The value of vitamin D for the body can hardly be overestimated. He is responsible for a number of important biochemical processes:
- helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, “opening” the cells of bone tissue, teeth and nails for the intake of these minerals;
- normalizes blood sugar levels;
- accelerates metabolism;
- synthesizes monocytes, which cleanse the blood;
- stimulates the synthesis of a number of hormones;
- improves the transmission of impulses between neurons;
- affects the development of the embryo.
Correct consumption of vitamin D strengthens bones and muscles, improves blood composition, disappears dry hair and skin, reduces the risk of oncology and diabetes mellitus, increases immunity, efficiency, concentration, improves the functioning of the thyroid gland and heart, and regulates blood pressure.
Types of vitamin D
Vitamin D, or calciferol, is a common name for a group of biologically active substances – fat-soluble vitamins D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6. Of these, two are beneficial to human health:
- ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and
- cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).
Ergocalciferol enters the body from the outside – along with plant foods (juices, cereals, mushrooms).
But cholecalciferol is synthesized by the body itself under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. This is why it is also called a “natural” vitamin. In addition, it is found in food of animal origin – fatty fish, yolks, butter, etc. According to scientific research, D3 is about 30% more active in human life, which means that this type of calciferol is especially useful.
Lack of vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem in Russia. After all, most of our territory is included in the zone of low insolation. In addition, vitamin D is synthesized by the body only if the sun’s rays hit the skin at a certain angle, which is observed from 11 to 14 hours. This time in children can coincide with lunch or sleep, and in adults it is at work. Other factors that lower vitamin D levels include constant use of sunscreens in the summer and bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Studies conducted in different regions of Russia have shown that the lack of vitamin D among Russian children under the age of three is approximately 24%, and its deficiency is 42%. And hypovitaminosis is especially acute in the winter period of the year – from late November to early March. Thus, more than 2/3 of children need additional vitamin D intake.
Symptoms in adults
Vitamin D deficiency can be detected using clinical and laboratory tests. And the following symptoms should be a signal that it is time to go to the doctor:
- chronic fatigue,
- irritability, nervousness,
- stool problems
- sleep disorder
- decreased vision
- bone loss and bone fragility,
- aching pains in bones and joints,
- increased sweating of the occipital region,
- cramps, pulling muscle pains,
- dryness, peeling of the skin,
- loss of appetite, anorexia,
- frequent respiratory tract infections.
As we can see, the symptoms from this list are not specific. And on their basis it can be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, those who suspect that they have calciferol vitamin deficiency should be tested for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25 (OH) D). If your reading is in the 30-100 ng / ml range, there is no need to worry. A value of less than 20-30 ng / ml indicates a vitamin D deficiency, and less than 10 ng / ml is diagnosed as a deficiency, in which case immediate action should be taken. Read more about the importance of vitamin D for women.
Symptoms in children
Calciferol is involved in the development of the embryo and the formation of innate immunity, therefore, children should receive this vitamin even before their birth, during the prenatal period. During childhood, when a child’s skeleton, teeth and muscle structure are actively forming, adequate vitamin D levels are very important.
Symptoms of this vitamin deficiency in children include:
- increased tearfulness, irritability and sleep disturbances;
- growth retardation;
- slowing down the closing of the fontanelle;
- weight loss;
- profuse sweating, especially during sleep;
- rickets, changes in the skeletal system (curved legs, increased head size, flat nape, too convex forehead).
Read more about vitamin D for kids.
- Patients with diseases of the liver, kidneys and intestines . Vitamin D is activated in the liver and kidneys, therefore, in people with diseases of these organs, the process is disrupted.
- Possessors of dark skin . A large amount of melanin in dark or tanned skin protects it from UV rays, which reduces the amount of cholecalciferol synthesized.
- Pregnant and lactating women. The developing skeleton of the embryo requires a large amount of calcium and calciferol – it gets them from the mother’s body. During lactation, calcium is also washed out from the body, therefore, nursing mothers, as a rule, do not have enough vitamin D and are advised to take vitamin complexes .
- People over the age of 60. Intestinal absorption of fat decreases with age, which affects the absorption of fat-soluble vitamin D.
- Overweight . Being a fat-soluble vitamin, calciferol dissolves in adipose tissue, without having time to participate in a number of biochemical processes. Thus, the need for vitamin D in obese people is higher.
- The inhabitants of the northern regions are practically deprived of the sun, so they can replenish their vitamin D supply only through food, dietary supplements and medicines.
- Vegetarians . This is easily explained by the lack of animal food containing vitamin D in their diet.
