[Local medical care]70% of Chinese people are deficient in vitamin D and spend more time in the sun to prevent osteoporosis and dementia

[Local medical care]70% of Chinese people are deficient in vitamin D and spend more time in the sun to prevent osteoporosis and dementia

Text: Liang Yingxiu

People who often go on a deliberate diet and cause nutritional imbalance, or those who like to stay at home and lack sunlight, be careful that they will be deficient in vitamin D!

Not only are they associated with the risk of osteoporosis, they may even lead to dementia or cancer.

In fact, there are many signs of vitamin D deficiency, common ones include easy colds, obesity, easy depression, frequent bone pain and so on.

orthopedic consultant
Dr. Yang Zhiqin
(Dr Yong Chee Khuen)

(Kuala Lumpur News) Supplementing calcium and taking enough vitamin D are important nutrients for personal bone health. However, it is often heard that people need to supplement calcium through nutritional supplements, but few people pay attention to whether the body’s vitamin D is at a reasonable level. .

According to a 2011 study conducted by the University of Malaya (UM) on Malay adults in Kuala Lumpur, it was found that about 70% of the participants had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Another study also observed that Malaysian children generally There is vitamin D deficiency, only 47% to 75% of the level.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus

Orthopedic consultant Dr Yong Chee Khuen pointed out that from a nutritional point of view, vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble vitamins whose main function is to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food in the intestines and promote bone health Growth and remodeling, in other words without enough calcium and phosphorus, the growing child’s bones will not form properly and their bones will become weaker and weaker.

“Then vitamin D is extremely important for the healthy growth of the immune system, brain development and function, and the cardiovascular system (i.e. the heart and blood vessels).”

He said that the production of vitamin D is converted from cholesterol in the skin to provitamin. It can be taken from two sources. The first is exposure to sunlight, and the second is from diet and nutritional supplements, of which the latter can only be taken in a small amount; There are two original components of vitamins, vitamin D (cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).

For Malaysia, which is located on the equator, we have a unique advantage in obtaining vitamin D, that is, we can see sunshine all year round. According to common sense, Malaysians should have sufficient vitamin D levels, but why did the aforementioned research not What about unsatisfactory results?

“In the final analysis, it is related to the lack of awareness of the formation of vitamin D by the Malaysian people. The favorite pastime of the people is not to get in touch with nature or sunbathe, but to choose to go shopping in an air-conditioned shopping mall. There is air conditioning, and hiding in the air-conditioning room is precisely the biggest factor for vitamin D deficiency.”

Sunshine is the main source of vitamin D

Medically, it is believed that sunbathing, that is, direct exposure to sunlight, is the main source of vitamin D. As for the low vitamin D intake from food, the absorption from the small intestine of the human body is also very low, which also means that we cannot get vitamin D from the diet. Get the amount of vitamin D you need.

Why don’t Malaysians like to bask in the sun? There are several main reasons:

Although the weather in Malaysia is hot, it is often rainy and humid, so many people avoid outdoor activities.

Modern aesthetics contribute to habitual shading from the sun to prevent tanning or the possibility of skin cancer

Most of the architectural spaces such as offices and high-rise apartments are mainly indoors, and the means of transportation are also designed for shading.

He said that children with vitamin D deficiency have a high incidence of illness and often complain of bone pain. Because of bone pain, they are reluctant to walk more (pseudoparesis), people are easily tired or walk unsteadily, If it is serious, you can see bone deformation such as bowed legs, thickening of wrists, knees and ankle joints, and the bones are relatively easy to break.

In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which means that the bone matrix is ​​poorly mineralized. Adults usually have no obvious symptoms, at most they may complain of muscle and joint pain, until relative The severity of an osteoporotic fracture is not realized until a minor bump or fall causes an osteoporotic fracture.

“Therefore, for those at high risk for osteoporosis, doctors may occasionally perform blood tests for vitamin D levels.”

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is made from cholesterol in the skin exposed to the sun, and we get 90 per cent of our vitamin D needs from sun exposure, he said.

Dark skin requires 3 hours of sun exposure

Studies have shown that people with fair skin in the sun will naturally produce 10,000 to 25,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D (equivalent to swallowing 20 to 50 vitamin pills) when their skin is slightly pink. Darker people need 30 minutes to 3 hours of sunbathing to achieve the effect; in order to determine the vitamin D level of a person’s body, doctors must measure vitamin D metabolites in blood tests, which means that unless a blood test is performed, otherwise we cannot Determine if your vitamin D levels are adequate.

