We need vitamin D for healthier skin, stronger bones, stimulation, and absorption of calcium and what not. Our body produces vitamin D naturally when it is exposed to sun and it can also get it through the vitamin D rich foods. Vitamin D deficiency can make routine life tough. And especially the effect of vitamin D deficiency on skin and bones is high, the two vital organs of the body.
Let us quickly know why the body needs vitamin D and its role in making our lives healthier. After all, without strong bones and healthy skin life can turn upward down.
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
The biggest problem with this sunshine vitamin is the causes of its deficiency are many and as it is one vitamin that can’t be totally increased just with the intake of good foods. Compulsory exposure of the body to the sun is needed which we knowingly don’t do. The other reasons include;
- Not consuming the recommended quantities of this vitamin. Besides if you’re a vegan the chances of deficiencies are high as Vitamin D foods are mostly animal-based like chicken, fish, etc.
- Not exposing skin to sunlight as this is the only way to make the body produce vitamin D.
- Having a darker skin too is also one means to deficiency as melanin lowers the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D.
- Kidneys are the organs to make active the vitamin D present in the body and when kidneys don’t function properly or as they age it may lead to deficiency.
- Few medical conditions like cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and so on can lead to lessened absorption of vitamin D by the digestive tract.
- Even obesity alters vitamin D absorption by the body.
Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are subtle; we can’t find out the symptoms unless they are too heavy. However, muscle weakness and bone pain are two common signs.
Despite the too little signs and symptoms, the low presence of this vitamin can pose health risks.
Below are the common signs of vitamin D absence or deficiency;
- Augmented risks of death due to cardiovascular diseases
- Cognitive disorder in aged people
- Asthma in children
- Getting infections and falling sick too often
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Back and bone pains
- Slow wound healing
- Bone & hair loss
- Muscle pains
What Are The Normal Vitamin D Levels By Age?
Pinpointing on normal vitamin D levels by age is tricky and in fact, there were ‘N’ number of tests performed which included different age groups, however, none of the tests was taken as benchmarks as different tests carried different means to arrive at a conclusion.
However, the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is considered the most exact method to measure the vitamin D levels in the body. The normal vitamin D range is measured as nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Many health experts recommend a level between 20 and 40 ng/mL. Others recommend a level between 30 and 50 ng/mL for adults.
Effects Of Vitamin D Deficiency On Skin
As researches are expanding on the role of vitamin D in the overall health it is quite clear that this vitamin has a mightier role than just adding to the health of bones. The latest studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency can lead to many skin problems which include but not limited to…
- Premature aging
- Skin cancer
- Itchy & dry skin
- Skin conditions like eczema
- Irritating skin conditions like acne
These are only traced effects of vitamin D deficiency on the skin and there could be more that need further studies. However, if vitamin D deficiency can lead to skin problems vitamin D benefits skin too but the right amount of it should be given to the body.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily?
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Endocrine Society below are the vitamin D intake recommendations according to age to keep the vitamin D levels in normalcy.
|Infants||1 to 18 years old||19 to 70 years old||71+ years old|
|IOM||400 IU/day||600 IU/day||600 IU/day||600 IU/day|
|Endocrine Society||400-1,000 IU/day||600-1,000 IU/day||1,500-2,000 IU/day||1,500-2,000 IU/day|
How To Increase Vitamin D Levels Quickly?
13% of the world’s population suffers from low vitamin D presence. Here are ways to increase;
- Spend time in sunlight (between 7-8 am)
- Eat seafood majorly fatty fish
- Give a place for mushrooms & egg
- Taking vitamin D supplements is also good
Give more importance to fortified food and this way you will lower vitamin D deficiency and also effects of vitamin D deficiency on skin.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.