About vitamin D
Vitamins are defined as special nutrients that are needed by the body but cannot be made by it hence a need to be obtained from another source. Vitamin D therefore is not fully categorized as a vitamin but rather a hormone. This is because it can be produced naturally by the human body when one is exposed to sunlight. However, during the winter when there is no sunlight there is a need to provide a source of vitamin D through supplements.
Role of vitamin D
Vitamin D is a necessity for strength in bones and muscles. This is because it helps the body to effectively take in calcium which is an essential ion for development of dense and strong bones. Calcium provides the building blocks of bones. Also, an additional vitamin called vitamin K2 should be included in the diet together with the two to ensure that the calcium being absorbed in the body is being properly distributed to the key areas where needed. The main purpose of vitamin K2 can be summed up as an activator to the entire process. It is therefore important to include all the three in the diet supplements to prevent complications as hardening of arteries. This is particularly important in children for proper bone development.
Nutritional sources of vitamin D
Not many food contain vitamin D in them, it is however found in substantial quantities in fish. Also, eggs have little quantities of it especially if the chicken have been fed with vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D is through inclusion of foods fortified with it in the daily diet. Example of such foods are, Milk which has about 100 UI of vitamin D per an 8 ounce glass. Breakfast cereal is also fortified but at low levels. An individual should have at least 400-800 IU of vitamin D daily to maintain a proper bone structure.
Reasons for low vitamin D intake
The reasons why individuals do not take in enough vitamin D. However the main reason is few foods contain vitamin D. Other reasons are related to the modern day lifestyles and include; Spending too much time indoors in front of the computers or televisions and rarely getting involved in outdoor activities as playing games, jogging etc., Many popular sports are indoor more than outdoor, milk intake has steadily reduced and soda or juice is being preferred in its place, few individuals walk or ride a bike to the workplace or school and prefer taking the bus or the train
Consequences of low vitamin D intake
Low bone density causes bones to be misshapen, brittle and fragile in adults and rickets or skeletal anomalies such as stooped up posture in children (soft bones). The weak bones can then easily break without considerable stress on them. For example normal events as sneezing or bumping into an object can cause a bone to break. Children with soft bone develop bow legs due to the bones being unable to withstand their weight. Ensure that your EHIC renewal is up to the date