May 2023

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a wonder nutrient, the lack of which can cause several health issues ranging from fatigue and frequent cold to grave ones like weak bones and depression. To prevent its deficiency we need to know its specific risk factors.  

Vitamin D is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as exposure to sunlight is necessary for our bodies to produce it. 

Lack of sunlight exposure

Dark skin 

Unfortunately, melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour, reduces its ability to produce vitamin D. Thus, people with darker skin tones are more likely to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.  (Applying too much sunscreen can lead to a similar problem.)  


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it can get trapped between the fatty tissues and not be used for production by the body. This puts people with higher BMI at a greater risk to have Vitamin D deficiency. 


Our skin becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D as we age. Our kidneys too start to lose their efficiency at converting Vitamin D to its active form with age. Thus, older adults are increasingly susceptible to vitamin D deficiency.

Certain medical conditions 

People suffering from celiac disease, IBD, cystic fibrosis and those who have had gastric bypass surgery or parts of their intestines removed face difficulty in absorbing Vitamin D from food. 


Certain medications, such as glucocorticoids, anticonvulsants, and antiretroviral drugs, can interfere with the body's ability to use vitamin D. 

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