The Link Between Vitamin D and Anemia - Divya Subramanian
For the past twenty years, scientists have been researching the effect of vitamin D on patients with iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin D (also referred to as “calciferol”) is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body and can be obtained from sun exposure, foods, and supplements.
Many studies have been performed to determine whether vitamin D can be used as treatment for iron deficiency anemia. Scientists performed an experiment where they gave a group of people vitamin D supplements and tracked their hemoglobin and iron levels. The results showed that the vitamin D did not increase hemoglobin levels, however, researchers found that it increased iron status. Another study done by scientists from the National Research Institution in Warsaw, Poland identified iron deficiency as one of the factors for vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include heart disease and high blood pressure, diabetes, infections and immune system disorders, falls in older people, some types of cancer, such as colon, prostate and breast cancers, and multiple sclerosis.
People who have iron deficiency need to ensure that they add not only iron rich foods to their diet, but also add foods that are rich in Vitamin D to avoid becoming vitamin D deficient. Furthermore, since most of us are spending more time indoors due to COVID - 19 and colder weather, the need for vitamin D only increases and we must make sure that we are taking 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep our bones and muscles healthy.
Foods that are rich in vitamin D :
oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast