What is vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D is responsible for bone strength in the human body.
It helps the body utilize the calcium absorbed from the diet effectively.
Some natural sources of vitamin D include sunlight and a variety of foods like fish, egg yolk, fortified dairy and grain products, etc.
Insufficient vitamin D supply causes a serious condition called vitamin D deficiency.
Approximately, 1 billion individuals worldwide, that is, nearly 15% of the world's population have this deficiency.
What are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?
Most people tend to oversee the signs and fail to realize that they have this deficiency. Here is what can be looked out for:
- Bone pain and bone loss
- Falling sick frequently
- Slow healing of wounds
- Muscle pain
- Hair loss
- Compromised immune system
What are the risk factors or causes of vitamin D deficiency?
Certain medical conditions can predispose an individual to be deficient in vitamin D levels. These include:
- Individuals suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or cystic fibrosis
- Individuals who have had gastric bypass surgery
- Obesity: Fat molecules grab vitamin D and do not release it for use in the body
- Very limited exposure to the sun
- A prolonged period of breastfeeding: Human breast milk contains a low amount of vitamin D
- A diet lacking enough vitamin D supplements (like vegan diets)
You may also be interested in: What do genes tell us about vitamin D requirements?
How does vitamin D deficiency affect your health?
Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency is linked to many serious disorders like:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Tooth and gum decay
- Erectile dysfunction
What are the best food sources of vitamin D?
Very few food items naturally contain vitamin D. Including them in your diet would greatly help alleviate vitamin D deficiency.
- Fishes like tuna, salmon, swordfish, herring, and sardines
- Milk & dairy products like eggs, yogurt and cheese and vegan alternatives like soy and almond milk
- Cod Liver Oil
Is vitamin D deficiency genetic?
Research has identified four genetic variants that are associated with vitamin D deficiency.
These genes are involved in metabolization and transportation of vitamin D in the body.
More such genetic variants inherited, the higher the risk for low vitamin D levels in the body.
What is the VDR gene?
Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) gene is responsible for making a protein called vitamin D receptor protein where the active form of vitamin D binds to.
Hand-picked content for you: Know your genes: VDR "The Sunshine Vitamin Gene"
rs731236 is a 3′ variant in the VDR gene.
This SNP affects a T > C methylation site, which translates to impaired absorption of vitamin D components and their transport, and results in bone weaknesses and other symptoms.
|GG||Normal vitamin D levels|
|AA||Increased risk of vitamin D deficiency|
This SNP in the VDR gene has also been linked to many other diseases like breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.
In addition, it is associated with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), in which there occurs an irresistible urge to move the legs.
Do you have your DNA raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage?
Upload your DNA raw data to Xcode Life. Our Gene Nutrition Report analyses choline needs, gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, vitamin needs, and 33 more such categories.
Does your 23andme, AncestryDNA, FTDNA raw data have VDR gene variant information?
|CHIP Version||VDR SNP|
|23andMe (version 4)||Present|
|23andMe (version 5)||Present|
|AncestryDNA (version 1)||Present|
|AncestryDNA (version 2)||Present|
|FTDNA (OmniExpress Microarray Chip)||Present|