Did you know 1 in 4 Australians are vitamin D deficient and those in southern eastern states – Tasmania and Victoria 1 in 2 are deficient in vitamin D!
(Source: Australian health survey. Biomedical results for nutrients 2011-2012).
Vitamin D food sources are:
|Salmon||Cod liver oil||Fortified milk|
Why is vitamin D essential to the body?
- Mineralisation of bones.
o Raises blood calcium and phosphorus by increasing absorption from the digestive tract,
o Withdrawing calcium from bones,
o Stimulating retention by the kidneys.
Deficiency in this critical vitamin is becoming more common as we cover up from the sun, stay indoors longer, children have reduced outside play, adults exercise indoors and tobacco smoking are all key factors.
Children with deficiency in vitamin D results in
- misshapen bones (bowed legs),
- enlargement of ends of long bones (knees and wrists),
- deformities in ribs,
- delayed closing of fontanelle resulting in rapid enlargement of head,
- lax muscles, weakened and spasming muscles.
With infants now showing signs of vitamin D deficiency as per the attached article please ensure if you are trying to conceive, pregnant or lactating have your vitamin D blood levels checked.
Please read this link. Lack of vitamin D causing rickets in infants/children.
Deficiency can also be found in numerous chronic diseases in adults related to the brain such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, FND, MND as the body uses vitamin D quicker than is ingested without supplementation.
Osteoporosis is a cause of calcium/vitamin D deficiency in adults due to loss of calcium within the bones. Bone structure becomes soft, flexible and brittle. Progressive weakness results in pain in the pelvis, lower back and legs.
There are three stages:
- Osteomalacia is softening of the bones due to severe vitamin D deficiency;
- Osteopenia where the bone is becoming soft due to calcium/vitamin D deficiency plus other health related problems such as thyroid, menopause, alcoholism, eating disorders and coeliac disease and then may turn into osteoporosis if not treated or caught in the early stages.
- Osteoporosis as mentioned.
If you have any concerns please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner.