Easy Solutions to Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is an important nutrient. It is required for absorption of calcium, the most important mineral of bones. There are other functions of vitamin D, such as immune function, muscle and nervous system function etc. Different research suggests that low level of vitamin D can increase risk of breast cancer.

If you are suffering from low level of vitamin D or vitamin D deficiency, you can take three steps to get enough vitamin D, namely adequate exposure to direct sunlight, eating of vitamin D rich foods and take vitamin D supplement.

Exposure to sunlight:

Exposure to direct sunlight produces active vitamin D. Even direct exposure to sunlight for short period can give you adequate vitamin D, e.g. exposure of 15 minutes three times a week can supply adequate vitamin D (as much as recommended daily allowance). But do not rely only on sun exposure for vitamin D.

There are some limitations to getting vitamin D from sunlight. Exposure to sun is also associated with increase risk of skin cancers (melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma etc.). To prevent skin cancer use sunscreen while going to direct sun, although it may reduce vitamin D production. The major limitations of sun exposure and vitamin D synthesis are:

  • The farther from equator the lesser vitamin D you will produce from exposure to sun.
  • The darker your skin color the lesser vitamin D you will produce. Blacks hardly produce any vitamin D from sun exposure, especially if they are away from equator.
  • The shorter the day (during winter) the lesser vitamin D you will produce.

Eating of vitamin D rich foods:

Eat vitamin D rich foods to prevent deficiency. Vitamin D is mostly present in fish and sea foods such as trout, sardine, salmon, oyster, mackerel etc. Milk and yogurt are also rich in vitamin D. You may also find foods (such as milk, yogurts, fruit juices, cooking oils etc.) fortified with vitamin D.

Vitamin D supplements:

This is another easy way to prevent vitamin D deficiency. Find out blood/serum level of vitamin D before you start vitamin D supplementation. You should also be well aware of the potential risks (such as excess blood calcium level) associated with vitamin D supplements.

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