Types of vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the many nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. Along with calcium, vitamin D helps build bones and maintain your health.

Vitamin D, also called by doctors the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced naturally by the body in the presence of natural light is essential for the proper functioning of the body.

The most beneficial forms are vitamin D2 (called ergosterol) which is obtained from plants and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) which is produced naturally by the body after sun exposure. It can also be present in products of animal origin (for example, meat and dairy products).

Properties of Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium is the mineral with the highest amount in the body, it is distributed throughout the bone structure.

The second most widespread mineral in the body is phosphorus. It appears that vitamin D is also beneficial for the muscular system, which can be weakened when the vitamin is in insufficient amounts.

Vitamin D reduces muscle spasms, therefore, if you are facing this problem, it is a good idea to increase your intake of this vitamin in the body. The correct intake of vitamin D is also important for the prevention of serious diseases.

It can prevent some forms of colon or breast cancer, even heart health is protected if the optimal amount of vitamin D is taken into account.

Another benefit you need to know about vitamin D is mood, it  helps prevent depression as well as discomfort. It also plays an important role in cognitive processes,  improving the power of concentration and memory.

Vitamin D is also important for babies , as it contributes to healthy development both physically and mentally, as well as cognitively, so it is important to introduce calcium-rich products into their diet.

Doctors recommend that parents give vitamin D3 to babies in the first two years of children’s lives, especially in the fall and winter months.

The main benefits of vitamin D for the body

Vitamin D has many benefits that it gives to our body. It is beneficial for the muscular, bone and immune system , preventing certain serious diseases, therefore, it plays a vital role in the assimilation of calcium, as well as human. Calciferol is a true support for the immune system.

The role of vitamin D in the body

The role of vitamin D is important and necessary to maintain calcium levels, but also phosphorus in the blood, but also to maintain strong bones.

This vitamin is so important that deficiencies are associated with a general imbalance of the body.Here is the role of vitamin D, where you can take it, as well as what are the first signs of deficiency:

Taking vitamin D is not only a true aid to your health, it plays an essential role in the body.

Vitamin D is involved in the most important processes in the body, from the development of the bone system, to the functioning of the heart and from the prevention of the onset of chronic diseases to the treatment of the symptoms of existing diseases.

Reduces symptoms of depression

Studies have shown that vitamin D plays a role in reducing the symptoms of depression.

According to an interesting study, depressive volunteers who received a dietary supplement based on vitamin D observed a significant reduction in symptoms. The relationship was demonstrated and vice versa (people with depression and anxiety had vitamin D deficiencies).

Stimulates weight loss

Staying longer in the sun or on vitamin D supplements can help you lose weight. This is the conclusion of a study in which a group of volunteers took a combination of vitamin D and calcium.

The results showed that the people who took calcium and vitamin D lost more weight than the placebo group. Researchers believe that vitamin D and calcium suppress the appetite.

Supports bone health

Vitamin D plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium in the bones and in maintaining a normal level of human calcium in the blood, two factors that are important in maintaining the health of the skeletal system (in the absence of vitamin D.

The body excretes calcium along with its passage through the kidneys). Additionally, vitamin D deficiencies in adults lead to osteomalacia (“softening” of the bones) or osteoporosis.

Reduces the risk of diabetes

There are several studies that have found an inversely proportional relationship between the level of vitamin D in the body and the risk of diabetes.

The researchers showed that a sub-normal level of vitamin D, which is why a deficiency, is directly related to an increased risk of diabetes.

Additionally, children who received 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D had up to an 88% lower risk of developing diabetes by the age of 32.

Reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

According to a 2014 study published at the University of Oxford, people who are deficient in vitamin D are at increased risk for inflammation, bone problems, and joint problems. Vitamin D supplements lower the risk of developing arthritis and reduce symptoms in patients.

It is necessary for a normal pregnancy

Pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin D are at higher risk for pre-eclampsia and may need a cesarean section. On the other hand, a reduced level of vitamin D during pregnancy is associated with gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginitis (the condition involves bacterial imbalance of the vaginal flora).

