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Top causes of vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is required for several functions in the body and its main role is to help keep bones strong. Therefore, a deficiency of this crucial vitamin may lead to several problems. Learn about the possible causes of Vitamin D deficiency to avoid it.

Exercise & Fitness By Meenakshi ChaudharyJul 07, 2015

The sunlight vitamin

Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin's exposure to sunlight, giving it the name, sunlight vitamin. While it is mainly produced inside the body with the help of sunlight, some foods including some fish, fish liver oil, egg yolks, fortified dairy and grain products also contain small amounts of vitamin D. However, people often become deficient in Vitamin D. Here are some common causes of vitamin D deficiency.

Vegetarian diet

People who eat vegetarian diet are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D as most of the natural sources of the vitamin are animal-based such as fish, fish oils, egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver.

Limited exposure to sunlight

Human body makes vitamin D on its own but only after it has been exposed to sunlight. Limited exposure to sunlight may result in vitamin D deficiency. People living in northern latitudes, people who cover themselves from head to toe with clothes or people who work indoor almost all day are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

Dark skin

Amount of melanin present in the body decides the colour of your skin. Dark skin means more melanin, which reduces body's response to sunlight exposure. Therefore, having dark skin may suggest increased risk for vitamin d deficiency.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include bone pain and muscle weakness. However, the symptoms are usually less significant. So, you do not really know that you are deficient in vitamin D unless you take a routine blood test.

Health risks

Vitamin D deficiency may sound like a very small problem, but it can pose serious health risks including increased risk for death from cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, and cancer.

Why do you need it?

Vitamin D is essential for healthy living as it is required for building strong bones. It helps the body to utilize calcium from the food you eat. Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a medical condition in which the bones are weak and fragile. Recent researches have associated vitamin D with a host of health problems.

How to get ample Vitamin D

If you want to know how to avoid vitamin D deficiency, you must first do something to ensure ample sun exposure. However too much of sun exposure can be harmful for your skin. Also, eat a healthy balanced diet and follow a healthy lifestyle. Image Source: Getty

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