Calciferol is the chemical name of vitamin D which the body itself is capable of generating. It supports the body’s vital functions, and is produced by our body as a response to direct sunlight exposure.
Filipinos are vitamin D deficient
It might be surprising to know that some Filipinos are suffering from vitamin D deficiency without them knowing it.
Dr.Marilou Renales said that according to a study that has been ongoing since 2013, three out of five Filipinos tested were found to have a lack of the vitamin.
Vitamin D deficiency in the country increased in the past few years due to the current lifestyle most of the Filipinos have.
Dr. Alejandro Diaz of the Philippine Neurological Association revealed that Filipinos who are tan-skin naturals are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Melanin helps to protect the skin against ultraviolet light, yet it also blocks the sun’s rays which are needed to activate vitamin D in the body.
People who have desk jobs during the day that usually clocks out after sundown and those who are cooped up in the shade, not getting enough sunshine as they need to be, face a higher risk of suffering from such condition.
Preference for lighter skin is one of the reasons why Filipinos avoid sun exposure, believing that they looked beautiful, wealthy and privileged.
Experts call vitamin D deficiency a “ silent epidemic” which is associated with serious health conditions such as:
Rickets. A skeletal disorder mostly affecting infants and children primarily caused by vitamin D deficiency.
Osteomalacia. A bone disease that affects adults who are vitamin D deficient.
It is a disease in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, resulting in soft bones and skeletal deformities.
Extreme exhaustion even with enough sleep. Feeling extremely tired all the time in spite having plenty of sleep could be caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
Cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is related to more serious health risks, such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Neurodegenerative conditions. Other studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D condition is also associated with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Depression. A recent study has shown for the first time in Ireland that vitamin D deficiency is connected to a considerably increased risk of depression.
Diabetes. A study appears that the lower the level of vitamin D in your blood, the higher your probability of developing diabetes.
Daily vitamin D requirements
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 400 international units (IU) for infants 1 to 12 months old, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for elderly over 70 years. However, more recent research shows that the adequate amount of vitamin D should be 1,000 to 4,000 IU (25-100 mcg) daily with 4,000 IU being the upper limit of intake.
A twenty-minute walk under the sun is all that you need to ensure you are topped up with your daily vitamin D requirements.
Foods rich in vitamin D
As the NHS outlined, there are certain foods rich in vitamin D that may help to alleviate the lack of sunlight exposure. These include:
- Oily fish like tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, and salmon
- Red meat
Megadose is a big no
Sunlight is not the only source of vitamin D. Deficiency of the vitamin is relatively easy and inexpensive to remedy through supplementation or fortification.
However, one must not exceed the suggested dosage when taking a supplement or fortified intakes.
When opting for vitamin D supplements, talk to your doctor before taking them to ensure you have the right prescription your body needs.
The FDA does not monitor the safety of the supplement’s potency, so you must choose your brand wisely.
Source Link: EXPRESS