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Vitamin D as a Necessary Diet Supplement in the Context of UK - Essay Example

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Vitamin D as a Necessary Diet Supplement in the Context of UK

The range of the aforementioned medical disorders is of particular relevance to specific populations where some research papers have experimentally proven that lack of vitamin D in human bodies is quite widespread in many countries lying in the northern hemisphere (Ford, et al, 2006; Ginde, Liu, and Camargo, 2009). This is seen in the increasing number of UK children reported as suffering from rickets every year, while observations also reveal that a large percentage of the UK population suffer from low vitamin D levels (Hypponen, and Power, 2007). A recent survey in UK revealed that nearly 50% of the adult population here, suffer from low vitamin D levels, and severe vitamin D deficiency (especially in the spring and winter seasons) is prevalent in almost 16% of the UK population (ibid). This survey also showed a slope in the condition across the country, where Northern Ireland, Scotland and the northern parts of England had the highest incidence (ibid). This review also showed that the high-risk individuals comprise of those having skin pigmentation, the elderly population, those with obesity problems, and individuals with short bowel, mal-absorption, liver or kidney problems. High-risk individuals also include those taking antiretroviral, rifampicin, or anticonvulsants type of medicines (ibid). UK is a country that receives the minimum number of sunny days amongst the developed countries (Godar, 2005), and this is primarily owing to its location in the high latitude. A persistent cloudy weather, and indoor living, produce low vitamin levels within human bodies, a condition referred as serum or plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], seen commonly in UK and northern Ireland (Mithal, et al, 2009), thus making it necessary for the governments to establish policies vitamin D supplements considering the unfavourable weather. Until recently UK, had policies on the exposure to sun that followed global guidelines created by US and advocated by WHO (Reichrath, 2009), that primarily aim at alleviating the risks of skin cancer. Adopting these international guidelines, the UK government did not advocate the use of vitamin D supplement in normal daily diet for babies that are less than 6 months old (Vitamin D - an essential nutrient for all, 2009). Furthermore, it did not allow for the forti?cation of milk and claimed that vitamin D supplement is not necessary for the adult UK population (SACN, 2007), thus denoting a lack of judicious approach to this issue. In this context, this paper will explore the notions that Vitamin D is often necessary as a diet supplement, in the context of UK. Discussion Sources of vitamin D and the optimal levels necessary to avoid deficiency related conditions: Vitamin D, a micronutrient, form to be the antecedents to the 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OH2D3) and the secosteroid hormone 1, better referred to as calcitriol (1, 25-OH2D3) (Pittas, et al., 2010). The major natural source of vitamin D is the sunlight Box 1: Primary Sources of Vitamin D (Pearce and Cheetham, 2010, 142). as shown in box 1. Vitamin D is ...Show more
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Vitamin D as a necessary diet supplement in the context of UK Introduction For many years, the nutritionists have specified the necessity of calcium in the human body for the prevention of osteoporosis. The need for vitamin D in the human body was discovered during the early twentieth century, when Sir Edward Mellanby, linked the fact that the amount of vitamin D found within a human body can be correlated to certain medical conditions like osteomalacia (soft/weak bones in human adults) and rickets (a condition where children have bowed limbs owing to demineralisation of bones) (Hume, Lucas, and Smith, 1927)…
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