Vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrients that human body needs for proper functioning. Vitamin D is also known as “Sunshine Vitamin” and it can be taken from diet but the Sunlight is the greatest source of vitamin D. It is vital for absorption of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of fracture and poor healing after fracture.
As per the doctors’ opinion, In India more than half of urban population is suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Daily new patients are diagnosed with the deficiency in urban areas. Vitamin D deficiency is not restricted to adults only because infants are also diagnosed with the shortage due to lack of Vitamin D in their mother’s milk. This is an alarming condition for the country.
Vitamin D deficiency is widely found in urban population irrespective of their age and gender. The most disturbing fact is that the Vitamin D deficiency is rapidly spreading among youngsters and adults living in urban areas due to lack of awareness. If this speed continues in future then it can be termed as an epidemic.
Vitamin D deficiency makes the body vulnerable to various diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Risk of developing Diabetes
- Psychological disorders like Depression, Hypertension etc.
Vitamin D is very important for various roles in the body including:
- Maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- Boosting the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system.
- Regulating insulin
- Helping in proper diabetes
- Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
- Slowing the cancer development.
Common Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:
- Multiple bony or muscular pains.
- Easily fatigability.
- Reduced stamina.
- Not feeling fresh after sleeping.
- Nonspecific back pain/cramps.
Reasons of Vitamin D Deficiency in Urban Population:
There are various reasons due to which vitamin D deficiency is occurring in urban population. Major reasons are:
- Digital Addiction is one of the major causes of vitamin D deficiency and it primarily involves over- using of mobile phones and other digital gadgets. Nowadays most of the children, youngsters as well as adults especially in urban areas are excessively using smart phones. Example: Playing games on mobile, watching movies on mobile etc. Today, even children prefer to play games on mobile phone instead of going outside for playing outdoor games. This factor reduces the chances of getting enough sunlight on the skin and due to lack of exposure to sunlight, vitamin D deficiency is mostly found in urban people.
- In India, dairy products are widely consumed by the people but they are rarely fortified with vitamin D. It can also cause vitamin D deficiency.
- Various foods such as dairy products, cod liver oil, mushrooms, egg yolk and fishes contain ample amount of vitamin D. As per the survey, people living in urban areas eat junk foods often which can cause vitamin D deficiency.
- People with darker skin have less ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun which are essential to produce vitamin D.
- An excessive use of sunscreen and clothing covering entire body reduce the body’s ability synthesize the vitamin D thus finally causing deficiency of vitamin D.
- Sometimes, high pollution especially in urban areas obstructs the sunlight from reaching the ground. Smogis a type of severe air Due this condition, people do not get sufficient sunlight causing vitamin D deficiency.
- Vitamin D Deficiency is also occurred in people who work at night and stay at home during whole day. These people should take effective measures for getting sufficient vitamin D.
Although vitamin D supplement is taken by the people but the natural sunlight especially during early morning is a greatest source of vitamin D. Excessive consumption of vitamin D supplement can lead to over calcification of bones as well as hardening of blood vessels, kidney, lungs and heart. Hence it is always advisable to get required Vitamin D from natural source.