamin D seem to require magnesium, which acts as a cofactor in the enzymatic reactions in the liver and kidneys.

Excess body fat: Obesity could also lead to Vitamin D deficiency. People who are obese have 50% less bioavailable Vitamin D.

Low boron: Boron increases the half life of active Vitamin D. It works alongside Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption and bone maintenance. As Vitamin D’s co-worker, boron helps support your body’s bone health.

Low Vitamin K: Vitamin k enhances Vitamin D’s effects on bone mineralisation. They work together in calcium metabolism.

Not eating enough Vitamin D foods: Not consuming enough Vitamin D foods like eggs, dairy, fish, cheese, spinach, okra or white beans can also result in Vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

The symptoms include fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps, mood changes, like depression among others.

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