Vitamin d has many benefits for health, it is an essential vitamin for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet.
In this article we have a brief overview of vitamin d, what is vitamin D?, its benefits for the health of the human body, and more.
vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets. a disease in which bone tissue does not mineralize properly, resulting in smooth bones and skeletal deformities.
What is vitamin D
Vitamin D is called the “sun vitamin” because it is produced in your skin in response to sunlight.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds containing vitamins D-1, D-2 and D-3, which is known as ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol (D. 3).
When the body absorbs vitamin D, it is converted into two different forms , to be used by the liver and kidneys. so the liver turns it into calcidiol, and the kidneys convert it into calcitriol.
It is found naturally in a few foods, and one of the primary sources we get from it is exposure to sunlight. it can also be taken in the form of dietary supplements.
Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol
Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is the recommended form, As it is the natural form that the body manufactures from sunlight. while other industrial supplements are extracted from the fat of lambs’ wool.
A clinical study conducted in 2008 reported that, vitamin D2 works in the same way as vitamin D3.
Many nutritional supplements contain vitamin “D”, and various forms of it are used in prescriptions. and the prescribed type should not be changed without returning to the doctor.
Vitamin D is successful in fighting caries, as a recent medical study revealed that vitamin D plays an important role in fighting tooth decay by about 50 percent.
benefits of vitamin D
- 1)- Vitamin D is necessary to help the body absorb the elements calcium and phosphorous. needed for the growth of bones and teeth after converting provitamin (D) by sunlight.
as it passes the liver and turns into a chemical that travels in the bloodstream to the kidneys. where it turns into another substance, which is the effective form of the vitamin called “dihydroxy” Vitamin D, helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous.
- 2)- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and promote bone growth.
- 3)- Helps regulate the immune system, and the muscular nervous system.
- 4)- It plays a major role in the life cycle of human cells.
- 5)- It may help prevent many diseases such as: autism, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, influenza, neuromuscular diseases, and osteoporosis.
- 6)- Research has shown that vitamin D may play an important role in regulating mood and preventing depression.
In one study, scientists found that people with depression, who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
- 7)- Deficiency causes osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. which was common in America before this vitamin was added to milk.
Relationship between vitamin D and the Corona virus
- A recent study, released in the United States, showed that patients with adequate levels of vitamin D are less likely to die from the Corona virus. or even to suffer from complications from the deadly virus.
- while another study found that this important vitamin also reduces infection rates.
- The study issued by the Boston University School of Medicine showed , that enjoying adequate amounts of vitamin D is associated with a significant decrease in the level of inflammation , associated with the Corona virus. in addition to raising the performance of immune cells in the blood.
- Scientists urge people to take nutritional supplements of this vitamin. in order to reduce the risk of serious health complications after infection with the “Corona” virus.
- In fact, several countries have used vitamin pills to treat Corona virus patients. as new research supports the claim that there is a link between vitamin D supplementation and the Corona virus.
percentage of vitamin D in the body and the required daily amount
The most accurate way to measure the amount of vitamin D in your body, is to test the blood containing 25 hydroxybutyrate.
the normal range of vitamin D ranging from “20 ng / ml to 50 ng / ml” is suitable for healthy people. a level below 12 ng / ml indicates To vitamin D deficiency.
required daily amount of vitamin D
- A) For newborns: from 0-1 years, 400 IU.
- B) Children: from 1 to 13 years old, with 600 international units.
- C)Adolescents: ages 14-18 years 600 international units.
- D) Adults: 19-70 years of age 600 IU.
- E) Older adults: age 71 and over 800 IU.
With exposure to the sun, but without exposure to the sun, the dose is 1000 IU.
Vitamin D sources
You can enjoy the benefits of vitamin D , through its sources. The most important sources of vitamin D are the following:
- 1- Exposure to sunlight.
- 2- Food.
- 3- Nutritional supplements.
A)- The sun as a source of vitamin D
Foods rich in vitamin D:
- – Exposure to sunlight is one of the most important sources of vitamin D. so the skin absorbs vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
- but it is important not to be exposed to ultraviolet rays , because of its damage to the skin. so it is better not to be exposed to sunlight at the time of the peak of ultraviolet rays from 10 am : 4 pm. and a 10-minute exposure is sufficient to absorb vitamin D.
- – Vitamin D is found in a few foods, the most important of which are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and fish liver oil. Among the most important sources of vitamin D are, (red meat – beef liver – egg yolks).
- There are some products in which vitamin D benefits can be found because it is added, such as: dairy – breakfast cereals – yogurt – orange juice.
Vitamin D supplements:
Vitamin D can be obtained from various nutritional supplements, and there are two types of it, namely, vitamin D2 and D3.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
One of the most prominent symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is bone pain and muscle weakness. yet for many people the symptoms are subtle.
but severe vitamin D deficiency causes many health risks, as low levels of vitamin D in the blood have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Severe asthma in children.
- Cognitive impairment in the elderly.
- Cancer may occur.
- Difficulty thinking clearly.
- Frequent bone fracture.
- Unexplained fatigue.
causes of vitamin D deficiency in the body
- Insufficient exposure to sunlight.
- Aging reduces the main component of vitamin D in the skin.
- Malabsorption of vitamin D in the small intestine, due to the presence of diseases in the intestine.
- Weight gain, which leads to the accumulation of vitamin D in fats.
- Lack of vitamin D in breast milk. The American Academy of Children recommends giving vitamin D from the age of two months.
- Liver disease, kidney disease, and malnutrition.
- Patients who take epilepsy drugs.
- Genetic diseases in children due to increased phosphate secretion in the kidney.
Who are the people at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
- Everyone is vulnerable to this problem, from children to the elderly.
- People who do not eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as eggs, milk, fish such as wild salmon.
- Among the factors that increase the risk of vitamin deficiency in people over 50 years old.
- Who has problems with the digestive system.
Damage to excess vitamin D
- Despite the many benefits of vitamin D, but if you take a lot of vitamin D supplements. and its percentage exceeds the recommended daily dose, as we explained above.
- it leads to an increase in the level of calcium in the blood, which causes hypercalcemia, a disease that may lead For many health problems. including weak bones, and damage to the kidneys and heart.
Tips for preventing vitamin D deficiency
- 1)- Going out in the sun without sunscreen for 15 minutes every day, away from peak times.
- 2)- Eat foods that contain vitamin D.
- 3)- Buy and eat foods fortified with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and milk.
- 4)- A healthy diet with foods added to vitamin D, and exposure to sunlight as much as possible, can help you enjoy the benefits of vitamin D and maintain healthy levels in your body.