Vitamin D is an important component in the body in the right measure as it helps to maintain the blood’s calcium and phosphorous levels. This vitamin is synthesized when the body is exposed to sunlight; it aids in the absorption of calcium which is required to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D is used in combination with calcium to increase the bone mineral density thereby reducing the chances of a fracture if the bones are adequately strengthened.
Recent studies suggest that vitamin D also prevents hypertension, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Despite its importance in the body and prevention of diseases, most individuals suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. Following is a roundup of the common causes of vitamin D deficiency in the body.
Vitamin D Deficiency In The Body
One of the main causes of vitamin D deficiency is that you are not consuming the required quantities of Vitamin D as part of your daily diet and hence your body does not have the recommended levels of the vitamin. This is most likely to occur if you follow a strict vegetarian diet or vegan diet in which very few foods possess this vitamin you require.Most of the natural sources of this vitamin are available in sufficient quantities in non-vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet inclusive of dairy products. Fish, fish oils, cheese, beef liver, fortified milk and egg yolks are great sources of this vitamin.
Another cause of vitamin D deficiency is a disease, condition or disorder that actively prevents the body from absorbing nutrients and vitamins including vitamin D. Those who are prone to Lupus have extremely sensitive skin and thus cannot be in direct sunlight for a long time.
Such individuals acquire vitamin D deficiency due to this condition. Crohn’s disease or Colitis causes an inflammation to occur in the inner lining of intestine and colon that results in dysentery, excreting large quantities of vital nutrients, thus causing a loss of vitamin D as well.
Some diseases like liver disorder and kidney disorders actively prevent the body’s natural ability to synthesize vitamin D, thus leading to deficiency. Vitamin D in the body can fall below the optimum level due to hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis that impairs the body’s fat absorption capacity.
Lack Of Exposure To Sunlight
If you are unsure what causes Vitamin D deficiency, a lack of exposure to sunlight attributes to this condition. The body synthesizes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. If your exposure to the sun is low, you are likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.Those leading a sedentary life at home, always home-bound, wearing long robes or covering the head and face, living in high altitudes and northern latitudes or suffering from diseases limiting the body’s tolerance to sunlight are likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
Increased Melanin Levels In The Body
Dusky individuals are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency than their fairer counterparts. The pigment melanin, when present in increased quantities, as with dusky people, reduces the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D in response to sunlight.
Other causes of vitamin D deficiency are continual exposure to toxic substances, drugs and harmful chemicals, and the side effects experienced while consuming certain medicines.
Elderly people are at a risk of lowered vitamin levels as the skin takes more time to synthesize vitamin D. Older individuals require more exposure to sunlight for their bodies to be able to synthesize the required quantities of vitamin D. There is the likelihood of the kidneys of older individuals to lose its former ability to convert vitamin D to its active form.