Dr Christina Dasat, a Chemical Pathologist based in Jos on Tuesday advised Nigerians to consider including foods that contain Vitamin D in their diet for healthy living.
She gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said that Vitamin D could be obtained from foods and supplements, including lots of sunshine.
According to her, Vitamin D is an organic fat-soluble vitamin, which is essential for normal metabolic processes, especially in mineral and bone metabolism.
She explained that after consumption, Vitamin D must be processed by the kidneys and liver before the body could use it.
She described it as “very powerful neuro-regulatory steroidal hormone that helps the body to absorb calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
“This will allow for good skeletal structure, and some other body processes to function well.”
She emphasised that because the human body could not produce Vitamin D from scratch, it required external factors like ultra-violet radiation from the sun and a balanced diet before an adequate and active form of vitamin D could be produced.
The pathologist said Vitamin D exists in different forms as active and inactive forms, which include cholecalciferol D3 and ergocalciferol D2.
She added that the human body required Vitamin D for proper bone and mineral metabolism, as well as a parathyroid hormone to control absorption and excretion of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
She cautioned that lack of Vitamin D would lead to deficiency disease, especially in older persons, also known to be able to prevent stroke or heart attack, inflammation, infections, as well as improve brain health.
Dasat said that people with Vitamin D deficiency may have nerve problems and pain in the bone and advised the consumption of fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon, as well as cheese and egg yolks as sources of the vitamin.
She also encouraged people to enjoy morning sunshine before it gets hot as a veritable source of the vitamin, “but if that’s not possible, remember to take vitamin D supplement every day, so you can enjoy a healthy life.”