Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. We get some of it from nutritious food but majorly we receive it from the sunlight. Vitamin D, known as the sunlight vitamin, is produced by the body in response to the skin being exposed to sunlight. These days most of the people are becoming more beauty conscious rather than health. They are more worried about their skin getting tanned, black spots on the skin due to dust allergy and all that. The moment they get out in the sun the make sure that they cover every inch of the body from being exposed to sunlight. Though it prevents tanning, they fail to think of the minus.
Lack of exposure to sunlight is the main cause for deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D is abundantly present in fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, fortified fat spreads, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified dairy products and powdered milk. However, it is hard to get enough from it just from food.
When do you figure out that you lack vitamin D?
If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, then possibly you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets. It is a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize. This leads to soft bones and skeletal deformities. Recent studies show that vitamin D has a lot of importance in protecting against a number of health diseases.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
For many people the symptoms are subtle. However, certain symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean that you have a Vitamin-D deficiency. In many cases, even without symptoms vitamin D deficiency can pose a number of health risks.
Vitamin D deficiency can put people at risk of:
- Rickets: Bone problems in children
- Osteomalacia- bone problems in adults
- Heart problems
- Cognitive impairment in elderly people.
- Glucose intolerance
- Multiple sclerosis
What are the causes of Vitamin D deficiency?
1) Inadequate amounts of Vitamin D: When you consume only vegetarian diet, you naturally lack vitamin D in your body. This is because most of the natural sources of Vitamin-D are animal-based.
2) Your exposure to Sunlight is limited: Whenever you expose your body to sunlight, it makes Vitamin-D. If you are homebound, live in northern latitudes, wear long robes or head coverings for religious reasons, or have an occupation that prevents exposure to the sun, you are at higher risk of getting Vitamin-D deficiency.
3) You have Dark skin: The ability of the skin to produce melanin will greatly depend on the skin color. The darker your skin, the lower is its ability to produce vitamin D. Studies show that older people with darker skin are at greater risk of suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
4) Your kidneys can’t convert Vitamin D into active form: As age goes by, the ability of the kidneys to function efficiently decreases. As a result, the kidney loses its ability to convert vitamin D into active forms. This causes a deficiency in vitamin D.
5) Your digestive tract cannot absorb Vitamin D: Certain health conditions like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis can adversely affect your intestine’s ability to absorb vitamin-D. As a result, your body lacks vitamin D.
6) Obesity: People with body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30 will have low levels of vitamin-D in their body because vitamin D is extracted from the body by the fat cells.
Who are at High Risk of vitamin D Deficiency?
The following groups of people are at particular risk of vitamin D efficiency:
¬ Pregnant and breastfeeding women
¬ Teenagers and young women
¬ Infants and children below 5 years of age
¬ People who have little or no exposure to the sun
¬ People with darker skin
5 Illness related to Vitamin D deficiency:
1) Dementia: Moderate to severe Vitamin D deficiency can double the risk for some forms of dementia. Dementia is a decline in the thinking, memory, and behavior that adversely affects daily life activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Though affected by this disease are mostly elderly people of age 65 and above.
2) Prostate Cancer: Vitamin D deficiency in men can lead to prostate cancer if left untreated. About 665 men aged between 40 to 70 suffer from prostate cancer as a result of vitamin-D deficiency. It is the most common cancer in men and second most common cause of death in the world. Men with low levels of vitamin D deficiency are at higher risk of prostate cancer than men with normal levels of vitamin-D.
3) Erectile dysfunction: This is the most common sexual problems in men. It can stem from other health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. The treatment for this includes hormonal replacement therapy, counseling, lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and eating a balanced diet.
4) Schizophrenia: People with Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than people with sufficient vitamin D levels. It is a mental illness that causes disordered thinking, delusions, and confusions.
5) Heart Disease: Vitamin-D deficiency is more commonly linked to severe heart problems. About 70% of the patients suffering from heart disease are having low levels of vitamin D.
Some of the Vitamin D supplements are as follows:
1. Drisdol oral
2. Vitamin D3 oral
3. Calcitriol oral
4. Viactiv oral
5. Vitamin D2 oral
6. Rocaltrol oral
7. Decara oral
8. Citrus Calcium oral
9. Liquid calcium with vitamin D oral
10. Oyster shell + D3 oral
Here is an amazing way for safe exposure to the sun!
Just to 10 to 15 minutes in the summer sun without sunscreen is more than enough to top up vitamin-D levels in your body. People with darker skin need to spend longer duration in the sun than people with lighter skin. The best time to recharge Vitamin D levels in your body is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the best duration of a year is from April to September. The larger the area of your body being uncovered, the greater is the Vitamin-D levels you receive.
Other than daily vitamin top up the usual sun protection methods should be taken care of. This includes using sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) at least 15. To know more about the vitamin D benefits, its supplements, and the effects of vitamin D deficiency in men, women, and children contact our doctors on free doctor helpline. Log on to www.freedoctorhelpline.com or call us at +918010555444.
Tests for vitamin D deficiency:
The 25-hydroxy Vitamin-D blood test is the most accurate way to measure the amount of Vitamin D in your body. About 20-50 ng/mL is considered adequate for a healthy person. If this level goes below 12 ng/mL then it indicates vitamin D deficiency.
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency:
The only way to treat this deficiency is to get more Vitamin-D in your body through diet and supplements. The amount of Vitamin D needed for an optimal health differs depending on the age and health conditions.
If you are so much bothered about tanning and therefore don’t expose your skin to the sun, then you should probably talk to your doctor about taking Vitamin-D supplements. Especially, if you have risk factors for Vitamin D deficiency then it is better to consult a doctor immediately.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin-D has been raised to 600 international units (IU) in children to 800 international units (IU) in adults. The safer upper limit was also raised to 4000 international units (IU). Doctors may prescribe 4000 international units (IU) to correct vitamin D deficiency.
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Vitamin E is an important vitamin which governs the functions of many organs in the body. It is a very good antioxidant which means it works better to slow down the processes which damage the cells. It has many benefits if taken in recommended amounts. However, too much of vitamin E in the body has its own impact and side effects.
The rich sources of vitamin E foods are vegetable oils, poultry, meat, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Vitamin E is also used in the treating a number of diseases of heart, blood pressure and leg pain. Women use vitamin E to prevent complications during the pregnancy periods, premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, breast cysts, etc.
Vitamin E has a lot of health benefits.
Some of which are listed below:
- A great antioxidant: The most important advantage of vitamin E is its antioxidant property. It acts as a shield in protecting us against various illnesses. They also prevent cell damage by fighting against “free radicals” that can lead to chronic degenerative diseases like heart illness, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The free radicals are constantly produced as a result of digestive processes, pollution, consumption of junk foods, smoking etc. The best-known benefit of vitamin E is that it can quench these free radicals before it will cause harm.
- Liver protection: Studies have shown that 38% of the people who were given vitamin E supplements were cured of NASH- non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a condition which results in inflammation of the liver due to the accumulation of fat. This is in no way related to alcoholism but is yet dangerous. Obesity and lifestyle changes contribute to this condition.
- Eye health: The main cause of vision loss among the elderly people is due to macular degeneration. Studies have found that vitamin E along with other crucial vitamins can help cure this illness.
- Brain health: Researchers have thrown light that there is a link between adequate vitamin E intake and reduced risk of brain tumors.
- Heart health: There are various types of fats and among that the polyunsaturated fatty acids have a greater chance of being disturbed by free radicals. More intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids also called as omega 6 fatty acids, can increase the risk of heart-related diseases such as a blockage in the arteries, narrowing of arteries due to plaque deposition, etc. the vitamin E will fight against the free radicals and help prevent heart diseases.
- Cancer: The omega 6 fatty acids will also promote inflammation of the cells in the body which can be cancerous. Vitamin E intake will help reduce the risk of cancer.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Vitamin E can slow down the worsening of memory loss in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Anemia: Researchers show that vitamin E can increase the iron content in the body as it helps in the production of red blood cells.
- Chemo drugs: Applying vitamin E to the skin seems to be effective in treating leakage of chemo drugs to surrounding areas.
- Chemo related nerve damage: Taking vitamin E before and after the chemotherapy will prevent nerve damage.
- Granuloma annular: It’s a type of skin sore. Applying vitamin E to the affected area will cure the skin sore.
- Male infertility: Vitamin E has an ability to treat male infertility problems. However, if taken along with vitamin C it will not serve the purpose.
- Bleeding within the skull: Taking vitamin E orally can help prevent bleeding within the skull in infants.
- Sunburn: Taking vitamin E along with vitamin C orally in recommended amounts will cure skin inflammation due to sunburns.
- Swelling of the uveitis: Taking vitamin E along with vitamin C orally can improve vision but does not reduce the swelling in the middle region of the eye called the uveitis.
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Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is in abundantly present in fruits and vegetables. It is a water-soluble vitamin and also powerful antioxidant which helps the body form and maintain the connective tissue, including the bones, skin and blood vessels.
What does Vitamin C do? What are some of its health benefits?
Many people think of vitamin C as a less required nutrient. Surprisingly, Vitamin C has a lot of health benefits. It helps to repair & regenerate tissues, it makes collagen that supports our blood vessels and ligaments, fights against heart diseases, prevents scurvy and also combats against a variety of cancers by fighting against free radicals. It also helps to lessen the duration & symptoms of common cold, reduces the impacts of cataracts and absorbs iron from plant-based foods and thus provides a healthy immune system.
Health benefits of vitamin C:
- IMMUNITY: Vitamin C prevents the body from infections and helps to maintain healthy teeth and bones. It also improves the body’s ability to fight against bacteria, viruses and other infections thereby providing the better immune system. Vitamin C when consumed orally helps to heal the wounds better.
