- Vitamin D is essential for life in higher animals.
- It is an intensely studied and widely debated Vitamin.
- Human skin cells can make Vitamin D from Sunlight but to fully activate it to a usable form, it needs to undergo 2 additional steps, first in the Liver then in the kidney.
- Vitamin D is involved in handling of Calcium by the body, other functions are being studied.
Sources of Vitamin D
- Salt water fish: salmon, sardines, herring
- Fish liver oils
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Fortified: milk, butter, cereals, chocolate mixes
Important Facts Regarding Vitamin D
Plants, fruits and nuts are extremely poor sources.
Risk factors for deficiency are dark skin, lack of exposure to sun, obesity, fat malabsorption and old age.
Kidney Failure is known to cause deficiency of Calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is called Osteomalacia in adults and Rickets in children.
Vitamin D toxicity can cause:
- Poor appetite
- Increase in serum Calcium levels
- Tissue calcification in heart and Kidney
- Increased thirst
- Muscle weakness
- Disorientation, and
- Bone Pain