When you’re catching up on early morning sun rays or summer rays think of Vitamin D. Sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” as it is produced in response to sunlight by the skin. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the human body and has hormone like action.
The body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, certain foods and supplements are also required to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Adequate amount of vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of minerals like calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintenance of healthy and strong bones and teeth, and is suggested to supply a protective effect against multiple diseases like ,skin and heart disease and conditions such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D deficiency results in multiple and varied symptoms affecting almost every system .The hormone like action ensures calcium levels in blood and starts reabsorbing calcium from bone tissue, which makes bones thin and brittle, particularly in women over 40 yrs. of age resulting in osteoporosis, joint aches or repeated fracture s if untreated. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth in children.
Regular screening of vitamin D is suggested in failure to thrive children , children with skeletal abnormalities, pregnant women , menopausal women and individuals over 65 yrs. of age.