Tiding over Vitamin D deficiency

 Upto 8,000 IUs of vitamin D per day is required to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml. But, this cannot be achieved through sun exposure  or dietary intervention alone. Supplementation becomes important to overcome deficiency and results can be seen sooner.

Simplest way to measure vitamin D status  is serum concentration of 25(OH)D.

Normal range/ cut-offs – Serum 25(OH)D

  • < 20 ng/mL = deficiency
  • 20–29 ng/mL = insufficiency
  • ≥30 ng/mL = sufficiency

Vitamin D deficiency requires a three-pronged approach because there is no one single solution

  1. Sun exposure

Unfortunately, for the skin to be able to synthesize vitamin D naturally, there are several important factors to be controlled:

  • Sunlight – specific angle,  specific time of the day , clean air to pass through
  • Skin – less melanin pigment, no sunscreen , young age of the individual

2.  Vitamin D rich foods: foods that are naturally rich in Vitamin D are mostly of animal origin such as

  • Wild salmon
  • Raw cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Egg yolk

Vitamin D fortified milk and mushrooms are also an option but their access and availability is limited.

3. Supplements: Allow your physician to advise the right dosage of the vitamin to overcome deficiency. Depending upon the extent of insufficiency, dose will be determined.

The current guidelines suggest a routine vitamin D supplementation programme starting from neonatal period extending right through the childhood into adolescence.

  • Neonates (0 to 12 months): 400 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Children one year of age and above: 600 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Adults: 1,500 to 2,000 IUs per day

Remember that, with vitamin D deficiency there is much at stake since low vitamin D levels increase your risk of contracting infections, developing osteoporosis, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer . So better be aware and alert.

Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!






Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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