What is Vitamin D and what causes its deficiency ?

Because it is created by the body when sunlight touches the skin, vitamin D is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” But during the colder months of the year, when short, dark days make it difficult to spend time outside, many individuals turn to supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency is a problem all year round. A person may not acquire enough vitamin D for a variety of causes, such as kidney disease, poor digestion of vitamin D, milk allergy or lactose intolerance, or eating an ovo-vegetarian or vegan diet.

True vitamin D deficiency, according to the National Institutes of Health, is defined as fewer than 12 nanograms per millilitre (12 ng/mL). It may result in severe repercussions, including as bone-weakening diseases like rickets and osteomalacia. Anything below 20 ng/mL is thought to be insufficient for bone health and general health.

The majority of Americans aged 1 and older have adequate vitamin D intakes (20 to 50 ng/mL, according to analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2011 and 2014). However, 5% were at risk of deficiency, 18% were at risk of insufficiency, and 4% had vitamin D levels over the recommended threshold (50 ng/mL).

Because vitamin D aids in the gut’s absorption of calcium, which eventually supports the development of strong and healthy bones, inadequate or deficient vitamin D levels might be problematic. The immune system, cell development, and inflammation are all improved by vitamin D. (3) What Amount of Vitamin D Should You Consume?

The daily requirement for adults is 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D (800 IU if they are over 70), which can be obtained from sunlight, food, or supplementation. However, relatively few foods contain enough vitamin D to meet daily recommendations, and sunlight can be unpredictable depending on the region. The average daily intake of vitamin D for both men and women who rely only on diet is often no more than 288 IU. Even an 8-ounce glass of milk will only provide you with 100 IU, which is only one-sixth of the daily requirement for many adults.

However, when supplements are included, they approach the 600 IU target. Think about this With the aid of supplements, women between the ages of 51 and 70 who had been consuming an average of 156 IU through diet alone were able to attain 404 IU. The importance of vitamin D supplementation to bone health has long been emphasised. The issue is that numerous investigations have discovered they fall short of the expectations. A 2022 study with more than 25,000 participants found that supplementing with vitamin D didn’t reduce fracture risk unless you were classified vitamin D deficient, had low bone mass, or had osteoporosis.

Hope it helps!