From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Vitamin D
Mains level : Not Much
The pandemic-induced lockdown has confined people to their houses for five months now. The resultant lack of sunlight, followed by rains, has brought down the vitamin D levels to the lowest.
Try this PYQ from CSP 2014:
Q.Consider the following pairs:
Vitamin Deficiency:: Disease
- Vitamin C::Scurvy
- Vitamin D:: Rickets
- Vitamin E:: Night blindness
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
What is Vitamin-D?
- Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that has myriad positive effects on several systems in the body.
- Unlike other vitamins, it functions like a hormone and every cell in your body has a receptor for it.
- It is sparsely found in certain fatty fish and fortified dairy products, and it is extremely difficult to get the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of 600-800 IU from diet alone.
There are two main forms of vitamin D in the diet:
– Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) — found in plant foods like mushrooms.
– Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) — found in animal foods like salmon, cod and egg yolks.
Common signs and symptoms of the deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common and most people are unaware of it, as the symptoms are subtle and nonspecific.
– Getting sick or infected often with common cold and flu, because of a weak immune system.
– Fatigue and tiredness
– Bone and muscle pains
– Impaired wound healing
– Bone loss and osteoporosis
Sources of Vit. D
- Sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D. Sunlight synthesizes cholesterol into Vitamin D3.
- Usually, 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 am and 3 pm is adequate to meet daily requirements, in places with minimum pollution levels.