Vitamin D is produced in our bodies when our body is exposed to sun rays.
Facts of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D also helps to decrease the levels of inflammatory chemicals (like TNF-alpha, IL-6) in our body which are implicated in the development of atherosclerosis (thick and stiff arteries due to cholesterol deposition).
- Vitamin D improves bone density and reduces fracture risk in elderly patients.
- Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system and helps us to fight infections. Hence, you may be prone to develop autoimmune diseases or the control of your autoimmune disease may be better with adequate vitamin D levels like in the case of lupus.
- Vitamin D is needed for adequate absorption of calcium from our diet.
- Vitamin D is not present adequately in our normal diet.
- There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of hypertension, heart attacks, infections, diabetes, overall mortality and certain cancers (colon, breast, prostate).
- Adequate vitamin D levels also can reduce the incidence and mortality (death) from colon, breast and prostate cancer. Vitamin D is anti-proliferative (reduces the growth and division of abnormal cells), promotes cellular maturation and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
Sources of Vitamin D
- Salmon Fish
- Egg Yolks
- Dairy Products like milk, cheese, panner, butter, curd, etc
Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause low bone density and weak bones which can fracture with trivial injury.
- Vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle pain and proximal muscle weakness (especially thighs).
- Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, tiredness, muscle aches and cramps and bone pain.
Prevention & Diagnosis of Vitamin D
Prevention of vitamin D deficiency can be by two ways – adequate sun exposure or oral supplementation. A consultation with by a Rheumatologist is needed if you have any of the above symptoms. And with a simple blood test vitamin D deficiency can be ruled out.
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