Vitamin D is a steroid hormone soluble in essential fats in the human body and its absence can lead to many complications, since after all, it controls 270 genes , including the cells of the cardiovascular system. The main mechanism of vitamin D production is through exposure to the sun , since type B ultraviolet rays (UVB) are capable of activating the synthesis of this substance. Some foods, especially fatty fish, are sources of vitamin D, but the sun is responsible for 80-90% of the vitamin that the body receives. It can also be produced in the laboratory and given as a supplement, when there is a deficiency and for the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases.
Vitamin D is not only necessary for the maintenance of bone tissue, but it also greatly influences the immune system . It is useful for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, as well as in the process of cell differentiation, and its absence favors 17 types of cancer.
This substance also acts in the secretion of hormones and several chronic diseases, including the metabolic syndrome that causes type 2 diabetes .
Consumption of vitamin D is essential for pregnant women. Its deficiency can lead to miscarriages in the first trimester and at the end of pregnancy, the lack of this nutrient favors pre-eclampsia and increases the chances that the child is autistic.
The vitamin D is so called since 1922, because at that time it was believed that could only be obtained through diet. It was named D for being the fourth substance discovered after vitamins A, B and C. Since the 1970s, researchers have found that vitamin D could be synthesized by the body, meaning that it is actually a hormone , not from a vitamin.
Proven benefits of vitamin D
Bones require vitamin D for calcium absorption, and people with vitamin D deficiency use less than 30% of the calcium in the diet. The calcium is responsible for building strong bones and teeth and its deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteoporosis in adulthood. An example of the importance of the combination of these two substances is that whenever calcium supplements are recommended, it is done together with vitamin D to act on the absorption of the mineral.
A survey conducted by the University of Zurich, with 40,000 people over 65, found that vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of fractures in the hip and other regions, with the exception of the spine, by 20% .
Protect the heart
Vitamin D participates in the control of the contractions of the heart muscle , necessary to pump blood to the body, in addition, it allows the relaxation of the blood vessels and influences the production of the blood pressure of renin, the main hormone regulatory.
Lack of vitamin D can lead to the accumulation of calcium in the artery, increasing the risk of blockage with plaques and increasing the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, stroke and heart attacks.
A 10-year study of 50,000 men by the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were twice as likely to have a heart attack as men who were not at all deficient in this hormone.
Vitamin D is very important for pregnant women . In the first trimester, its lack can lead to miscarriages. In cases of multiple miscarriages in early pregnancy, it may be that the mother’s immune system is rejecting the implantation of the embryo and since vitamin D acts on the immune system, it can correct this problem.
In addition, late in pregnancy, the absence of vitamin D can cause pre-eclampsia , a disease in which the pregnant woman develops high blood pressure. After all, this substance influences the production of renin, the hormone that regulates the main blood pressure. Lack of vitamin D also increases the chances of the child being autistic, as it is important for the baby’s brain development. Check these 20 Foods for your brain and your well-being !!!
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , conducted with more than 1,000 pregnant women, found that when women ingest vitamin D, the risks of the baby developing respiratory problems decreased.
Another study conducted by the University of South Carolina , United States, with 500 pregnant women, noted that vitamin D supplements prevent problems such as gestational diabetes , premature birth and infections.
Good for preventing and controlling diabetes
The fact of the influence of vitamin D on the production of renin is also favorable to prevent diabetes , because the lack of this substance favors the disease, on the other hand, the production of insulin by the pancreas requires the participation of the vitamin D.
Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, vitamin D becomes an immunoregulator that selectively inhibits the type of immune action that causes the response against the body itself.
A study conducted by the Institute of Child Health in England followed 10,000 Finnish children from birth and found that those who received vitamin supplements regularly were 90% less likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
Good for muscles
Vitamin D contributes to muscle strength, so its absence leads to the loss of this strength and increases the risk of fractures in falls. A survey carried out by the University of Zurich with people over 65 years old indicated that the consumption of vitamin D can reduce the risk of fractures due to falls by 19%.
Study benefits of vitamin D
Treatment of autoimmune diseases
Vitamin D is already being used to treat autoimmune diseases , a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues. Vitamin D is an immunoregulator that selectively inhibits the type of immune action that causes the response against the body itself. Treating autoimmune diseases with vitamin D is a recent phenomenon, but is seen by experts as a breakthrough in medicine.
