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Helps during pregnancy

TAKING the "sunshine drug" during pregnancy and the early years is also beneficial for a child's health in later life. Some countries such as France have instituted this as a routine public health measure. Deficiency of the vitamin leads to pelvic contraction resulting in increased risk of fatality of both mother and unborn child.

A study done at Queensland Brain Institute, Australia, found that those born with low vitamin D levels are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia later in life. Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with lower lung function and greater medication use in children with asthma.

They were found to respond to more allergens, could not inhale optimal amount of oxygen and had to take more medicines as compared to patients with adequate amount of the vitamin in their bodies, says the study published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Adequate Vitamin D enhanced the activity of corticosteroids, the most effective controller medication for asthma. Another study conducted at the University of Massachusetts found a relationship between vitamin D and premenstrual syndrome.

The emotional and physical symptoms of PMS including aches, cramps, bloating, nausea, anxiety and irritability are 70 per cent less troublesome for women who have a high dietary intake of vitamin D. This can be a good option instead of birth control pills and antidepressants which are commonly prescribed to women to help treat these symptoms but also have serious side effects.