Vitamin D is otherwise known as ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it can be synthesized from sunlight by our body. Hence, vitamin D requirements of Indians are considered to be met entirely by exposure to sunlight. In the absence of exposure to sunlight a daily intake of 400 IU vitamin D is suggested.
Vitamin D is produced under the skin after exposure to ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D is now considered as a pro hormone rather than a vitamin and is required for Calcium absorption and bone formation.
· It helps in the formation of bones and teeth.
· It also improves the calcification of bones.
· It helps to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
· It helps in increase of citrate content in bones and blood.
Sunlight: Exposure of skin to sunlight brings about synthesis of vitamin D from 7 dehydrocholesterol.
Food products: Cod liver oil, liver, salmon and herring fish, fortified milk, egg yolk, butter, cheese, ghee, cream, fortified milk, etc., are the best sources of Vitamin D.
When children’s bodies don’t get enough vitamin D, they cannot absorb enough calcium and phosphorus to mineralize and harden the bones and teeth. If calcium and phosphorus are not deposited enough to
Their bones become too weak to support their weight and their legs bow under the pressure and may exhibit the following symptoms:
· Bow legs (legs bow outwards).
· Knock-knock knees (legs bow inwards with knees touching each other).
· Enlarged joints (The ends of long bones enlarge), Pigeon’s Chest (ribs become hollow and bulge out).
· Their teeth will become soft and irregular shaped.
· Head becomes abnormally large and square shaped with bulging sides.
· Adults get osteomalacia. In this disease, the bones become soft, fragile and easily bendable and are more prone to multiple fractures.
· Cramps are common.
· Spinal cord, thorax, limbs and pelvis may be deformed and back may be hunched. Person may suffer from lower back pain.
Osteoporosis: It is a calcium related health problem and occurs frequently in old people.
This disease is characterized by having light porous and spongy bones that break very easily. Severe bone pain is reported which is relieved by immobilization. Fractures occur due to brittle bones which heal off normally.