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The Role of Vitamin D in Pregnancy

Vitamin D deficiency, do you know someone suffering from this illness?

Recent studies says Vitamin D deficiency is actually a prevalent problem worldwide. According to these studies, some groups of individuals were observed to be more prone to having this condition versus others. Included in these groups were the dark-color skinned, the elderly and women.

Recent tests conducted in the Philippines commissioned by trusted healthcare provider Unilab showed that 68% of the female participants screened for Vitamin D deficiency had inadequate levels of the said vitamin in the body. The figure of vitamin D deficient male participants registered at 30%, which is significantly lower than the percentage of females, albeit still quite high.

Women were found to be at greater risk of being Vitamin “D-ficient” due to their biological make up. Women start off with having lower bone density than their male peers and reach the peak of their bone mass at an earlier age than men do. This means women have a higher calcium requirement than the opposite sex. And because Vitamin D plays an essential role in the body’s absorption of calcium, it follows that women need to have higher Vitamin D levels in their body compared to men.

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The lack of Vitamin D is mostly attributed to the lack of sun exposure as the body generates Vitamin D only when the skin is directly exposed to the UVB rays of the sun. In fact, to meet the daily requirement of Vitamin D, studies suggest staying under the sun for approximately 20-30 minutes in between 10am and 2pm every day, exposing the majority of skin on the body directly to the sunlight. However because the modern lifestyle does not easily permit that, many individuals do not get enough sunlight exposure. And unfortunately, some women’s particular lifestyle choices like the use of sunscreen, SPF make-up, or even umbrellas when going under the sun inhibit them even more from getting enough sun exposure and therefore, Vitamin D. On the other hand, certain foods like eggs, milk and some particular types of fish may be considered as sources of Vitamin D. However, the quantity of the said vitamin contained in these food choices is very minute.

Serious attention should be placed on women with this vitamin deficiency since this condition not only affects one’s bone health but also one’s reproductive system and other important physiological functions. Studies have found that Vitamin D plays a role in pregnancy and growing a healthy baby. Conversely, low levels of the sunshine vitamin in women may lead to osteoporosis, infertility, bacterial vaginosis, suppressed immune response, mood swings, depression, and insulin resistance. Other studies even show a correlation between breast cancer and low Vitamin D levels in the blood. It is indicated that Vitamin D plays a part in preventing breast cancer cell growth and decreasing the risk of all cancers in women.

Medical experts suggest that men and especially women take this clinical deficiency seriously by ensuring that they have the right amount of Vitamin D level in the body. As Vitamin D may be difficult for most to get from the sun and near impossible to get from diet alone, experts are highly recommending a daily intake of supplement. Women who want to ensure their overall health should make a Vitamin D supplement a staple, to not run the risk of becoming “D-ficient” and prone to various life-threatening diseases.

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