Dubai: Every man, woman, and child above the age of five should think about taking Vitamin D pills from October to March, every year or so said Public Health England in a 2016 recommendation, to ‘help keep healthy bones, teeth, and muscles’.
The edict followed Government-backed research from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which looked at the links between Vitamin D levels and musculoskeletal health, as well as a range of problems including heart disease, type 1 diabetes, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Calcium and Vitamin D Deficiency
One in five Britons suffered from low levels of the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ – which is essential for healthy bones, among other things – the committee claimed. Although small amounts can be gained from food, mainly oily fish, offal and eggs, Vitamin D is a hormone, primarily produced by the body, in the skin, in response to UV rays from the sun.
WHO IS VITAMIN D DEFICIENT?
We all need Vitamin D. Without it; we cannot absorb calcium, which leads to bone-thinning and risk of fractures. A deficiency of it causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, both of which are a softening and weakening of the bones along with pain and deformities.
In children with rickets, the Vitamin D deficiency manifests itself as a characteristic bowing of the leg bones as they grow. Though descriptions of rickets first appeared in the Roman era, it was a particular scourge of Victorian times, mainly due to lack of sunlight in smog-ridden industrial towns.
Cleaner air and better nutrition all but eradicated the disease, but cases have been reported again, mostly in children of Asian and Afro-Caribbean backgrounds who are at higher risk because their darker skin means they do not absorb as much sunlight.
But there is a vast difference between a clinical deficiency that causes rickets or osteomalacia – in which blood levels of Vitamin D are likely to be virtually undetectable – and ‘low Vitamin D’ cited by SACN that may not be of much concern anyway. via daily mail