Do you know Vitamin D? If not you have to learn about it because it’s very important to our lives! It is also known as the “sun vitamin” because our body produces it when the sun’s rays come in contact with our skin.
It helps us stay healthy in many ways. I don’t know where to start from…. It increases performance in exercise, catalyzes the acquisition of ideal weight, affects the absorption of minerals. This vitamin is necessary to achieve good sleep and reduce stress. At the same time, enhancing the mechanisms of detoxification and elimination of heavy metals from the body as they prove studies high levels of vitamin D have been linked to reduced mortality.
Also reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and flu symptoms… It is important for skeletal health and treatment of fatigue, while also helping in special situations such as asthma. adequate levels of vitamin D in the body increase the chances of survival of some patients, such as men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer.
Lack of it has serious health consequences, such as an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Vitamin D deficiency includes:
- hair loss
- regular sickness or infection
- impaired wound healing
- muscle pain
- bone and back pain
- low mood
Long period vitamin D deficiency:
- neurological diseases
- cardiovascular conditions
- pregnancy complications
- autoimmune problems
- certain cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon.
Blood tests help us to detect the vitamin D in the body. We need the blood test to measure vitamin levels, mainly in the following subgroups of the population, as it has been observed that they are more prone to vitamin D deficiency or deficiency.
Thus, in adults over 55 years of age, as the years go by the skin loses its “effectiveness”. Characteristically, according to a 2007 study, more than 50% of older Americans have low levels of vitamin D in their body. Then office workers who spend at least 8 hours a day locked in an office often mean that their exposure to the sun is extremely limited. Therefore more likely to have low levels of vitamin D in the body.
Also, people with dark skin have more melanin on the outer layer of their skin, which makes it difficult to synthesize vitamin D when exposed to the sun. People with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, typically have difficulty metabolizing fats.
According to a study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, up to 70% of people with inflammatory bowel disease are deficient in vitamin D. Vegetarians, as most of the (minimal) foods that contain vitamin D are of animal origin. These include salmon, eggs and, fortified milk. Finally, overweight people. Those with high body mass index or high body fat often have circulatory disorders and/or vitamin D malabsorption. This doesn’t mean that they will be deficient or inadequate.
Types of vitamin D
There are five different forms of vitamin D. Among them, D2 and D3 stand out, which you can found in plant and animal foods. Respectively, or are synthesized by our body when the skin is exposed to the sun. The reason they stand out is that our body can utilize these two forms. Both D2 and D3 need to be processed to be absorbed, but D3 has a better absorption rate.
When D3 breaks down in the body it helps produce phosphorus and calcium in the blood. In this way, it protects the bones from fractures and osteoporosis. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D3 improves mood, boosts energy levels, strengthens muscles, has anti-cancer effects, and more.
D3 is found in only a few foods, exclusively of animal origin. The main sources of vitamin D3 in our diet are fish (eg salmon and trout) and eggs (with their yolk). During the production process, certain products (mainly dairy, cereals, juices, and bread) are fortified with amounts of vitamin D.
Great sources of vitamine D are
- Herring and sardines
- Cod liver oil
- Canned tuna
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods (Cow’s milk, Soy milk, Orange juice, Cereal, and oatmeal)
To see the levels of the vitamin in your body and in the body of your children all you have to do is the relevant blood test and let the doctor guide you.
The best source is sun exposure. However, the summer holidays, which last only a few days, are not enough, especially considering that the exposure is done with sunscreen, which blocks the production of vitamin D!
If we have the opportunity to go out in the sun for even a few minutes or if we include relevant dietary supplements, when needed, in our daily routine, we will significantly help our body synthesize the necessary amounts of vitamin D and take advantage of its beneficial properties.