On the other hand, excess vitamin D is directly related to an increased risk of food allergies in the first two years of the child’s life. In other words, moderation is the secret, and if you have a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, it is best to speak with your doctor before taking a supplement.

Protects against respiratory infections

According to studies, people with a normal level of vitamin D in the body have a lower risk of colds, flu and other respiratory problems.

A report that examined more than 25 studies found that people with vitamin D deficiencies had a 12% reduction in their risk of getting sick after taking a vitamin D-based dietary supplement.

Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

Recent studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of heart disease. Researchers say that vitamin D stimulates the production of renin, an enzyme that regulates the amount of blood that passes through the blood vessels. In the case of a deficiency, hypertension occurs, a primary factor in heart disease.

Improves athletic performance

Vitamin D also plays an important role in supporting athletic performance. This substance has a metabolic role, stimulates the development of muscles and reduces the risk of injury by at least 20% during physical activity. Commented.

Vitamin D supplementation, when needed, can even help restore muscles after sports.

Avoid rickets in children

In children, vitamin D deficiency is associated with rickets (a condition that prevents normal development of muscles and bones). Problems can arise as a result of a reduced level of vitamins D in the mother, but also in the absence of adequate nutrition in the first years of life.

According to one study, pregnant women with vitamin D deficiency have a much higher risk of giving birth to children with rickets.

Ensuring a normal level of vitamin D, whether from exposure to the sun, food, or dietary supplements, prevents the development of rickets in children and can also help pregnancy.

4-Sources of vitamin D

Worldwide, about 50% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Although the sun is the main source of vitamin D, it is not the only one, but there are other alternatives.

Varied but balanced nutrition is an effective way to get the amount of vitamins you need. There are several foods that contain vitamin D over 100 IU / per serving.

Since many people do not spend enough time outdoors in the sun, they have to take their vitamin needs from food and dietary supplements. Below are the main dietary sources of vitamin D:

Foods rich in Vitamin D

  • Cod
  • Salmon
  • sardines
  • herring
  • tuna
  • shellfish
  • swordfish
  • blue Fish
  • yolk
  • prawns
  • dairy (milk, yogurt)
  • mushrooms
  • kefir
  • whole grains
  • Orange juice
  • avocado
  • Chicken’s liver
  • cod liver oil

5-Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiencies are recognized primarily due to symptoms. If you know that you are not spending enough time in the sun and not eating the foods mentioned above, you are dealing with a vitamin D deficiency.

It can also occur as a result of insufficient exposure to sunlight, reduced food intake, absorption disorders, intestinal (digestive disorders), as well as the consumption of certain medications, which accelerates the absorption of vitamin D.

A person with vitamin D deficiency may feel symptoms such as:

  • Feeling tired
  • pain in the hands and feet: a general sensation
  • muscle or bone pain-weights when climbing stairs or getting up from a chair
  • the appearance of fractures in the area of ​​the legs, pelvis and hip.

The drug has come a long way, and the diagnosis is easily made by the doctor after performing simple blood tests (anything below 20 ng / L is considered deficiency).

The doctor may ask the patient to repeat blood tests, after treatment, to get news of the patient’s condition.

The lack of vitamin D implies the need for additional vitamin D so that the body is not strongly affected.

What are the risk factors for vitamin D deficiency?

The deficiency of this vitamin can have several causes, some of them avoidable. Below are the main risk factors in vitamin D deficiency:

  • insufficient sun exposure
  • living in an area with a lot of clouds or pollution
  • wear long clothes, hats and sunscreen (to produce vitamin D, the body needs direct exposure to the sun for 5-10 minutes a day or at least three times a week).
  • problems with vitamin D absorption
  • the existence of a health problem – for example, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or cystic fibrosis
  • a vegan diet
  • obesity
  • age: older people have a lower capacity to synthesize vitamin D; exclusively breastfed babies not receiving vitamin D supplements
  • certain medications – for example, glucocorticoids, antiepileptics, and antiretroviral therapy make it difficult to absorb vitamin D

Daily dose of Vitamin D.

