It is also known as Hypovitaminosis D. It is due to lack of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is mainly seen in Pregnancy or breast feeding women. Calcium supplements are usually used in the treatment of Vitamin D deficiency patients. Some Vitamin D rich food supplements are Dairy products, Soya milk, Cereals, Cheese etc.
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Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide public health problem across all age groups including infants, children, adults, and elderly. Very few foods naturally contain or are fortified with vitamin D. The major source of vitamin D is from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin is synthesized from 7-dehydocholesterol present in the skin of humans by the action of ultraviolet B radiation (290 – 315 nm). The major cause of vitamin D deficiency is lack of adequate sunlight exposure. In utero and during childhood, vitamin D deficiency can cause growth retardation and skeletal deformities and may increase the risk of hip fracture later in life. Vitamin D deficiency in adults can precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia and osteoporosis, cause pain producing osteomalacia and muscle weakness, and increase the risk of fall and fracture. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular mortality. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD) is the reliable marker of vitamin D status and a level below 20 ng/ml defines deficiency. However, an optimal level above 30 ng/ml is required to maximize the bone health and non-skeletal benefits of vitamin D. A sensible sun exposure for 5 – 15 min between 1000 and 1500 hours in the spring, summer and autumn and supplementation of atleast 400 IU, 600 IU and 800 IU of vitamin D/day among infants and children, adults and elderly respectively shall guarantee vitamin D sufficiency in at risk population.