D for Developmentvdcp
By Vitamin D Guru panel
We all want the best for our children – the best of education, best of nutrition, best of opportunities and yes, the very best of health.
As parents, we spend vast amounts of money in ensuring the best of nutrition so that our children enjoy the best of health. We invest in health drinks that boost memory, health, bone development etc. We make a careful note of the kind of Vitamins our children, and yet, we are at a point, where our children are largely deficient in the most important Vitamin they need for bone growth and skeletal development – Vitamin D.
So what is Vitamin D and why is it so important?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin essential for the absorption of Calcium in the body, which in turn results in strong bone health. Today, many scientific studies conducted globally; peg Vitamin D deficiency as the most common nutritional deficit and also one of the most common undiagnosed medical conditions in the world. This makes it a serious health issue amongst both adults and children.
Today, many on-going scientific studies highlight the fact that Vitamin D has evolved into a hormone that is active throughout the body not only to regulate calcium and bone metabolism, but one that plays a significant part in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such immune disorders, malignancies, cancer, heart ailments, hypertension and diabetes that that in turn, evolved into health risks for all of us as we grow older. Over 1 billion people across the globe seem to suffer from differing levels of Vitamin D deficiency, irrespective of age or gender.
In India, such a deficiency is surprising, given the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. The reason for this is attributed to the developments in the research of Vitamin D and a better understanding of its synthesis which have led the scientific community to reconsider traditional recommendations.
One of the most important factors contributing to this deficiency in children is our changing lifestyles. While we would spend a large amount of time outdoors, our children cannot or do not. Lack of open spaces, increasing addiction to technology such as TV, Laptops, Ipads, Video Games etc.,., hinder a child’s exposure to sunlight leading to pigmentation and obstructing the easiest and most accessible source of Vitamin D.
Cultural beliefs and availability also restrict dietary intake of foods rich in Vitamin D such as oily fish such as salmon etc., which would help boost Vitamin D absorption. Since either such a diet is expensive to inculcate or not at all given religious beliefs which in turn leads to increased deficiency. However, solutions are in sights as Vitamin D is now increasingly being incorporated into daily consumables such as milk, health drinks, baby food, cheese and butter that would help us battle this better.
As the world progresses, our children will need all the health advantages they can obtain to stand out better in terms of competition and also endurance. Regular tracking of Vitamin D levels in our children and incorporating more Vitamin D in our lifestyles and diets will helps us help our children achieve their dreams, stay healthy and lead better lives.