Some of the autoimmune diseases that can be treated with high doses of vitamin D are: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and ophthalmological problems that can seriously impair a person’s vision and whose treatment used to be very difficult.
Neurologists from the Federal University of Sao Paulo have treated nearly 1,200 patients with multiple sclerosis and many other different types of autoimmune diseases using mainly high-dose vitamin D treatment .
Treatment can not only prevent the disease, but continue to provide recovery from sequelae. Everything will depend on the disease and the time that the person has these sequelae, so that before starting the treatment, it is best to consult with the doctor.
It is observed that this type of treatment with vitamin D supplements should only be performed by doctors , because excess consumption of the hormone can cause serious health problems.
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , done with 7 million Americans, found that taking vitamin D supplements is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.
Prevents and helps in the treatment of cancer
The lack of vitamin D contributes 17 types of cancer , including breast, prostate and melanomas. This occurs because the substance participates in the process of cell differentiation , which successively maintains the heart and skin cells, in this way it prevents the cells from becoming cancerous , in addition, vitamin D also promotes the self-destruction of cancer cells.
For these reasons, some studies have shown that, in addition to cancer prevention, the consumption of high doses of the substance can be effective in fighting certain types of cancer , however, in this case it is also necessary that the intake of Vitamin D supplements are made with medical supervision.
According to the National Cancer Institute of the United States there are several studies that indicate that vitamin D is an ally in the treatment of cancer, especially colon, prostate and breast. However, the institute also says more testing is still needed.
Good for autism
Since vitamin D is important for brain development, it helps prevent autism during pregnancy . If a person has this condition, it is still possible to benefit from vitamin D, which is often not easily given through exposure to the sun, the main source of the hormone, because the individual spends a great deal of time indoors. .
A study conducted in children by the Oakland Hospital Research Institute in the United States, noted that three hormones in the brain that affect social behavior ( serotonin , oxytocin and vasopressin) are activated by vitamin D.
Prevents cold and flu
This benefit has been studied from some of the problems caused by a lack of vitamin D, its deficiency in children makes them more prone to developing respiratory infections. In adults it has also been found that the deficiency of this substance is associated with more colds and respiratory problems.
An investigation published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , in which 340 Japanese children participated over four months, it was observed that the risk of contracting the flu decreased in the group that took a vitamin D supplement.
Reduces the risk of premature death
A study published in the Archives Of Internal Medicine suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can reduce death rates. The study focused on the results of 18 investigations that drew on 60,000 participants, and found that taking vitamin D supplements lowered the risk of all-cause mortality by 7%.
Contraindications of Vitamin D
When consumed within the recommended amount, vitamin D does not interact with any other substance, however, when consumed in excess it can lead to a high absorption of calcium , so the consumption of vitamin D in a dose greater than the recommended should be done only on medical advice.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency can cause a number of health problems : it increases the risk of heart problems, osteoporosis, cancer, cold, flu, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. In pregnant women, deficiency of Vitamin D increases the risk of miscarriage, promotes pre-eclampsia, and increases the chances of the child being autistic.
How there are so many problems and complications that are generated by the lack of it, we finally decided to make an article that dealt only with the problems due to the lack of vitamin D in our health , I recommend reading it to have a broader knowledge of what that it implies for us.
Unfortunately, around 80% of people who live in an urban environment are deficient in vitamin D , this is because they spend long periods of time indoors and not exposed to the sun.
However, the deficiency can be reversed, you can make a correction box for the supplementation, but remember: the alternative is valid only after medical advice. It is always best to first resort to sunbathing without sunscreen on your arms and legs for 15 to 20 minutes each day.
What is the recommended dose of vitamin D?
According to several recent studies, including one from the University of Wisconsin in the USA and another at the University of Toronto in Canada , the guidance for people over 50 kilos is to consume between 5,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The same is true for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
For children the guide is to ingest up to 1,000 units of vitamin D for every 5 kg of weight . So a child weighing 30 kilos, for example, can ingest up to 6,000 units of vitamin D.
Getting vitamin D
Despite being present in foods of animal origin, they do not have the amount of vitamin D that the body needs, therefore, to avoid the lack of the hormone it is important that you take 15 to 20 minutes of sun a day . The arms and legs must be exposed because the amount of vitamin D to be absorbed is proportional to the amount of skin that is exposed.