Excess vitamin D
Calciferol hypervitaminosis is a rarer phenomenon in our latitudes. The reason for the oversaturation of calciferol is often an excessive enthusiasm for vitamins. In this case, hypervitaminosis occurs, that is, a condition when the hydroxyvitamin D index exceeds 100 ng / ml.
Calcium salts begin to be deposited in muscles, internal organs, skin, which negatively affects their condition and work. Hypervitaminosis provokes visual impairment, renal failure and the appearance of stones.
The fascination of some young mothers with vitamins can lead to an excess of calciferol in the child’s body. Therefore, the treatment and choice of medications for the child should be carried out as prescribed by the pediatrician. It takes into account the appearance of the newborn, as well as the type of feeding he is on. For example, if you feed a baby with milk formulas, then vitamin D is already included in their composition in the required amount, which means that you do not need to use drugs to prevent its deficiency. While breast milk, especially in winter, may contain insufficient amounts of this vitamin.
Signs of excess calciferol in children and adults include:
- frequent urination, diarrhea, and vomiting;
- skin rashes;
- muscle cramps;
In addition, in children, too much vitamin D exacerbates the symptoms of other diseases. Skin rashes or loose stools are sometimes mistaken for an allergy to vitamin D. In fact, this is just an overdose that disrupts the liver and causes reactions similar to allergic ones.
How to increase vitamin D levels in the body
You can increase your body’s calciferol content with sunbathing or UV lamps, vitamin D-rich foods or nutritional supplements Vitamin D.
The easiest and most natural way to increase your vitamin D levels is to spend more time in the sun. The ultraviolet spectrum of sunlight consists of three fractions of rays: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. For the synthesis of cholecalciferol, rays of the B-fraction are needed, which do not pass through the glass window. Therefore, it is recommended to catch them only in the fresh air. It should also be remembered that clouds and city smog are capable of trapping up to 50% of ultraviolet radiation.
The minimum duration of sunbathing should be 20-30 minutes per day from 11 to 14 hours. Unfortunately, it is during these hours in the summer that there is a high probability of getting a sunburn. And the use of sunscreens with an SPF factor of more than 8 units block the production of vitamin D. Therefore, the danger and benefits of such a sunburn must be weighed.
If there is no opportunity to stay in the sun, you can use the solarium. The beams of UV lamps are not equivalent to those of the sun, but partially compensate for the deficiency of natural ultraviolet radiation. However, inappropriate use of tanning beds can cause premature skin aging, pigmentation and even the appearance of melanoma.
A lot of vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs, some types of cheese, animal oil, milk and mushrooms.
The table shows the amount of cholecalciferol contained in 100 grams of food.
|Product (100 g)||Vitamin D content (in μg)|
|Pink salmon, salmon, mackerel, chum salmon, herring, trout, eel, halibut||10-30|
Unfortunately, our lifestyle does not always allow us to track the amount of nutrients in our diet. In this case, you can take a variety of vitamin complexes from Amway, which will help maintain a normal daily calciferol balance.
Omega-3 with Vitamin D is a baby jelly lozenge that is easy to swallow, dissolves quickly, absorbs well and leaves no unpleasant aftertaste. One lozenge covers up to 80% of the daily dose of vitamin D.
Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D complex biologically active food supplement for adults. Regular use of this drug keeps bones strong and reduces the risk of fractures. The drug is suitable for older people, as well as those who play sports and want to maintain flexibility and mobility. Each tablet carries the daily value of calciferol.
It is convenient to purchase drugs at the lowest cost through the Amway website. It is enough to choose the products you need and arrange delivery to Moscow or to another city in Russia.
The required daily intake of cholecalciferol for a healthy adult is 15 micrograms, or 600 IU, which is equivalent to about 100 grams of salmon.
For children under three years of age, doctors prescribe up to 400 IU of vitamin per day to prevent rickets. For children over three years of age, the daily intake of calciferod is 600 IU.
The ratio of patients to the recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 (in IU) is shown in this table.
|A patient||D3 (ME)|
|Child under 6 months||400|
|Baby 6-12 months||400|
|Kid 1-3 years||600|
|Children 4-8 years old||600|
|Teenagers and Adults||600|
|Pregnant and lactating||800|
|Seniors over 70||800|
The constant lack of vitamin D in the diet is fraught with a number of unpleasant consequences, including:
- bronchial asthma,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- diseases of the cardiovascular system,
- periodontal disease,
- the risk of premature birth.
More than a hundred years have passed since the discovery of vitamin D. But every year scientists learn about its new functions. Its role in life processes is very great. Therefore, it is so important to monitor the level of this substance in the body.