Diseases Related to Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. It is best known for its role in regulating calcium levels and promoting bone health, but vitamin D is also important for other reasons. Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of many aspects of human health, including the immune system, the cardiovascular system, and the muscles and nervous system.
Vitamin D is a class of fat-soluble secosteroids that increases intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, among other things.
The creation of cholecalciferol in the lower layers of the epidermis of the skin through a chemical process depending on sun exposure is the primary natural source of the vitamin (specifically UVB radiation).
Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be obtained through food and supplementation.
Types of Vitamin D
Vitamin D1 –1:1 ratio of Ergocalciferol with Lumisterol
Vitamin D2- Ergocalciferol
Vitamin D3- Cholecalciferol (It is made of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin)
Vitamin D4- 22-Dihydroergocalciferol
Vitamin D5- Sitocalciferol (It is made from 7-dehydrositosterol)
Function Of Vitamin D
One of vitamin D’s most significant functions is to keep the balance of calcium in the skeleton by encouraging calcium absorption in the intestines, encouraging bone resorption by raising osteoclast counts, keeping calcium and phosphate levels stable for bone creation, and enabling parathyroid hormone to operate normally, which keeps serum calcium levels stable.
A lack of vitamin D changes the body’s metabolism of minerals, which can lead to decreased bone mineral density, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of fractured bones. As a result of its role as a vigorous activator of bone resorption, vitamin D is also important for bone remodeling.
The proliferation and differentiation of cells are controlled by the VDR. The immune system is also impacted by vitamin D, and monocytes, activated T and B cells, as well as other white blood cells, express VDRs.
Vitamin D promotes the expression of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene in adrenal medullary cells and influences the production of neurotrophic factors, nitric oxide synthase, and glutathione in vitro. The expression of vitamin D receptors diminishes with age, and the data show that vitamin D is directly connected to muscular strength, mass, and function.
One of the most important roles of vitamin D is in the prevention of disease. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with several health problems, including rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Several diseases are associated with vitamin D deficiency. Rickets is a bone disease that is caused by vitamin D deficiency. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and fragile, and it is also associated with vitamin D deficiency. Cardiovascular disease is a condition that affects the heart and blood vessels, and vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing this condition. Autoimmune diseases are diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, and vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing several autoimmune diseases.
Recommended Amount of Vitamin D
Your age determines how much vitamin D you need daily.
Infants up to the age of 12 months require 10 mcg (400 IU)
Adults need 15 mcg (600 IU)
Older Patients need 20 mcg (800 IU)
Pregnancy and lactating mothers 15 mcg (600 IU)
Are you getting enough Vitamin D?
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? According to the latest research, most of us aren’t. Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a global health problem. So, if you’re not sure if you’re getting enough, it’s worth checking.
Importance Of Vitamin D For Kids and Adults
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is needed for strong bones and teeth. It is also important for the health of the muscles, heart, and lungs. Vitamin D is made in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. It can also be found in some foods, such as fatty fish and fortified milk. Most people get enough vitamin D from sunlight and food, but some people may need to take a vitamin D supplement.
So, if you’re not sure if you’re getting enough, it’s worth checking. Vitamin D deficiency can have serious health consequences, so it’s important to make sure you’re taking steps to get enough of this important nutrient.
Vitamin D Deficiency Can Lead To
According to estimates, vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency affects one billion individuals globally. Vitamin D insufficiency is caused by an insufficient vitamin D diet combined with insufficient sun exposure.
In children, severe vitamin D deficiency produces rickets, a softening and weakening of the bones that is an uncommon condition in the developed world.
Elderly people across the world frequently have vitamin D insufficiency, as do kids and adults.
Due to poor bone mineralization and bone degeneration caused by deficiency, bone-softening illnesses such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults can develop.
Avoiding the sun might result in low blood calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D). Vitamin D deficiency can reduce the intestinal absorption of dietary calcium by 15%.
Normally, a person absorbs between 60 and 80% of their food when they are not deficient. Mild vitamin insufficiency in children may result in weak, sore, and/or painful muscles.
You may not have any indications or symptoms of vitamin D insufficiency.
Rickets is a juvenile condition that causes retarded growth and soft, fragile, malformed long bones that bend and bow under children’s weight when they begin to walk. Rickets usually emerges between the ages of 3 and 18 months. Cases are still being documented, and it is most common among breastfed newborns and individuals with darker-skinned complexions.
Rickets is caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin D in youngsters.
Rickets symptoms include the:
- Bowed or bent bones cause incorrect development patterns
- Muscle fatigue
- Bone ache
- Deformities of the joints
Bowlegs are a symptom of this condition, which can be caused by a calcium or phosphorus deficiency as well as a lack of vitamin D; in the twenty-first century, it is most common in low-income countries in Africa, Asia, or the Middle East, as well as in those with genetic disorders such as pseudo vitamin D deficiency rickets.
