understanding vitamin D

understanding vitamin D

25 Apr, 2018


Unravelling the mystery of vitamin D


Vitamin D has grabbed attention in recent years, however vitamin d deficiency is very common and mostly remains unrecognized, undiagnosed and thus untreated. The human body is capable of synthesising vitamin D once exposed to the sun but VDD(vitamin D Deficiency) is a major cause of concern even in a sunny country like ours.


Some terms:

vitamin D2 also called ergocalciferol,

vitamin D 3 also called as cholecalciferol,

vitamin D2 called as  calcidiol and

calcitriol 1,25(OH) calcitriol. Calcitriol is the active form of vitamin D and is the final product in a chain involving steps in skin, liver and kidneys.


Vitamin D has multiple actions in the body.


1 In small intestine-it helps in absorption of dietary calcium


2 In bones- helps in mineralization (along with parathyroid hormone)


3 kidneys- facilitates reabsorption of urinary calcium (with parathyroid hormone)


Other effects


1 Regulation of PTH levels


2 modulation of immunity


3 blood pressure and blood sugar regulation




Normal levels


Children should have blood levels of at least 20ng/ml


Older adults should have a blood level of 30-40 ng/ml


Severe deficiency


Vitamin d levels of less than 10ng/ml is considered as severe deficiency, it is common in middle east and south east Asian countries. Dark skin tone, female sex are other risk factors which make patient prone for vitamin D deficiency.


Why Indians are prone for deficiency


A large proportion of Indians are vegetarian, fortification of food and drink is still uncommon