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5 Things You Need To Know About Vitamin D

March 17, 2021

 

Here are the 5 things you need to know about Vitamin D! 

It is well known that Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight. In sunny Singapore, one would expect Vitamin D to be in abundance in our bodies. Hence, it may be surprising to know that Vitamin D deficiency is as high as 42% among Singaporeans!

 

1. Functions of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is well known to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones , teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D is also needed for control of cell growth , regulation of immune function,  sugar control, kidney and muscle function. Deficiency in Vitamin D often lead to bone loss and reduced bone strength.

 

2. Effects of Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms. These include bone pain, muscle pain, fatigue and tiredness, hair loss, poor wound healing and even depression.

 

3. How to get enough Vitamin D?

The simplest method is to get sun exposure. It is recommend to get sun exposure, without sunblock, on arms and legs 5-30 minutes twice a week, or about 10 minutes a day. The best time to do so is between 10am and 3pm each day. People with paler skin require less sun exposure than those with darker skin. It may be difficult to obtain sufficient Vitamin D from sun exposure alone, especially for some of us who wish to avoid sun exposure due to skin pigmentation!

 

Vitamin D can also be obtained from food. Examples are eggs, liver, oily fish, milk, soya milk and breakfast cereals. in general, 250ml of fortified milk or 2 eggs a day will provide adequate Vitamin D a day.

 

We may consider obtaining Vitamin D more from food and supplements, rather than solely depending on the sun.

 

5. Too much Vitamin D?

However, more Vitamin D is not always better. Excess Vitamin D can can lead to calcium build up in the body, leading to kidney stones, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

 

5. How to test for Vitamin D level?

If you experiencing symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, consult your doctor. A simple blood test is all that is needed to diagnose Vitamin D deficiency.

 

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