Another advantage of sunbathing is that compared with vitamin D ingested through food or nutritional supplements, the vitamin D naturally produced by the skin can last twice as long in the blood circulation, and the most important thing is that the vitamin D naturally produced by the skin is completely free of.

“In fact, it is not too difficult to sunbathe. It is wise to expose yourself to as much direct sunlight as possible every day. If you are indoors, you should open windows facing the sun, because glass will block ultraviolet B waves, or choose to exercise on balconies and corridors. It would be even better if you could do gardening in the garden, or get outside for a walk, exercise and exercise.”

Natural Food Vitamin DInsufficient content vegetarianEat morewild mushrooms

Although you don’t get much vitamin D through food, you must be careful with your food choices.

As mentioned before, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so most natural foods contain insufficient vitamin D, generally animal foods that contain vitamin D, such as oily fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna, etc.) , Egg And Beef Liver.

Consumable Vitamin D Capsule Nutritional Supplement

Yang Zhiqin pointed out that for vegetarians, if they adopt a strict vegetarian diet, it may lead to vitamin D deficiency. The vitamin D content in vegetarian diets is insufficient. The only plant foods that contain adequate vitamin D are mushrooms, especially wild mushrooms.

“However, it must be noted that because most of the mushrooms commonly bought on the market are cultivated artificially in a dark room, the content of vitamin D will be very small, so please be sure to choose wild mushrooms or mushrooms cultivated with ultraviolet B wave lamps.”

“It is recommended that vegetarians take some food supplemented with vitamin D in accordance with food legislation, such as milk, cheese, orange juice and cereals, etc. In addition, non-vegetarians can also eat cod liver oil, oral vitamin D capsule nutritional supplements, or calcium and vitamin D tablet combination to get more vitamin D.”

According to the recommendations of the Australian clinical practice guidelines, in the absence of sunlight, the intake of vitamin D is 400 IU a day for babies from newborn to 1 year old, and 400 to 600 IU a day for children aged 1 to 18. , while 19 to 50 years old need at least 600IU per day, and finally those with reduced mobility and lack of outdoor activities, as well as those with poor diet or seniors need at least 800IU per day.

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. Risk factors for osteoporosis can be divided into two categories, unavoidable and avoidable. The former refers to age, sex (women are twice as likely as men ), menopause, ethnic group (in Malaysia, the probability of osteoporosis of Chinese is higher than that of Malays and Indians), and family inheritance.

“The avoidable ones are chronic malnutrition, eating disorders, physical inactivity, smoking, alcoholism, excessive caffeine intake, and vitamin D deficiency.”

Vitamin D deficiency children may suffer from rickets

For those unavoidable risk factors, what can be done is to observe more and find out early. As for the avoidable factors, we must work hard to improve them. Yang Zhiqin often used a sentence to describe, “People can grow old, but they cannot become lazy.”

Besides osteoporosis, what are some orthopedic diseases that occur when a person is vitamin D deficient?

Due to a lack of vitamin D, our body cannot absorb calcium and phosphorus from food, and as a result, the mineralization of the bone matrix is ​​low.

“Take growing children as an example. Their bones will not form properly and their bones will become weaker and weaker. A child who is deficient in vitamin D will have the possibility of rickets, and an adult will suffer from rickets. Malacia, and finally silver-haired people, if they lack vitamin D and calcium at the same time, they are likely to have osteoporosis.”

Vitamin D deficiencyeasy to fall Noaccelerated healing

Q1. If I break a bone or fall and my bones don’t heal well, is it possible to have vitamin D deficiency?

Answer 1. First of all, vitamin D deficiency is not the direct cause of fractures, and vitamin D deficiency may at most make patients prone to falls or injuries.

Likewise, there is no evidence that vitamin D intake heals bone fractures better or faster. As a result, orthopedic surgeons do not prescribe vitamin D to patients who suffer from falls or fractures.

However, taking vitamin D is beneficial to elderly patients with osteoporotic fractures and vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D Can’t be strengthenedathlete performance

Q2. Can vitamins enhance athlete performance?

A2. There is no evidence that vitamin D enhances athletic performance in athletes, and the focus should be on ensuring athletes eat a balanced diet during periods of intensive training.

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