Who is at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

Breastfed babies, people with intestinal disorders, etc.

obese male
Obese people are more likely to have low vitamin D levels. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

Our body uses vitamin D to absorb minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. This process strengthens teeth and bones. Vitamin D also supports the muscular, nervous and immune systems. It is not easy to get vitamin D in everyday life. Most of it is obtained through sunlight, but when ultraviolet rays stimulate the skin, vitamin D synthesis occurs.

Vitamin D is also found in foods such as egg yolks, fish and liver. Vitamin D, an important nutrient, is likely to be deficient. People who live in northern regions with less sunlight, have dark skin, are on a low-fat diet, or take steroids or weight loss medications are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 400 IU for adults and 200 IU for children under the age of 18 as the recommended daily amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of chronic diseases that are life threatening such as many types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cognitive decline.

In addition, the healing of wounds, especially from burns, is delayed, the risk of osteoporosis increases, and it is easy to develop muscle pain. It is also associated with an increased risk of diabetes and hypertension, including rickets and osteomalacia. American health and medical media ‘Web MD’ selected people who need to take supplements because they are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.

The breastfed baby

There is not enough vitamin D in breast milk unless the mother takes supplements. Because of this, breastfed babies are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. Rickets is a disease where the spine bends due to poor bone development, or growth disorders such as bow legs due to bone deformity occurs most often in breastfed children. Experts say, “breastfed babies should be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D per day.”

People with intestinal disorders

Our body needs fat to use vitamin D. Diseases that affect the intestines, such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis, make it difficult to absorb this fat. This means you need more vitamin D. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is useful for people with intestinal disorders.

People who have had gastric bypass surgery

Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure to limit the size of the stomach or create a bypass from the stomach to the small intestine to treat severe obesity and related complications. Gastric bypass allows you to feel full faster, resulting in eating fewer calories. After this surgery, it becomes difficult to absorb nutrients such as vitamin B12, copper, zinc, and calcium, including vitamin D. “After this surgery, your doctor will likely track your numbers and suggests taking a daily vitamin supplement to stay healthy,” say experts.

A person who is obese

Obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are more likely to have lower vitamin D levels than non-obese people. This is not because the skin makes less vitamin D, but because the extra fat under the skin retains more vitamin D and changes the way it enters the blood. Diet, lifestyle changes, and taking supplements can help address this.

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