The sunshine vitamin is another name for vitamin D. It is a special kind of vitamin because, unlike other vitamins, it is not found in most foods. Vitamin D is produced by the human body in reaction to sun exposure. There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 found in plant-based meals and vitamin D3 found in foods made by animals.
Over 2000 genes inside the body are impacted by vitamin D3, which is known to raise blood levels of vitamin D. One of the most important nutrients for children is vitamin D3, as it promotes healthy growth, development, and well-being. Here are five justifications for why kids need vitamin D3.
Infants who are solely breastfed and do not receive a daily vitamin D supplement, as well as older children who do not consume enough vitamin D-rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and orange juice, may have low levels of vitamin D.
It might be challenging to determine whether your child is getting enough vitamin D, despite its need for a strong immune system and healthy bones. For most people who value sun protection above sun exposure, getting enough vitamin D from the sun has always been difficult. However, with stay-at-home orders, this difficulty has increased significantly.
Why is vitamin D important for kids?
Both kids and adults can benefit greatly from vitamin D. It is linked to healthier immune systems, stronger bones, less chance of preterm birth, and perhaps even illness prevention. Here are some of the many benefits vitamin D has on kids' health.
1. Boosts immunity
In the body, vitamin D functions similarly to a hormone to control cellular activity, support the development of immunity, and promote disease resistance. In addition, studies show that vitamin D offers defence against respiratory and influenza viruses.
2. Prevents certain diseases
According to some studies, vitamin D helps to prevent prostate cancer, cancer, and heart disease. Nevertheless, there isn't enough proof to make the claim. However, research indicates that children with serious illnesses have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies.
3. Strengthens the bones
When it comes to your child's bone health, calcium is undoubtedly on your radar, but vitamin D also plays a crucial role. According to a study, bone-strengthening minerals can only be absorbed by the body when vitamin D is present. Getting sufficient amounts of calcium and D is essential when children are growing and developing bones. Rarely, vitamin D deficiency in children can lead to rickets, a disorder in which the bones become brittle and soft and the legs seem bent.
4. Helps manage weight
Children who are vitamin D deficient may gain weight unhealthily. In India, obesity has become widespread, and vitamin D deficiency is a major factor in these children's obesity. Vitamin D dangers associated with acute deficiency include metabolic illness.
How to add sufficient vitamin D to your kid's diet?
Unfortunately, vitamin D is not naturally present in many foods. All the vitamin D that children require each day is found in a serving of salmon compared to less than half in a similar serving of canned tuna. Even though children would need to eat roughly 10 eggs daily to achieve their needs, eggs do contain a modest quantity of vitamin D (in the yolk). Vitamin D is naturally present in mushrooms, and some are UV-treated to increase the vitamin level.
The fortified versions of foods like milk, yogurt, cereal, and orange juice may seem like an easier method to obtain your child his recommended daily intake of D. Fortunately, sunlight exposure can also provide children with vitamin D because it changes a chemical in the skin into an active form of D.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.