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Vitamins are essential for healthy body and brain. Our body require sufficient amount of vitamins for normal growth and metabolism.
Vitamin can be defined as any of a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body. But there is one vitamin which is synthesised by skin in the presence of sunlight. It is vitamin D or Sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble, essential vitamin required for the absorption of calcium and the prevention of rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. It is also responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. It is must for normal bone and tooth structure. This vitamin is produced in our body on activation from sunlight. Though it is easy to get still a larger population is deficient in vitamin D due to limited or no sunlight exposure.
Some other risk factors which contributes to vitamin D deficiency are dark skin, skin shielded from sunlight by glass, plastic, clothing or sunscreen lotion, and /or low vitamin D intake in diet. Also, there are many drugs which reduce vitamin D levels or may interfere with its biosynthesis.
Deficiency of vitamin D is responsible for various diseases. It directly affects our teeth and bone. Further it increases risk of developing heart diseases, diabetes, muscle weakness, chronic muscle pains, and many other diseases.
There are many supplements available in market which helps in managing vitamin D deficiency.
Calcirol sachet from Cadila is very good supplement for vitamin D. It contains cholecalciferol or Vitamin D3.
- Manufacturer: Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited
- Supplementation for: Vitamin D
- Indications: Treatment or prevention of vitamin D deficiency.
- Availability: Granules for oral use and injection
- Price (Variable): Calcirol Sachet 1gm @ Rs. 31.00
- Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity, Hypercalcemia, Vitamin D toxicity, Concurrent use of magnesium-containing antacids or other vitamin D supplements.
About Vitamin D3
- Pharmacologic: fat-soluble vitamins
- Other name: Cholecalciferol, Cholecalciferol D3, Colecalciferol
- Metabolised to: Active steroid hormone 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3
- Production: Produced photochemically from 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin by exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light.
Occurrence in food: In few food items
- Fatty fish
- Fish oils
Test for Vitamin D:
Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
- Chronic headache, migraine attacks
- Dental caries, or cavities
- Fracture of bones
- Hyperparathyroidism (abnormally high concentration of parathyroid hormone in the blood, resulting in weakening of the bones through loss of calcium)
- Increased bone loss
- Osteomalacia (softening of the bones, typically through a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium)
- Pain in bone
- Pain in muscles
- Periodontal disease (chronic gum causing the gums to swell, redden, and bleed)
- Rickets in children, deformities of long bones, bowed long bones, legs like bow
Sites of vitamin D action
- Immune system
- Pancreas, small intestine and colon in the human fetus
- Parathyroid gland
Action of Vitamin D3
- Anticarcinogenic: Counteracts the effects of a carcinogen or inhibits the development of cancer.
- Anti-Osteoporotic: Helps to prevent osteoporosis
- Antioxidant: Inhibits oxidation.
- Antipsoriatic: Effective against psoriasis
- Immunomodulatory: Modifies the immune response or the functioning of the immune system (as by the stimulation of antibody formation or the inhibition of white blood cell activity)
- Mood-Modulatory: It regulates mood. Low vitamin D can cause Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Health Benefits of Vitamin D
It helps to maintain bone integrity and calcium homeostasis.
It is an essential component in bone health as it is required for absorption of calcium, which is critical for building strong, healthy bones and teeth.
It helps to maintain normal levels of glucose in the blood, by binding to its receptors in the pancreatic beta cells, regulating the release of insulin in response to the level of circulating glucose.
It decreases the frequency of falls and fractures, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, and reduces symptoms of colds or influenza.
It supports assimilation of Vitamin A.
Factors affecting Vitamin D synthesis
- Aging: Aging and vitamin D are inversely related.
- Air pollution: More pollution lesser vitamin D.
- Dressing codes: More covered area, lesser vitamin D.
- Latitude: High and low latitude people has lower vitamin D.
- Obesity: More the fat lesser is available vitamin D.
- Season: More vitamin D during the summers compared to winters.
- Skin pigmentation: Melanin content and synthesis of vitamin D are inversely related. Darker the skin lesser is the synthesis.
- Sunscreen use: It acts as a barrier in synthesis of vitamin D.
Ingredients of Calcirol
Cholecalciferol / Vitamin D3 / colecalciferol
Indications of Calcirol
- Vitamin D deficiency
Direction for Use
- It is always recommended that use this product after consulting a doctor.
- In general it is recommended to use 1 gram sachets once in a week.
- It may be taken with or without food.
Suggestions, Contraindications, Interactions, Side-effects and Warnings
- It is contraindicated in hypercalcaemia and in vitamin D toxicity.
- It should be taken cautiously in kidney disorders, stones and heart disease.
- Drug interaction takes place with thiazide diuretics.
- Do not take in excess. Excessive use can lead to high level of calcium and phosphate in blood.
- Vitamin D excess leads to hypercalcaemia (calcium levels are 10.5 mg/dL or higher) and hypercalciuria (urinary excretion of calcium more than 250 mg/day).
- High calcium level leads to calcification of soft tissues, formation of renal-kidney stones and other side-effects.
Do not take during pregnancy without consulting doctor. Doctor may advise for the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.
Adverse Reactions/Side Effects of High Level of Calcium:
In the case of increased calcium level
- CNS: headache, irritability, somnolence, weakness.
- EENT: conjunctivitis, photophobia.
- CV: arrhythmias, hypertension. GI: anorexia, constipation, dry mouth, the liver enzymes, metallic taste, nausea, PANCREATITIS, polydipsia, vomiting, weight loss
- GU: albuminuria, azotemia, polyuria.
- Derm: pruritus.
- bone pain, muscle pain etc.
Sunlight does not cause an overdose of vitamin D production.
In case, there is inadequate daily sun exposure, oral doses of 1,000-2,000 IU/d are considered routine, with much higher doses (up to 50,000 IU) for rapid repletion now considered safe.