According to nutritionists, you need an amount of vitamin D expressed in international units (that is, how much of a substance has an effect on the body). Below you can see the daily requirement of vitamin D :

  • Children and adolescents should consume 600 IU / day ,
  • Adults up to 70 years should consume 600 IU / day,
  • People over 70 years of age should consume 800 IU / day ,
  • Pregnant and lactating women should consume 600 IU / day .

Our body takes the necessary vitamin D, after exposure to the sun, but also by consuming certain foods, as well as dietary supplements (tablets).

Exposure to the sun helps our body to produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D, which plays an important role in the better functioning of the body. According to experts, all you need to get enough vitamin D in your body is 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure, several times a week.

You will be able to get the required amount for a week. Do not stay in the sun without skin protection as the risk of skin cancer is increasing considerably.

Inadequate exposure to sunlight can cause a vitamin D deficiency, it is also caused by the consumption of some medications that accelerate the absorption of vitamin D.

These include age, weight, and mobility,  diet,  vegan and strict, breast milk, with a small amount of vitamin D, as well as certain diseases.

The level of vitamin D in the body and autoimmune disorders are closely correlated, therefore an optimal vitamin D ratio will reduce the level of inflammatory cytokines in the body.

A vitamin D deficiency leads to an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases. The bone system is the main beneficiary of vitamin D.

The body needs to absorb calcium. Without the absorption and fixation of sufficient amounts of calcium, the density and strength of the bones will decrease considerably. This will increase the risk of problems associated with the nervous system.

Vitamin D Overdose

Exceeding the recommended dose of, can have the same effects as vitamin D deficiency, namely rickets and autoimmune diseases.

Also, the increased amount of vitamin in the body can lead to an undesirable accumulation of calcium in the body, as well as the development of kidney stones. That is why it is important to pay attention to the amount of vitamin D that you consume.

Excessive intake of vitamin D

If vitamin D deficiency can spoil the whole body, even excess is not beneficial. Although vitamin D poisoning is very rare, when it occurs it can be fatal. Below are the main symptoms of excessive vitamin D intake:

  • calcification of bones
  • strengthening of blood vessels
  • headache
  • vomiting and dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • weight loss to normally high
  • kidney stones
  • dehydration
  • pancreatitis

According to studies, vitamin D poisoning does not occur as a result of excessive sun exposure or due to nutrition, but mainly as a result of excessive dietary supplements.

On the other hand, some categories of people should avoid vitamin D supplements altogether. In general, moderate exposure to the sun (5-10 minutes, daily or at least three times a week), as well as a well-balanced diet it is sufficient to provide the required doses.

Appeal to dietary supplements, only in case of serious deficiencies, and only on the recommendation of your doctor, because excess can also have more adverse effects than benefits. Consume vitamin D in moderation, and your health will only benefit.

Vitamin D stands out from other vitamins because it is considered a hormone and is produced with the help of the skin as a result of sun exposure.

Getting the correct dosage is essential for health, and because it is not found in many foods, some people may turn to supplements.

The elderly, people with dark skin, obese people, or people who live in areas where sunlight is limited are at risk of vitamin D deficiency and are more likely to develop diseases such as osteoporosis

There are some general rules that you should keep in mind before starting a treatment with vitamin D supplements that are taken at the table because they are better absorbed when eating, especially fatty foods such as: avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty dairy or eggs. The most appropriate thing is to take it in the first part of the day, perhaps even at Breakfast.

Getting the correct dose of vitamin D is essential for good health, and found in many foods, some people may turn to supplements.

The elderly, people with dark skin, obese people, or people who live in areas where sunlight is limited are at risk for vitamin D deficiency and are more likely to develop diseases such as osteoporosis.

Vitamin D supplements are given after blood tests. They are often recommended for people who are deficient in this vitamin, some experts say they are not recommended for healthy people who have normal values.

Interaction of vitamin D3 with other medications

Before starting treatment, consult your doctor for more information about the risks of taking vitamin D and individual advice. Only the doctor can make a diagnosis of the deficiency of this vitamin, after the blood test that has been carried out.

Although it can be purchased without a prescription, it should be taken after a discussion with the doctor to establish the necessary dosage, but also to ensure that other pills you take do not interact with this vitamin.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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