Vitamin D has an essential role in the health of many organs. In addition, this vitamin helps with the absorption of other nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. The immune system is also boosted by the presences of this and other vitamins
Rickets is a condition that affects children and is often seen in developing countries. Symptoms of this condition includes bow-legged problems, growth changes, and bone pain.
Osteomalacia is a similar condition to rickets but is seen in the adult population.
Osteoporosis is when the density of the bones decreases substantially. Often seen in women following menopause – but can be seen in men due to age as well as the Vitamin D deficiency.
Almost 8 million children, adolescents and young adults have Vitamin D levels low enough to be considered deficiency
Another 51 million are insufficient in the amount of Vitamin D.
Girls appear affected more commonly than boys. Darker skin also appears to be more commonly affected.
Potential reasons for low Vitamin D levels
1.) More time watching TV by children
2.) Increase amount of sunscreen use
3.) Playing inside rather than outside
4.) Increased amount of “soda consumption”
5.) Less consumption of Milk and other foods fortified by Vitamin D
6.) More sedentary lifestyles
What is so concerning?
In addition to the findings regarding low levels of Vitamin D – other increased risk factors are seen as well.
An association was found between low levels of Vitamin D and increased risk for disease such as Hypertension [High Blood Pressure], High blood sugar, Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome and increased risk for heart disease.
Are we overreacting
This may be a possibility – Several additional studies are currently being conducted to further understand these findings as well as some additional guidelines. Daily consumption of Vitamin D still seems to be in debate. Many believe that milk with fortified vitamin D and 20 minutes of sunshine should be adequate. This is being heavily researched
Others believe that we don’t have enough data to adequately determine the risks that low Vitamin D may be associated with further risk factors.
It is certain that several issues and risks are surfacing again and again that points to a worsening nutrition value and overall physical health for those with unhealthy lifestyles that include junk food and sedentary lifestyles.
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