- ANTIOXIDANT: Vitamin C is a powerful and effective antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that cause cellular rust or oxidative stress which can lead to much serious health conditions such as stroke or heart diseases.
- HYPERTENSION: Vitamin C lowers the blood pressure and decreases the chances of hypertension and also other serious health issues accompanied by hypertension.
- LEAD TOXICITY: Vitamin C can lower the level of lead in the blood. Lead toxicity can cause behavioral and developmental changes in children especially among those living in urban areas. Lead toxicity may lead to lowered IQ levels, learning disabilities and stunted growth among children. Adults may experience kidney damage or high blood pressure due to lead toxicity.
- LOSS WEIGHT: Vitamin C fruits and juices helps to lose fat and thereby remain healthy. Vitamin C rich foods also help in maintaining insulin level.
- ASTHMA: People with low levels of vitamin C have greater chances of getting asthma. Increasing the level of vitamin C will lessen the production of histamine that contributes to inflammation.
- SKIN: Vitamin C prevents the skin from the harmful radiations of the sun. It is an important ingredient in skin care treatments. It protects the skin from free radicals that develop due to the exposure to the sun, pollution, and regular
- HEALS WOUNDS FASTER: Vitamin C has the ability to heal the wounds faster. If the wound heals at a very low rate then it indicates a deficiency of vitamin C. it improves skin elasticity that helps to create scar tissue and ligaments for a quick
- PROTECTS AGAINST SKIN DISCOLORATION: It protects DNA from the photochemical reaction which can cause skin discoloration, tumor or skin cancers in the worst
- IMPROVES HAIR GROWTH: Deficiency of vitamin C may be a root cause for many of the hair related problems. Vitamin C deficiency can cause dry hair or split ends. These can adversely affect the hair growth. When our body breaks don the food we eat into glucose for energy, it produces free radicals which can damage the hair making it weak, brittle and prone to breakage.
- FIGHTS DANDRUFF: Vitamin C helps to fight the bacteria on the scalp. It also washes off all dandruff and encourages the growth of new hair. It also helps to cure dry and itchy hair because of antiviral properties.
- PREVENTS HAIRLOSS: It helps in proper functioning of the adrenal gland which encourages hair growth and prevents hair fall as well.
- THICKENS HAIR: It improves blood circulation and helps to strengthen and repair capillaries. This is very important that helps the hair to grow thicker.
- PREVENTS GREYING OF HAIR: It not only prevents hair loss but also helps to retain the natural color of the hair thereby preventing premature graying of hair.
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VITAMIN C CHART OF REQUIREMENTS:
- ¨ MEN- Men requires about 90mg per day
- ¨ WOMEN– Women requires about 75mg per day
- ¨ PREGNANT WOMEN- pregnant women requires about 85mg per day
- ¨ BREASTFEEDING WOMEN- breastfeeding women requires about 120mg per day
The smoker will benefit only if they consume a higher intake of vitamin C. They require about 250mg per day
Food sources rich in vitamin C
- Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin c. One can incorporate these foods into the diet to get the recommended amount of vitamin C.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemon, and their juices, kiwi, red and green pepper are all rich sources of vitamin C. other fruits and vegetables include baked potatoes and tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries.
- Vitamin C is also a dietary supplement and it comes in many forms such as capsules, tablets or even drinks mix packs.
Now that you know the benefits of Vitamin C, make sure you are taking it in the recommended amounts daily.
The Immune System is the body’s defence mechanism – the army with which the body protects itself. The troops that make up this army are the white blood cells. Your immune system doesn’t work independently to the rest of your body and can respond positively to certain lifestyle choices and negatively to others.
Avoid succumbing to bugs this winter try these tips:
- Exercise –
Winter weather reduces our movement. Exercise supports our detox organs and keeps our lymph moving.
- Get Outside –
Reduced fresh air and sunshine in the winter impair the immune system.
- Sleep –
The greatest tool for stress reduction and immune support is sleep. Commit to at least eight hours a night.
- Alcohol –
Be mindful of alcohol consumption. Too much depresses the immune system and makes it easier to get sick.
- Hand Washing –
So simple we forget. Wash your hands with hot water especially after computer use before making food.
- Vitamin D3 –
Take 3,000 – 4,000 IU of Vitamin D3 to help reduce winter flu and seasonal moodiness.
- Probiotics –
Good bacteria detox what we eat and modulate immune system.
- Enzymes –
Take enzymes with heavy holiday meals to improve digestion.
- Multi –
Be consistent about taking a daily multivitamin with high levels of B-Vitamins, C and Zinc.
- Immune Boosting Drinks –
Have lots of bone broth, turmeric + ginger tea, and green juice + ginger this winter.
- Fruits + Veggies –
Bump up your intake of plant foods and green powders. Plant phytonutrients help reduce stress and inflammation.
- Reduce Triggers Foods –
Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, and Alcohol are the most common trigger foods. Be intentional about when you eat them or substitute for clean whole foods.