A vitamin D deficit in the mother can affect the integrity of the baby’s bones after delivery and lead to an overt bone disease before the baby is even born. Nutritional rickets may occur without a vitamin D deficit in areas with abundant sunshine all year, such as Nigeria.
Even though rickets and osteomalacia are relatively uncommon in the UK, outbreaks have occurred in specific immigrant groups, where osteomalacia cases included women who appeared to have had enough daylight exposure outside while dressed in Western culture.
Unless the diet strayed from a Western omnivore pattern defined by large consumption of meat, fish, and eggs, having darker skin and less exposure to sunlight did not result in rickets. Abstinence from animal foods is one of the dietary risk factors for rickets.
Because breast milk is poor in vitamin D and societal practices and meteorological conditions often hinder appropriate sun exposure, vitamin D insufficiency remains the leading cause of rickets in most nations.
Rickets is a condition that affects older toddlers and children in sunny nations like Nigeria, South Africa, and Bangladesh. It has been shown that these countries’ cereal-based diets and insufficient availability of dairy products are to blame for the prevalence of rickets among older toddlers and children.
Vitamin D-fortified milk, baby vitamin pills, and vitamin supplements have all contributed to the abolition of most cases of rickets in children with fat malabsorption disorders.
Adults suffer from osteomalacia, a condition caused by a lack of vitamin D.
Softening of the bones causes bending of the spine and bowing of the legs, as well as proximal muscle weakness, bone fragility, and an increased risk of fractures.
Osteomalacia lowers calcium absorption while increasing calcium loss from bone, increasing the risk of bone fractures. When 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels fall below 10 ng/mL, osteomalacia occurs.
There is no convincing evidence that reduced vitamin D levels are present in chronic pain patients or that supplementation reduces chronic nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, even though osteomalacia is assumed to play a role in the development of chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Osteoporosis is a disorder characterized by low bone mineral density, increased bone fragility, and an increased risk of bone fractures. Osteoporosis can be caused, at least in part, by a lack of calcium and/or vitamin D. This might be due to low calcium consumption, with insufficient vitamin D also contributing to decreased calcium absorption.
Low amounts of vitamin D have been seen in dark-skinned persons who live in temperate areas, but it’s unclear if this has any real importance. Because melanin in the skin inhibits vitamin D production, dark-skinned persons produce less vitamin D.
Hispanic and African American people in the United States frequently lack vitamin D, with wintertime levels falling precipitously.
This is because melanin, which serves as the skin’s natural sunscreen, is present in sufficient amounts.
Some research suggests that vitamin D levels may be related to the etiology of uterine fibroids.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency is less noticeable. Among the signs and symptoms might be:
- Bone ache
- Muscular pains and cramps are all symptoms of muscle weakening
- Changes in mood, such as depression
Medical Conditions That Might Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency
The following medical problems can result in vitamin D deficiency:
Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: If left untreated, these illnesses might prevent your intestines from receiving enough vitamin D from supplements.
Obesity: A BMI of 30 or above relates to reduced vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is kept isolated in fat cells and is not released. To achieve and keep normal levels, obese people frequently need to take higher dosages of vitamin D supplements.
Kidney and liver disease lower the number of enzymes your body needs to convert vitamin D to a form it can utilize (hepatic enzyme 25-hydroxylase from your liver and 1-alpha-hydroxylase from your kidneys). Both of these enzymes must be present for your body to have enough active vitamin D.
Sources Of Vitamin D
Finding sources of vitamin D can be a challenge, but it is worth it to get the benefits of this important nutrient. Sun exposure is the best way to get vitamin D, and it is also a great way to get some healthy vitamin D3. Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, and they are also a good source of vitamin B12, which is important for vegans and vegetarians. Fatty fish, such as salmon, is a great source of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.
Natural sources of vitamin D include the following foods:
The best sources of vitamin D are the sun, mushrooms, and fatty fish.
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines
- The rainbow trout
- Liver of beef (cow)
- Egg whites
- Fish liver oil
Vitamin D can also be obtained via fortified foods. Check the nutrition labels to see if an item contains vitamin D. The following foods are frequently fortified with vitamin D:
- Cereals for breakfast
- Juice from an orange
- Cow’s milk
- Soy milk
- Almond milk
- Oat milk
- Yogurt and other dairy items
Many multivitamins contain vitamin D. Vitamin D pills are also available.
If you’re concerned about obtaining enough vitamin D, consult your doctor.
Treatment For Vitamin D Deficiency
The aim of vitamin D deficiency treatment and prevention are the same: to achieve and then maintain an appropriate vitamin D level in your body.
While you should try eating more vitamin D-rich foods and obtaining more sunlight, your doctor will most likely advise you to take vitamin D supplements.
There are two types of vitamin D: D2 and D3. Plants provide D2 (ergocalciferol). Animals provide D3 (cholecalciferol). To obtain D2, you must have a prescription. D3, on the other hand, is a prescription-only medication. D3 is more easily absorbed by your body than D2.
Consult your doctor to determine whether you require a vitamin supplement and, if so, how much to take.