The most significant of Vitamin D group are vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Both of them are synthesized in the body in two ways – through the skin from the sun and from food.
The best natural sources of vitamin D are fish oil, oily sea fish, caviar, cow’s milk, dairy products, eggs, and beef liver. It can also be found in products of plant origin, but in much smaller volumes, for example in forest mushrooms, oatmeal, parsley, yeast and oranges.
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Vitamin D, when ingested, does not act directly. First, it has two stages of transformation, as a result of which the liver synthesizes the active hormone calcitriol.
What is the danger of vitamin D deficiency?
Deficiency of “solar” vitamin can lead to problems with:
- digestibility of calcium in the body: rickets, osteoporosis, destruction of tooth enamel, increased fragility of bones;
- immune system: increased incidence of inflammatory, infectious (including tuberculosis) and autoimmune diseases (type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis);
- insulin secretion: diabetes mellitus;
- cardiovascular system: hypertension, increased thrombogenesis, heart attack.
Many properties of vitamin D and its effect on the body are still being studied by scientists, while almost half of the world’s population has a deficiency.
Check if Vitamin D is OK
You can check the level of vitamin D with a blood test, most often it is called “25-OH Vitamin D (25-OH Vitamin D, or 25 (OH) D, or 25-hydroxycalciferol).”
Analysis is recommended at least twice. The first is to find out your initial values. Then after 3-6 months it must be repeated in order to look at the dynamics and result of treatment.
The intake of vitamin D is also very important for pregnant women – for the proper development of the fetus. Therefore, the Union of Pediatricians recommends appointing expectant mothers 2,000 IU / day for the entire duration of pregnancy.
What is the danger of vitamin D excess
Calculating the dosage with a blood test is extremely necessary, because an excess of vitamin D in the body is just as dangerous as its deficiency.
Signs of Vitamin D intoxication may include:
- lethargy, lack of appetite, problems with the gastrointestinal tract;
- headaches, muscle and joint pain;
- fever, blood pressure, shortness of breath;
- increased calcium in bones, blood and its deposition in organs.
The consequences of such violations can be quite severe, especially related to the last paragraph. In children, calcium deposition in the walls of blood vessels and internal organs can lead to chronic pyelonephritis and improper teething, in adults – to increase blood pressure.
What affects the production of vitamin D
In conditions when the body receives a sufficient amount of UV radiation (from the sun or a solarium), the need for vitamin D is compensated by completely natural methods. But the amount of this vitamin synthesized by the skin under the influence of the sun depends on several factors:
- wavelength of light (the most useful hours are from 11:00 to 14:00, while the synthesis decreases to almost ZERO with increased cloud cover, fog, air pollution, which is especially noticeable for residents of mega cities);
- the degree of skin pigmentation (the darker the skin, the less vitamin D it will produce);
- age (the older, the worse it is produced).
It is also worth bearing in mind that the skin can not absorb the necessary spectrum of UV radiation through glass, clothing and when using sunblock.
Unfortunately, due to the lifestyle of a modern person, vitamin D deficiency can be found in every second of us, and this does not depend on the region of residence.
Therefore, a competent approach and a careful attitude to the level of vitamin D in your body will allow you to avoid many diseases and improve your well-being at times.
Stay healthy and happy!
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