When we speak of bone health, calcium is usually the hero of the story. However, by itself, calcium is not enough for healthy bones. Vitamin D is equally important for healthy bones and the prevention of orthopedic conditions.
What does Vitamin D do?
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the food being eaten. It also controls the calcium and phosphate levels in the body. This is critical for the growth and development of new bones. Vitamin D also controls how much calcium and phosphates are being expelled by the body. In this way, vitamin D helps strengthen the bones and improve overall bone health.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is not commonly found in food. It is present only in certain types of oily fishes, egg yolks and mushrooms. Most of the vitamin D we eat comes from fortified cereals, breads and dairy products. The sun is an important source of vitamin D but exposing yourself to too much sunlight could cause various skin problems. Thus, vitamin D deficiency is very common. When it comes to bone health, vitamin D deficiency can cause low-density bones. This, in turn, can cause rickets and osteoporosis. People with vitamin D deficiency are likely to suffer frequent fractures. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause skeletal deformities such as bow legs and a stooped spine.
Vitamin D and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a musculoskeletal condition that is marked by low bone density. Studies have shown that people with osteoporosis have lower levels of vitamin D as compared to others. Some studies also suggest that fractures are more common in winter as compared to summer. The winter sun is often hazy and many days can go by without strong sunlight. Thus it can be inferred that people do not get their required quota of vitamin D from the sunlight in winters leading to a deficiency and aggravated osteoporosis-related fractures.
Who is most susceptible to bone conditions caused by vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is a very common condition across the globe. Some surveys have claimed that approximately 30% of the global population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. People with dark skin, women and elderly people are most susceptible to this deficiency. People suffering from kidney diseases may also be affected by vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplements are usually very helpful in combatting this deficiency. These can be taken by young children as well as adults.
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