When you expose yourself to the sun to obtain vitamin D it is important not that you do not use sunscreen , the reason for you to get an idea is that an 8 SPF inhibits the retention of vitamin D by 95% and a higher factor practically cancels the production of the hormone. To prevent skin cancer, after the recommended 15 to 20 minutes of vitamin D, apply sunscreen.
Windows also make it difficult to absorb vitamin D. This is because type B (UVB) ultraviolet rays , capable of activating vitamin D synthesis, cannot pass through glass.
Exposure to the sun in the recommended way will provide you with 10,000 units of vitamin D. Although exposure to the sun should already provide you with good amounts of the hormone, it is important that you see a health professional to find out if just that sun is enough or if it is necessary that you have a diet rich in vitamin D or take supplements.
Sources of vitamin D
All food sources of vitamin D are of animal origin, since plant sources cannot synthesize the vitamin in the way that animals can. Even the food with the highest amount of this substance, salmon has only 6.85% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D in a 100-gram serving. So sunbathing is essential to avoid a lack of this nutrient.
In addition, these foods are very rich in saturated fats and omegas 3,6 and 9 fatty acids (which are essential for our body), when they are ingested in large quantities, the lipid undergoes an oxidation process and there is a risk of plaque development that can clog blood arteries, leading to long-term vascular disease that can affect the heart, kidneys, and brain.
Take a look at other foods that contain vitamin D:
|Food||Amount of vitamin D||Percent Daily Value for Vitamin D|
|Tuna (100 grams)||227 units||2.27%|
|Sardine (100 grams)||193 units||1.93%|
|Eggs (unit)||43.5 units||0.43%|
|Cheddar cheese (50 grams)||12 units||0.12%|
|Beef (100 grams)||15 units||0.15%|
The use of vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D supplements can be used in cases of prohormone deficiency or the treatment of certain diseases , the lack of this nutrient is determined with a blood test.
Remember that these supplements can only be ingested after the advice of your doctor on the use of these additional doses. In some treatments, overdoses of vitamin D are directed, that is, an amount beyond what is normally recommended, in such cases, the use is always done under medical guidance and the amount of calcium and fluids that the drug should be taken into account should be taken into account. person will ingest, because calcium intake can be reduced and the need for fluids increased.
If by some chance you cannot take enough foods from this group and you want to add a vitamin D supplement , look at some of the best in amazon, think that an excess of vitamins is not good.
- Vitamin D3 10,000 IU Per Nu U , 365 Capsules for a full year of treatment. Strengthens Bones, Teeth and Immune System – No Artificial Ingredients – Suitable For Vegetarians – Strength 10,000 IU.
- Solgar, Natural Vitamin D3, 10,000 IU, 120 Tablets.
- Vitamin D3 supplement suitable for vegetarians. High resistance 10,000 IU. Promotes heart health, improve muscle function for women and men.
- Vitamin D3 1000 IU – 180 softgels – i-vit
- Vitamin D 5000 IU, the dose recommended by doctors. Essential in daily vitamin intake for healthy hair, skin and nails, 180 capsules.
- Vitamin D3 Capsules of 5000 IU. 240 capsules of High Potency Vitamin D (5000 IU) in extra virgin olive oil for greater absorption.
- Solgar Vitamin D3 (2200 IU) 100 Capsules
- Scitec Vitamin D – 250 gr.
- Swanson High Potency Vitamin D3, 5,000 IU, 250 Capsules.
Elderly and supplements
Older people produce less vitamin D in response to sun exposure due to age-related metabolic problems. The amount of the substance produced in a 70-year-old is, on average, a quarter of when he was 20 years old , therefore, it is recommended that older people talk with their doctors about the possibility of taking vitamin D supplements .
The risks of excess vitamin D consumption
It is important to bear in mind that excess vitamin D is only produced through supplementation , this is because food does not have large amounts of the prohormone and its obtaining through sunlight is regulated by the skin, which ceases vitamin production when it reaches the required values.
However, excess through non-prescription supplements can be very dangerous. There is a risk of an increase in the concentration of calcium in the blood and this can cause calcification of the tissues, the most affected are the kidneys, which can lose their function.
The combination of vitamin D
Supplement + Hydration: When the ingestion of vitamin D supplements is authorized, it is important, in addition to medical attention, to increase hydration and maintain a balanced diet, to prevent health problems, especially in the kidneys.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.