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Vitamin D Deficiency - Symptoms, Cause and Treatment

Having a healthy lifestyle is fundamental so that one can maintain a complete well-being and have a disease-free body. The body needs to receive enough nutrients so that it can develop all its metabolic processes, thus ensuring the proper functioning of the body.

For this reason, the deficiency of some nutrients can cause diverse health problems and generate many upheavals for the life of those who suffer from these nutritional imbalances.

Let's understand what happens in the body when there is a deficiency of vitamin D, know more about the and the cause of this problem, as well as knowing more about the treatment to solve this deficiency in the body.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D and its prohormones have been the targets of numerous studies in recent years, mainly due to the considerable increase in the use of filters solar and life less and less outdoors that most people take, which cause the drastic reduction of the production of this nutrient in the body.

This vitamin is essential in several processes of metabolism, aiding in bone formation, participating in calcium metabolism, interacting with the processes of the immune system, in addition to participating in numerous body tissues, including the heart, brain, skin, intestine, prostate, bones, kidneys, gonads, between others.

Vitamin D, called cholecalciferol, also functions as a steroid hormone, whose main of bone formation and bone resorption, through its interaction with the kidneys, intestines and parathyroid hormones.

The body can produce vitamin D from cholesterol, and the main source of this vitamin is endogenous formation in the skin tissues after exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVB), promoting the conversion of cholesterol into D vitamin. A good way to increase vitamin D levels is to take sun, preferably in the morning or late afternoon, 10 to 15 minutes a day.

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This vitamin can also be gained through a balanced diet. It can be found in foods such as milk, fish such as sardines and salmon, in fish liver oil, in mushrooms, eggs, as well as industrialized foods that are fortified like this vitamin such as cereals and cookies. It can also be consumed through dietary supplements, being easily found in specialty stores of natural products and pharmacies.

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The recommended daily intake for children and adults up to 50 years is five micrograms per day (200 IU / day). The recommendation increases to 10 micrograms / day (400 IU / day) for people between 50-71 years of age and 15 micrograms / day (600 IU / day) for the elderly over 70 years.

These doses may be adjusted by a healthcare professional if necessary, and may vary according to lifestyle and health conditions.

What are the problems caused by vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is something quite common in the world today. It is estimated that about 1 billion people have low levels of this vitamin in the body.

Many research shows that vitamin D deficiency in the body is related to the development of various autoimmune diseases. Among them are thediabetes mellitusinsulin-dependent (IDDM), multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), among others.

In addition, prolonged vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets and osteomalacia, and in adults, when associated with osteoporosis, leads to an increased risk of fractures.

Some groups are at increased risk of having low amounts of this vitamin in the body, such as:

  • People who have darker skin need more sun to produce it;
  • People who spend a lot of time indoors;
  • People living in places that have low amounts of sunshine throughout the year, such as at the extremes of the northern and southern hemispheres;
  • Those who use too much sunscreen and avoid any exposure to the sun;
  • Those who are overweight or obese.

Unfortunately, the initial symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are quite subtle, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Here are some of the main symptoms:

1. Excess fatigue and fatigue

Symptoms of fatigue and fatigue may be related to numerous health problems, but may also be associated with vitamin D deficiency. Several studies show that low levels of this vitamin in the blood can have a significant impact on energy levels.

2. Depression

Studies have shown a relationship between people who had vitamin D deficiency and depression, especially in the elderly. Other research shows a significant reduction of symptoms involved in depression in people who used vitamin D supplementation.

3. Reduction of bone density

This is one of the main symptoms related to vitamin D deficiency, since it is critical for the absorption of calcium in bone metabolism. In women diagnosed with bone loss, there was a significant increase in calcium absorption when supplemented with vitamin D.

There are also several studies relating low bone mineral density and low levels of this nutrient in the body. Rickets, for example, a disease caused by extreme deficiencies of this vitamin.

4. Low immunity

Getting sick easily or contracting infections frequently can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. This nutrient is directly related to the cells that are responsible for fighting infections and their can interfere with the immune system's ability to fight off viruses and bacteria that cause diseases.

5. Increased inflammation and pain

Several studies demonstrate the power of vitamin D to reduce inflammation and pain, helping to regulate the genes that are associated with the inflammation process. One study evaluated the pain levels of a group of adults over 65 years, and 53% of them had moderate to severe pain and all were linked to low vitamin D. Studies also show that there is a receptor for vitamin D in the DNA that signals the gene to reduce inflammation.

6. High blood pressure

Increased blood pressure may be associated with various nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin D deficiency. Studies show that vitamin D supplementation in the diet reduces blood pressure and acts on the expression of genes related to this control. Another research shows that there is an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure.

What is the best treatment for vitamin D deficiency?

Treatment for vitamin D deficiency is indicated for all patients, both for those who have symptoms and those who do not. This treatment can be done with replacement in the form of vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 supplements did not show the same power as D3.

The supplement should be taken along with a meal that has fat. Taking it fast or without a meal that has fat can greatly decrease the effectiveness. Recommendations for vitamin D replacement vary and depend on the patient's disability. Treatment should always be directed by a physician or nutritionist.

For children 1 to 18 years of age with vitamin D deficiency, it is generally suggested to treat , 00 IU / day of vitamin D3 for at least six weeks. And for maintenance, you should keep 600-, 00 IU / day

Adults can supplement with , 00 IU of vitamin D3 per day for 8 weeks. And for maintenance, continue with , 00-, 00 IU / day.


Vitamin D deficiency is quite common in the world today, with an estimated 1 billion people having low vitamin D levels in the body. Many research shows that the low levels of this vitamin in the body are related to the development of several autoimmune diseases, such asdiabetes mellitusinsulin-dependent and multiple sclerosis (MS).

In addition, prolonged vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets and osteomalacia, and in adults, when associated with osteoporosis, leads to an increased risk of fractures.

Additional references:


Have you noticed any of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency? Has your doctor prescribed any treatment or change in habits for lack of the vitamin? Comment below!

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