Vitamin D is essential for a healthy body, and the primary source of vitamin D is sunlight. But there are many countries where due to gloomy winters people don’t get enough sunshine. Countries like the United Kingdom get less sunshine, and they are suggested to intake daily dosage of Vitamin D to balance the level to live a healthy life.
As per the report of SACN (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition), 97.5 per cent of the population should have a healthy level of Vitamin D. Many International students travel abroad to continue their further education in sun-deprived countries, and they need to take care of their vitamin D intake to manage the life.
Vitamin D is essential to maintain healthy bones, and it helps to absorb calcium from the food we intake. Lack of vitamin D can cause weak, brittle bones and can also get severe as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Each internal organ or cell of our body needs vitamin D to function like an immune system needs vitamin D to fight against bacteria and infections. Our cells inside the body contain vitamin D, and the balance should be maintained.
Sources of Vitamin D After Sun Light
- Fatty fish is the best source of vitamin D, like salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
- Mushroom is also a good source for vitamin D
- A limited quantity of beef, cheese, and egg yolks are good for vitamin D deficiency.
- Orange juice, yoghurt, milk, margarine, and soy beverages are also the right provider of vitamin D
Lack of Vitamin D
The reason for vitamin D deficiency can be less exposure to sunlight and lack of proper food intake. Vitamin D deficiency in children can cause severe damage like rickets. Vitamin D scarcity can cause bone pain and muscle weakness.
There are many medical problems related to vitamin D deficiency like diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancer too. Bone disorders are caused due to a lack of vitamin D, and it makes the bone fragile and gets fractured easily. To make the bone strong enough calcium and vitamin D should be there in the body and bones.
Ways to Get Vitamin D
How to know if you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency? The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are vague and can be misunderstood as other ailments. Some symptoms are like change in mood, high blood pressure, exhaustion, chronic pain, and muscle or bone pain.
- Take vitamin D supplements if you feel and diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. It is easily available in medical counters. The recommended dietary allowance for an adult should be 600 IU. There are mainly two types of vitamin D, D2, and D3. D2 is derived from plants and D3 from animals and researches have suggested that D3 is more effective in raising and upholding overall vitamin D deficiency. It is also essential to choose a supplement from a trusted brand to avoid any side effects.
- Consume foods that are rich in vitamin D. Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel are the best resource of vitamin D. Cod liver oil can also be taken as a supplement as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D and vitamin A.
- Try to get maximum exposure to sunlight whenever possible. Again it should be moderate as too much exposure to sunlight can also cause skin cancer.
- The only plant-based vitamin D source is Mushroom, and it makes its vitamin D when getting exposed to UV light. Wild mushrooms have more vitamin D due to their exposure to sunlight. But mushrooms treated with UV light are also available easily in stores.
- Make egg yolk your best friend as they are good to treat vitamin D deficiency. Excellent sources of vitamin D are free-range and pastured eggs as the chickens have more access to vitamin D.
- UV lamps are costly but can help to maintain vitamin D deficiency in the body as it copycats the action of the sun.
Vitamin D is a valuable source and necessary for all. Being an International student and studying in a place where there is less exposure to sunlight, it is essential to manage the deficiency by choosing different alternatives.