Use of Vitamin D Supplement
With all the sun around us, you would wonder why there are still many Filipino who lack Vitamin D in their system and would actually need additional Vitamin D supplements.
You would think that in a tropical country like the Philippines where sunlight is abundant, Vitamin D deficiency would not be a problem. But you’d be surprised at the statistics.
Vitamin D Deficiency in Bacolod
Here in Bacolod City, Unilab commissioned a study recently on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among urban dwellers.
Hi-Precision Diagnostics, a DOH-licensed medical facility backed by Unilab, carried out the collection, assessment, and interpretation of the blood samples derived from all participants. Following international laboratory standards, a 30 mg/ml level of Vitamin D was considered the baseline for all the tests. Those who registered below that level were considered Vitamin D deficient.
They found out that 53% of its 118 test participants were vitamin D-deficient. That is a surprising figure, considering that we have a predominantly sunny weather. The study also revealed that women are more prone to vitamin D deficiency than men, as 68% of the total female participants tested positive of having inadequate levels of vitamin D. And I am having the thought that I might be one of them if I were subjected to the test.
Factors that Cause Vitamin D Deficiency
So here are the usual reasons why we lack Vitamin D in our bodies.
Sun as the Antagonist
The number one factor that causes Vitamin D Deficiency is our lifestyle. Most of us stay away from the sun because the heat makes us uncomfortable and also, we have been taught that sun exposure can cause skin cancer. We also wear long sleeves and long pants and these block the sunlight.
As most women apply sunblock on the face and body, they are at higher risk because although sunblock protects the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, it also keeps away the good effects. In my case, I use sunscreen and also stay indoors most of the daytime. I get a sun rash with sun exposure. Boo.
Nutrition, too, plays a big factor. We do not eat as much Vitamin D-rich foods and even if we take vitamin supplements, the dose is not adequate.
Another factor is genetic predisposition. The Filipinos’ naturally tan complexion is also a cause of vitamin-D deficiency, given the moderate to high levels of melanin in their skin.
“Melanin, while serving as a protective barrier for the skin against ultraviolet (UV) light, also works to block the sun’s rays, which is needed to activate vitamin D in the body. Studies have proven that there is a direct correlation between melanin levels and vitamin D production, with melanin affecting the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D. Thus the darker the skin, the less vitamin D is produced,” Dr. Diaz explained.
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Benefits of Vitamin D
Sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D. Dr. Alejandro Diaz of the Philippine Neurological Association said that it only takes a few minutes each day of sun exposure for us to get enough sunlight needed for the body to produce Vitamin D and achieve better health. But obviously, we don’t.
Health experts encourage Filipinos to take Vitamin D deficiency seriously as several medical researches link the condition to various chronic diseases that have been the leading cause of death in the Philippines. These diseases include diabetes, heart problems, and even cancers in the breast, prostate, and colon. Yes, it is not just rickets.
3 Surprising Health Benefits of Vitamin D
- Fights Diseases
- Reduces Depression
- Boosts Weight Loss
Forti-D Vitamin D Supplement
As a preventive measure against vitamin D deficiency, doctors recommend taking vitamin D supplements daily, like Forti-D (Colecalciferol), the latest vitamin D supplement in the market from Unilab. It is a single-dose supplement in a small gel capsule that contains 800 IU of vitamin D3.
“Taking one capsule of Forti-D every day helps reduce the risk of getting chronic diseases by unlocking the proper function of organs typically affected by such illnesses,” emphasized Alex Panlilio, Unilab VP for consumer health.
Forti-D is sold at P6.50 (SRP) in leading drugstores nationwide and may be bought per piece.