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Vitamin-D is an important mineral for the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which are vital for the health of bones, muscles and teeth

It is generally called the sunshine vitamin for a reason, as it is best absorbed by the skin from exposure to sunlight

Even if you’re taking calcium supplements, without adequate amounts of Vitamin-D in the body, you cannot absorb more than 60 per cent of the essential mineral

These days, many people have Vitamin-D deficiency, due to little or no sun exposure. A study says 13 per cent of the world suffers from Vitamin-D deficiency.

Some of the symptoms of Vitamin-D deficiency are pain in the bones and weak muscles. In children, it leads to rickets, which blunts their normal growth

Vitamin-D is responsible for the body’s immunity and digestion. It also helps prevent diabetes and cancer, nerve problems and depression as well

Although Vitamin-D can be obtained from certain foods, the most natural source — sunshine — is also the most plentiful source

So, how much sun exposure do you need? Light-skinned people will need about 15 minutes, whereas those with dark skin will need at least an hour in the sun

The reason is that dark skin carries a higher density of the pigment melanin, which inhibits absorption of Vitamin-D. People with obesity also need longer sun exposure

Among food sources, Vitamin-D can be found in fatty foods such as fish, milk, cream, egg yolk, mushroom and nuts. But food alone won’t do, sunlight is needed

For those who have been prescribed supplements, it is best taken after consuming these fatty foods, as Vitamin-D is a fat-soluble vitamin

However, Vitamin-D supplements must be taken only on doctors’ advice. Otherwise, overdose can trigger muscle weakness, constipation and dysentery

Vitamin-D plays an important role in the everyday operations of various organs in the body. It is also needed for those looking to reduce weight

Women, particularly those in menopause, must take care to either eat the right diets full of micronutrients or supplement them, as vitamins are vital for their health

Sufficient intake of Vitamin D-rich food, daily walks and regular exposure to the sun will help everyone prevent deficiency