A beautiful face, strong physique, beautiful smile and an erect posture are the most desired characteristics of beauty in humans. However, these are not always gained through a stroke of luck, instead earned by a long term investment in health. Fresh food that provides you vital nutrients and vitamins in the right proportion helps you achieve good health. Vitamins not always are present in high amounts in every food that you eat. They vary from one food to another. Also, some vitamins are synthesised in the human body (e.g. vitamin D).
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic (carbon containing) compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition. visit more information They are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesised by the body. In short, vitamins are organic substances required in small quantities by the human body for smooth functioning of many processes and to prevent diseases caused by the lack of it, such as pellagra, scurvy, rickets, beriberi, among others.
Classification of Vitamins:
Vitamins can be classified into two main categories: Water Soluble and Fat soluble
* Water Soluble Vitamins – Vitamin B and Vitamin CWater soluble vitamins refer to those that can be easily absorbed into the blood stream and quickly get eliminated through urine.
* Fat Soluble Vitamins – Vitamins A, D, E & KFat Soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, are absorbed in the fat tissues only. These vitamins can be stored up to several days inside the body and therefore excess of the same may be toxic.
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin not only for beautiful skin but also strong and healthy bones and overall health and immunity. It is estimated that 1 billion people worldwide suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which makes it important to know what vitamin D is, how to know if you are lacking this vital vitamin, and what you can do about it.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is the only vitamin that can be produced in the body on its own, making it more of a hormone than a vitamin. It does so when your skin has required amount of direct sun exposure, and it can also be found in some food sources.
Once your body takes in vitamin D, chemical processes in your liver allow it to be absorbed into your blood. Your blood then directs it through your tissues and in your kidney where it turns into activated vitamin D, also known as calcitriol. In this activated form, it now supports the calcium supply and absorption by your blood, bones and gut, and helps the cells in your body grow and function properly.
What is its role?
Vitamin D serves several important functions in the body. These include:
* promoting calcium absorption
* maintaining normal calcium and phosphate levels
* promoting bone and cell growth
* reducing inflammation
When do you know you are deficient?
Several factors contribute to the rising incidence of vitamin D deficiency. These include:
* wearing sunscreen (sunscreen blocks the sun’s ability to stimulate vitamin D production)
* not spending enough time outdoors
* having darkly pigmented skin, which won’t absorb the sun’s rays as well
* exclusively breast-feeding babies for prolonged time periods
* being obese, which raises your vitamin D requirements
Some people are born without the ability to process vitamin D. Other people have medical conditions that keep them from digesting vitamin D well.
* difficulty thinking clearly
* bone pain
* frequent bone fractures
* muscle weakness
* soft bones that may result in deformities
* unexplained fatigue
What are the best sources?
The best sources: dairy products, egg yolk, beef liver, fatty fishes like tuna, mackerel.
Why is Vitamin D screening needed?
Vitamin D screening involves analysing the levels of vitamin D in your blood. If you are ‘D’eficient, or cannot synthesise vitamin D on your own, this puts you at a higher risk of having deficiency related complications.
Having a simple Vitamin D screening will help your clinician discuss it with you and suggest some dietary changes along with D-supplements.
Adequate vitamin D levels are important for children under five, pregnant women and breast-fed babies and infants.
Vitamin D deficiency is common and some individuals are particularly at risk:
* Those over 65
* Those suffering from kidney, liver or gut issues
* Black or Asian individuals
* Those with bone-metabolism issues
If you suspect vitamin D deficiency or if just want to find out what your vitamin D level is, then book your same-day IPSA Medical clinic vitamin D screening online or call your nearest IPSA Medical clinic.