Vitamin D Deficiency: A Major Cause of Concern in Ireland

2707 Words Feb 24th, 2018 11 Pages
According to the Irish Osteoporosis society 74% of Irish adults and 88% of Irish primary school children, have less than half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D. As well as bone health problems deficiency has recently shown cause cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This can be defined as a major problem as it is affecting on average over 80% of the population.1 In conjunction with this, this deficiency is also a major problem due to the environmental factors surrounding the Irish climate: The main source of vitamin D in the diet is the biosynthesis of Calciferol by ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Ireland lies 50-55˚ north of the equator, which means from October until March the UVB rays are too weak to synthesise vitamin D.2 Therefore Irish people have to depend on their diet as a source of Vitamin D. There are a very few dietary sources of vitamin D, the main sources including fish and eggs. The two precursors of Vitamin D are Ergosterol from plants and 7-dehydrocholesterol which is found in the skin. When UV radiation acts on these they are converted to ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol respectively. The body is then able utilise these in the liver and kidneys where they are converted to 1,25-dehydroxyvitamin D2 and 1,25-dehydroxyvitamin D3. Calciferol plays a major…
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