Vitamin D Deficiency | Why is vitamin D so important? | Nutrition

Vitamin D deficiency

What is vitamin D deficiency?

Strong bones need vitamin D because it helps the body absorb calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rickets, in which bone tissue is not properly mineralized, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But more than that, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against many health problems. Vitamin D is unique in that your skin produces it through the use of sunlight. Fair-skinned people and younger people convert sunlight into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.

Why is vitamin D so important?

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that our body needs to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:

  • Keep bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from a variety of conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes bones to become weak and soft in children. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. Calcium and phosphorus are good for building bones because you need vitamin D. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
  • Calcium absorption: Vitamin D, in addition to calcium, helps build bones and keeps them strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, a loss of bone density that can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once taken orally or through sun exposure, becomes the active form of the vitamin. It is an active form that promotes the proper absorption of calcium from your diet.
  • Work with the parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute by minute to balance calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, intestine, and skeleton. When there is enough calcium and enough active vitamin D in the diet, the calcium is absorbed by food and used well throughout the body. When calcium intake is inadequate or vitamin D is deficient, the parathyroid glands “borrow” calcium from the skeleton to keep the calcium in the blood within the normal range.

How much vitamin D do you need?

In healthy people, the amount of vitamin D deficiency needed per day varies with age. The chart below shows the frequently cited recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, now the Department of Health and Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is important to know that these are general recommendations. If your doctor is monitoring your blood levels, he may recommend higher or lower doses based on your individual needs.

If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend a blood test for your vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D supplements can be customized for each person based on the results. For most elderly patients, a vitamin D supplement of 800-2000 IU per day can be obtained without a prescription, which is safe and beneficial. It is important to talk to your doctor about your personal needs.

The recommended amount of food for people my age (IU/day) High intake (IU/day)

People by age Recommended dietary allowance (IU/day) Upper-level intake (IU/day)
Infants 0-6 months* 400 1,000
Infants 6-12 months* 400 1,500
Children 1-3 years old 600 2,500
Children 4-8 years old 600 3,000
People 9-70 years old 600 4,000
People over 70 years old 800 4,000
Females 14-50 years old, pregnant/lactating 600 4,000

How vitamin D deficiency affects health?

Getting enough vitamin D deficiency also plays a role in helping you stay healthy by protecting you from the following conditions and helping to treat them. These conditions include:

  • Heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Infections and disorders of the immune system
  • Cascade in the elderly
  • Some types of cancer, such as colon, prostate, and breast
  • Multiple sclerosis


Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by specific medical conditions, including:

  • Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease: These diseases do not allow the intestines to absorb enough vitamin D through supplements.
  • Weight loss surgeries. Weight loss surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach and/or bypass a portion of the small intestine make it very difficult to get enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These people must be carefully monitored by their doctors and continue to take vitamin D and other supplements throughout their lives.
  • Requirement Ob: A body mass index of more than 30 is associated with low levels of vitamin D. Fat cells are isolated to prevent the release of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in obese people. D deficiency often requires taking large doses of vitamin D supplements to achieve and maintain normal vitamin D levels.
  • Kidney and liver diseases: These diseases reduce the amount of enzyme needed to convert vitamin D into a form that is used in the body. Lack of this enzyme leads to inadequate levels of active vitamin D in the body.

Risk factors

The main source of vitamin D deficiency is the sun, its exposure or absence affects your risk of deficiency.

The Endocrine Society recommends screening and treating people at risk, including those with age-related nontraumatic falls or fractures; These balance children and adults (BMI> 30 kg/m2); African American and Hispanic children and adults; Pregnant and lactating women; And those with musculoskeletal diseases, chronic kidney disease, liver failure, malabsorption syndromes, and some lymphomas. Continuous follow-up is recommended as the elderly, disabled, and hospitalized are at significantly higher risk.

Research has begun on who is deficient or insufficient in their vitamin D levels. Finding the defect does not mean that vitamin D is the cause of persistent symptoms. This simply means that there is a possible link and more studies are needed to clarify the relationship between vitamin D deficiency or deficiency and disease processes.

Malabsorption: People with fat malabsorption syndrome (eg, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease) and those who have bariatric surgery often do not absorb fat-soluble vitamin D adequately.

Age: At our age, it has been shown that our body is capable of synthesizing vitamin D without being exposed to the sun. There may be a 25% reduction in production for over 70 years. Although it can affect, it does not cause many errors with other risk factors.

Children: A study in Ethiopia found that school-age children between the ages of 11-18 were overweight or underweight when deficient in vitamin D. Another study of 301 students aged 11-19 found that 12% of students had an error and 53% had an error. It also found that vitamin D levels decreased as body weight increased (measured by BMI).

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. For most people, however, the symptoms are subtle. Also, without symptoms, too little vitamin D deficiency can be detrimental to health. Low blood levels of the vitamin are associated with the following:

  • Higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in the elderly
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the prevention and treatment of a variety of conditions, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Research has shown that people with a vitamin D level above 25 ng / mL have a 43% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to levels below 14 ng / mL. Adequate levels of vitamin D are associated with improved blood sugar levels and, in some studies, decrease insulin resistance.

Adequate levels of vitamin D are associated with decreased kidney function, erectile dysfunction, sleep apnea, diabetic retinopathy, and manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Research is ongoing to determine the link between vitamin D deficiency and the prevalence of asthma and allergies, autism, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia.

Medications and medical conditions

A wide variety of medications, including antifungals, anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids, and drugs to treat AIDS / HIV, increase and decrease vitamin D levels.

What are the vitamin D requirements?

Only 20% of our vitamin D deficiency should come from our diet and the remaining 80% is provided by our skin from UV-B sun exposure. There are currently two sets of guidelines for taking vitamin D. Generally, the vitamin guidelines are established in the form of a food serving (RDA) or adequate intake (AI) recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The average daily intake of RDA to meet the nutritional needs of almost all healthy people (97.5%). These guidelines were formulated in a population model to prevent vitamin D deficiency based on bone health (osteomalacia, rickets, bone mineral density, and calcium absorption). The Endocrine Society has created a task force to review the research and provide a set of guidelines based on the medical model for people with disabilities. The two recommendations are as follows:

Babies 1 to 18 years of age 19 to 70 years of age 71+ years

IOM 400 IU / day 600 IU / day 600 IU / day 800 IU / day

Endocrine Society 400-1,000 IU / day 600-1,000 IU / day 1,500-2,000 IU / day 1,500-2,000 IU / day

These amounts are based on what each steering committee needs to maintain ideally set blood levels. The higher the blood level you need to maintain, the more vitamin D deficiency you need to maintain that level. If your blood level is low, these are not guidelines for you to follow. You must first increase your levels by taking vitamin D above these amounts and follow these levels once you reach the proper level. Your healthcare provider can advise you on a safe way to do this.

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