Vitamin D is gaining importance in the pandemic of COVID-19. People are researching a lot and popping the vitamin D pills like crazy to get rid of infection. Let us know some interesting facts about vitamin D and how can we meet daily vitamin D requirements.
- Vitamin D is called Sunshine vitamin because it is produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure. Body can produce its own vitamin D using UV light and cholesterol in the skin cell membranes. As modest exposure to sunlight is required for this vitamin synthesis.
- As it is a fat soluble vitamin, it is absorbed with lipids in diet into intestine by diffusion process. So having good quality fats along with vitamin D becomes important.
- The active form of vitamin D – Calcitriol (1, 25dihydroxyvitamin D3) functions as a steroid hormone too. It affects gene transcription in variety of tissues. More than 50 genes are known to be regulated by vitamin D.
- Vitamin D also plays vital role in maintaining plasma calcium and phosphorous concentration along with parathyroid hormone. it is responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.
- It is anti-viral in nature so is an excellent immune booster. It helps fight infections and early recovery. It is found that needs for vitamin D increase by 50-100% during active infection phase.
- It also helps improve health issues like acne, pimples, sleep apnea, depression. Additional supplementation of vitamin D is found to be helpful in treating such symptoms.
- Vitamin D exists naturally in animals products and the richest source is fish liver oil. It is also found in milk and milk products, eggs, nuts, seeds, cereals, mushrooms, etc.
- An active sunlight exposure of 30-40 minutes to skin daily is thought to be enough to synthesize vitamin D naturally in skin along with little dietary vitamin D intake.
- Vitamin D is involved in the pathways of production of Melatonin. It is a hormone involved in the regulation of human circadian rhythms and sleep. So patients with vitamin D deficiency may have sleep issues.
- As always said, anything in excess is harmful, it is applicable to vitamin D too! Hyper-vitaminosis of vitamin D results into excess calcification of bones, kidney stones, calcification in soft tissues like heart, kidney, constipation, etc.
- Lots of Vitamin D deficiency cases are reported India in spite of availability of ample sunlight. In 14 years of practice, I have observed that 80% of my patients have vitamin D deficiency. This is correlated with the increasing urbanization where people remain mostly indoors.
It is essential to seek an experts advice for having vitamin D supplementation. Are you having vitamin D deficiency? And do you want to know more about this sunshine vitamin and your vitamin status? Get in touch with us.
Hey, I am an enthusiastic functional nutrition expert with 14 yrs of experience in the field of nutrition. I am highly qualified nutritionist with masters degree and Registered Dietician.
I believe in magical healing power of food and nutrition and want to guide people for the same.