A host of diseases could be the consequence of Vitamin D deficiency. To name a few: certain cancers, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, depression, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, hypertension, or chronic pain.
When two of these are present and the level of vitamin D drops to 25mg/ml or below, the patient may be suspected of suffering from Vitamin D deficiency. This syndrome is more prevalent with those unexposed to sunlight, dark skinned races and the aged.
Because of exposure to sunlight and the effect of ultraviolet rays and synthesis, vitamin D is produced that is stored in large amounts that are stored within the skin, fatty tissues and in the liver. Vitamin D is also available in animal protein like liver, milk, eggs, fish and meats. Fish liver oil is the greatest source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is needed to maintain the right balance of calcium and phosphorous in the body. It also develops and maintains strong, healthy bones in the skeletal structure. Hence it is more important in infants and children during their phase of rapid growth. Lack of vitamin D in children will lead to misshapen and thin bones and a disease called rickets. In extreme cases, lack of vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis.
People particularly prone to vitamin D deficiency are the aged who are often under-exposed to sunlight. Further, people with intestinal disorders that hinder the absorption of vitamin D from food in the intestines are also at risk. Dark skinned people are also at a higher level of risk because the melanin content in their skin calls for higher exposure to sunlight.
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