Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium from food to maximize bone health. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D functions as a hormone, and every single cell in our body has a receptor for it.
Our body synthesizes Vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in specific Vitamin D food like fatty fish and fortified dairy products, though it is difficult to get enough Vitamin D alone from the diet.
According to Experts recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin D is around 400–800 IU.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and around 1 billion people globally are estimated to have low amounts of this nutrient in their blood.
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Factors that make a person prone to Vitamin D deficiency include
- Having dark skin
- Being elderly
- Being overweight or obese
- Not eating much fish or dairy
- Living away from the equator where there is little sun during the year-round
- Always using sunscreen when going out
- Staying indoors
Osteoporosis and fractures cause significant morbidity and death in women, which can be reduced with therapies like vitamin D. Also, to maintain good bone health and homeostasis of the body, almost everyone needs to supplement vitamin D.
THE AUTHOR is the Director, OBG at Fortis La-Femme, Academic Sec. at Delhi Gyane Forum, and President at Indian Menopause Society.