Despite experiencing summer for nearly 8 to 10 months, Indians may have got used to the harsh sunlight; however, they are still deficient in the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is in fact a pro-hormone that influences the expression of more than 200 genes in the human body. Almost each tissue in the body has Vitamin D receptors whether it is the skin, the heart, the brain, the pancreas or the kidney. Therefore, Vitamin D deficiency is bound to hamper the normal functioning of all organs with Vitamin D receptors.
According to a report by the Diabetes Foundation of India, it is estimated that around 80% of the Indian population have Vitamin D levels below normal. The grave concern is that not many are aware of the deficiency.
Vitamin D was earlier believed to be responsible for preventing osteoporosis. However, the latest research indicates its vital role in immunity problems, diabetes, tuberculosis, asthma, neuro-muscular function, high blood pressure etc.
While the foetus develops in the mother’s womb, the mother is the sole source of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Lack of vitamin D in these instances may lead to gestational diabetes and abnormal foetal growth.
The Indian population suffers from the deficiency owing to the widespread use of sunscreen lotions, staying indoors during peak sunlight hours, pollution and the kind of clothes people wear.
Muscle fatigue, head sweating, unexplained pains, especially, in the back and overall low energy levels may indicate a deficiency of Vitamin D. There are tests available that can detect your level of Vitamin D.
Although there are few major studies carried out in India to determine the optimum (sufficient) levels of serum vitamin D 25(OH) D to be maintained to prevent chronic ailments, globally there is a consensus that vitamin D deficiency is defined as serum 25(OH) D levels less than 20 ng/ml and insufficiency as serum 25(OH) D less than 30 ng/ml. Whereas, serum 25(OH) D levels above 30 ng/ml is found to be sufficient.
Owing to vitamin D receptors present in various tissues of the human body, maintaining vitamin D levels in blood above 30 ng/ml may ensure normal functioning of the body organs and protect many from suffering from chronic ailments.
Consult your doctor today.