Vitamin D is essential in a body for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. The most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) in the human body.
There are few foods which contain vitamin D. Synthesis of vitamin D (specifical cholecalciferol) in the skin is the main natural source of the vitamin. Vitamin D is made in the skin from cholesterol during a chemical reaction which is dependent on sun rays (specifically UVB radiation).
The importance of Vitamin D in children:
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that works with calcium to help build bones of children and keep them strong. It also prevents several health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and thinning of bones.
Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we are outside in the sun. Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, children can get it through certain food. Children get enough vitamin D naturally from being in open-air during daily activities, such as walking, biking, or playing sports. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for the normal growth and development of bones, teeth, and resistance against the certain diseases.
Deficiency of Vitamin D
A deficiency in vitamin D in our body with insufficient sun exposure causes osteomalacia (or rickets when it occurs in children), which causes the softening of the bones. This is a rare disease in the world.
Vitamin D deficiency is now a general problem in the old aged as well as common in children and adults. Low blood calcifediol (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) is a disease due to avoiding the sun. Deficiency of Vitamin D also causes in impaired bone mineralization and bone damage which leads to bone-softening diseases including rickets and osteomalacia.
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency in children – There are some other symptoms in children
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Dental deformities
- Impaired growth
- Muscle cramp
- Short stature