Do you get exhausted easily? Do you get palpitations very often? Do your muscles feel sore and weak? Well, then there is a great likelihood that you could be a victim of Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D (calciferol) belongs to a group of fat soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique because of its functions as a prohormone as well as its synthesis to vitamin D3 in the body when exposed to adequate sunlight.
Vitamin D regulates the concentration of calcium and phosphate in the body and promotes healthy growth and remodelling of the bone. Vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Along with calcium, it protects elder adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D also affects neuromuscular functions, causes inflammation and influences the action of many genes that regulate proliferation and apoptosis of the cells. Vitamin D is also essential for the healthy growth of hair follicle as well as for a healthy immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is the main cause of rickets in young infants because breast milk is low in vitamin D and so is the cereal based diet.
Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause several bone diseases like:
25 hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 ng/ml (nanogram/mililitre) in serum is desirable for bone and overall health. Vitamin D intake lower than 100 International Unit (IU)/day is associated with increased risk of hip fracture.
Oral vitamin D replacement or intramuscular injections are prescribed to treat Vitamin D deficiency.
Research shows that dark skinned people living in the temperate climate have low Vitamin D levels as melanin in the skin hinders vitamin D synthesis.