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Vitamin D Deficiency

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by McCoy K

(Hypovitaminosis D)

 

Definition

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's liver and fatty tissues. Vitamin D acts as both a vitamin and a hormone. Two of the main sources of vitamin D are food and sunlight. The ultraviolet rays of the sun react with cholesterol present on the skin and create previtamin D3. This compound goes through a series of reactions involving the kidneys and the liver. The final product is vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency describes low levels of vitamin D in the blood. This condition can lead to a condition known as rickets in children. In adults, it can lead to osteomalacia . These are two forms of bone diseases that weaken bones. It is important to contact your doctor if you think you have vitamin D deficiency.
Weakened Bone
Weakened bone at hip
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Causes

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by:
 

Risk Factors

Risk factors include:
Wearing sunscreen may be a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. But, organizations like the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend that you use sunscreen to protect your skin from UV exposure, a known risk factor for skin cancer.
 

RESOURCES

Celiac Sprue Association
http://www.csaceliacs.org

Office of Dietary Supplements
http://ods.od.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Pediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html

 

References


Allain TJ, Dhesi J. Hypovitaminosis D in older adults. Gerontol. 2003;49: 273-278.


American Academy of Dermatology. Position statement on vitamin D. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/Forms/Policies/Uploads/PS/PS-Vitamin%20D.pdf . Published June 19, 2009. Accessed August 3, 2010.


Calvagna M. Vitamin D. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated April 5, 2010. Accessed July 13, 2010.


Dietary supplement fact sheet: vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements website. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp#h4. Accessed March 16, 2008.


DynaMed Editorial Team. Vitamin D deficiency in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 3, 2010. Accessed August 13, 2010.


Pfeifer M, Begerow B, et al. Vitamin D and muscle function. Osteoporosis Int. 2002;13:187-194.


Plotnikoff GA, Quigley JM. Prevalence of severe hypovitaminosis D in patients with persistent, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003; 78:1463.


Tangpricha V, Pearce EN, et al. Vitamin D insufficiency among free-living healthy young adults. Am J Med. 2002;112:659-662.


Wagner CL, Greer FR, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2008;122:1142-1152.

 

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