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SPECIAL REPORTS

Nutrify India highlights the importance of vitamin D for human body
Monday, 09 November, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Dr Ezhil Arasan Ramanan
Nutrify India has highlighted the importance of Vitamin D and the varied perspective the all-essential vitamin has on the human body, its organs and their functions. The company is an initiative in empowering responsible nutrition business in India. Headquartered in Hyderabad it is a platform that connects the nutraceutical innovators to the market.

Focussing on the naturally-occurring Vitamin D often termed as a hormone, the company highlights the significance the vitamin plays on the body’s overall wellbeing and health. It is a vitamin that can be produced by the body in the availability of enough sunlight. It affects 30 organs and around 200 genes. The much blamed cholesterol is in fact a producer of the vitamin.

Physiological synthesis of vitamin D is triggered by a photochemical reaction upon exposure of skin to sunlight UVB radiations (290 – 315 nm). On exposed skin, 7-dehydrocholesterial is transformed to previtamin D3 that consequently isomerises into vitamin D3.

Successively vitamin D is processed in the kidneys and liver to a physically active formula. The coverage of skin to UVB is presented to be 70 times effective at a specific angle of the sun; 25° than at 75°. India is a geologically better positioned to have satisfactory sunlight for Vitamin D production.

Yet the population in India has a high incidence of the vitamin deficiency. Studies show that from Kashmir to Delhi to Mysore, Tirupathi and Tamil Nadu, Vit D deficiency is very high and rampant in the Indian populace.
Researchers have proved, ‘that children open to sunlight (frolicking outdoor) for little more than half an hour a day exposing more than 40% of their body surface have a normal vitamin D statuses’.  The absence of sufficient exposure is a matter of concern and now with lockdowns and limited outdoor play options indoor play is the only option for kids. Vitamin D is not a unifunctional vitamin. Still, its role goes beyond bone mineral metabolism only and deficits have possible health insinuations on the metabolic and immune position of a body.

Normal serum levels recommended are about 12 to 40 nanogram/ml across all age groups. Levels higher than 50 nanogram/ml are also not standard in common except and then suggested by the discussing doctors.
In regards to supplementation, Dr Arasan says, “Breast milk doesn’t have much vitamin D in it. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends from that every breastfed infant be given 200 IU a day of vitamin D for the first two months of life and 400 units a day afterwards. Indian Council of Medical Research recommends a daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 400 IU Vitamin D for adults while NIH recommends 400 IU up to the age of the age one year and then higher at 600 IU until 70 years and 800 IU in people above 70 years of age.”

However he does warn that carefulness must be implemented to evade misuse or extreme dosing. In excess, vitamin D toxicity can cause hyperkalemia, hypophosphatemia, nephrocalcinosis and soft tissue calcification, therefore causative of high risk of mortality. Consuming Vitamin D below or above the ICMR approval should have a doctor’s instruction attached.

(The author is CEO & MD at Dr V R E Research Laboratories Pvt. Ltd in San Francisco, California, USA, and chairperson of Nutrify India’s Medical Community ROoT)
 
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