Vitamin D and Low Calcium Levels in Blood
Is there a connection between vitamin D and low calcium levels in blood? Low calcium is also called hypocalcaemia. It can be described as disturbance of electrolytes in blood. This condition is usually a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. However, it cal also indicate PTH malfunction, magnesium deficiency or extremely high levels of magnesium in blood.
Why Is Calcium Important?
Normal calcium level in blood is very important for your nerves, muscles and your heart. In case calcium levels become too low, it will result in bad condition of your bones, which will put you at risk of developing osteoporosis. Several studies have already demonstrated that low calcium leads to low bone density and can increase the risk of fractures. Many people have low calcium levels, but most of them don’t even know about it. The best way to get calcium is to consume foods that contain it, or to use calcium supplements.
Vitamin D is necessary for normal absorption of calcium. If you lack vitamin D, your body won’t be able to produce enough calcitriol; this will lead to improper absorption of calcium. In such cases, the body will have to take calcium from bones, and this will lead to impaired quality of bones and easy fracturing.
Vitamin D is produced in the body when it is exposed to direct sunlight. People who don’t get enough sunlight are at risk of becoming severely deficient in vitamin D. Dark-skinned people can have this problem as well, because dark skin needs more sun to synthesize vitamin D.
If your sun exposure is limited, you can get this vitamin from supplements. In fact, this is the most effective way to prevent vitamin D deficiency. Even if you consume foods that contain vitamin D, your levels can still be low, because these foods can’t fulfill your daily requirements. However, consuming animal meat, milk products, eggs and fish will be helpful. Vegetarians can opt of fortified cereals.
Daily recommendations vary from 400 International Units to 600 International Units. This will depend on a person’s age and his/her condition. Older people are advised to take at least 600 International Units. People who are over 70 should take at least 800 International Units a day.
People who are severely deficient are usually prescribed extremely large doses, like 50 000 International Units a week, or twice a month. Although this dosage appears to be too high, it is usually safe. Vitamin D overdose is possible, but it is very rare.