What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Vitamin D is essential overall good health and for strong and healthy bones. It helps the body to absorb calcium which is one of the main building blocks of our bones, that is required in order to absorb calcium and phosphorus, minerals that are essential for developing the structure and strength of the bones.

If vitamin D levels become too low, the body may produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released leading to weak and soft bones.

How is vitamin D deficiency diagnosed?

The most accurate way to measure vitamin D level in the body is through a blood test called serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. This test is done to determine for an excess or deficient vitamin D.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Most of the people may not have any symptoms at all. However, if there is a severe vitamin D deficiency, they may experience pain and weakness in the bones and frequent infections. Nevertheless, not everyone gets these symptoms.

How to prevent vitamin D deficiency?

Moderate sun exposure is the BEST natural way to optimize the vitamin D levels to a healthy range. Exposing a large amount of your skin until it turns the lightest shade of pink, as near to solar noon as possible, is typically necessary to achieve adequate vitamin D production.

For Caucasian skin, this could be that 20% of the skin surface area for just 15 minutes, at around 10-11 am, must be exposed to sunlight. The same routine for a couple of hours or more, is more appropriate for a dark skinned person.

Many factors affect the amount of Vitamin D that a person gets from sun exposure. Some of them are:

  • Time of the day
  • Color of the skin (pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins)
  • The amount of the skin exposed (the more skin exposed, the more vitamin D the body will produce)

Also, there are limited natural sources and foods which have Vitamin D. A few of its best dietary sources are - fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. Beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are other sources that provide Vitamin D in smaller proportions. Due to this, many foods are fortified with vitamin D. Fortified means that vitamins have been added to the food, this includes dairy products, orange juice, breakfast cereals and infant formula.

It can be very hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Some people may need to take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D3 is the best kind of supplement to take. It comes in a number of different forms, such as tablets, capsules and even injection.

Role of Vitamin D influencing the Chance of Pregnancy

Long known for its role in bone health, vitamin D is an emergent issue in fertility. Researchers have concluded a study that suggests that a lack of vitamin D may be a factor in reducing the chance of pregnancy in women undergoing IVF.

Researchers found that healthy levels of vitamin D led to the production of good quality eggs and successful implantation of embryos compared to women who are deficient in vitamin D. Moreover, it has been known that lack of Vit D significantly reduces the ovarian reserve.

For more information, please book an appointment with our consultants. We are happy to provide all the necessary information and test to you.

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