I will talk about what it is, its benefits, dosage, foods rich in it, etc. Come on, everything you need to know.
What Is Vitamin D?
It is one of the 4 fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). That means it dissolves in lipids and is stored in tissues. It really is not a vitamin, but a steroid hormone. We have two forms of Vitamin D:
VITAMIN D2: Called ergocalciferol, it is derived from dietary cholesterol
VITAMIN D3: Called cholecalciferol, it is derived from cholesterol 7-dihydro cholesterol when it reacts with ultraviolet light.
Hence this vitamin has been called the “sun vitamin.” Both forms will be converted in the liver to calcidiol ( 25 (OH) D) and after this, in the kidneys, they will be transformed into calcitriol (1,25 (OH) 2D ) forming the active metabolite of vitamin D.
Benefits Of Vitamin D
- It is clear that the best known of all is the prevention of osteoporosis. Hence it has also been called the “bone vitamin” as it increases intestinal calcium absorption.
- In adults, its deficit can cause osteomalacia and later osteoporosis, but in children, it can cause rickets.
- But the reality is that vitamin D has many more benefits than bone health, and it has been observed that it can regulate up to 2,000 different genes. Therefore it is obvious that it has great significance in our body.
Below we will look at 5 of which are critically important.
1. Cardiovascular Health
The correct intake of vitamin D has a profound impact on cardiovascular health. The deficit of it has been associated with both an increase in cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks and heart attacks.
Adequate vitamin D levels are considered a key indicator in predicting these diseases. It has been related to vitamin D deficiency with increased 42% of cardiovascular disease and one 49-64% of the risk of myocardial infarction. Conversely, adequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to:
- TRIGLYCERIDES REDUCTION.
- REDUCTION OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
- IMPROVEMENT OF ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION
- WEIGHT LOSS AND CONSEQUENT DECREASE IN CARDIOVASCULAR RISK
High vitamin D levels have been associated with a lower incidence of cancer from:
It has also been observed that an increase in vitamin D levels is associated with lower mortality in lung, kidney, and colon cancer, among others. It is speculated that this is because the 1,25 (OH) 2D regulates various processes related to the immune response to cancer cells, tumor growth, and inflammation, slowing the growth of tumors.
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3. Immune System
Vitamin D seems to be a key element for the proper function of the immune system since there are receptors for this vitamin in macrophages, dendritic cells, and T lymphocytes. That is why supplementation with vitamin D can be of great help for autoimmune diseases such as for example:
- TYPE I DIABETES
- RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
- MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
4. Brain Health
It is also quite clear that this vitamin helps to dramatically decrease the risk of brain degeneration. The brain is full of receptors for this vitamin, and low levels of it have been associated with an increase in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, depression, etc … Vitamin D seems to be key, too, for neuronal growth and for neuron survival. To make matters worse, it also helps neuronal plasticity.
5. Insulin Sensitivity
Low vitamin D levels have again been associated with levels of resistance to insulin. insulin close to pre-diabetics.
Supplementation with this vitamin has improved glycemic control, insulin response, and, very importantly, seems to enhance the effect of leucine through mTOR.
Vitamin D Deficiencies
Having seen some of the benefits of vitamin D, let’s see how much we should provide daily.
As I mentioned before, the deficiency of this vitamin is much greater than we think, and it can affect 70% of the population. We distinguish 3 levels:
- NORMAL: More than 30ng / ml
- INSUFFICIENT: Less than 30ng / ml
- DEFICIENT: Less than 20ng / ml
Keep in mind that supplementation with Vitamin D improves plasma levels, but it takes time for the effects to be stable. You also have to think that people with more melanin on their skin (people with dark skin) need to be exposed to the sun longer to be able to synthesize the same amount of D3.
Amount Of Vitamin D
A consensus has been reached that:
- 1-18 years: 600-1000 IU per day
- +19 years: 1500-2000 IU per day
However, there are people who prefer to be cautious, and because overdose toxicity only occurs when 40,000 IU is given daily for months, an amount of 4,000 IU daily is recommended, since 2,000 IU is related to 30ng / ml. Right to sufficiency.
We also know that to raise 1ng / ml of plasma concentration we have to ingest an extra 100 IU, so a good way to start is to take 2000-2500 IU daily and have a check-up 1-2 months later to adjust the amounts if required.
Sources Of Vitamin D
This vitamin is difficult to find in sufficient amounts in food. There are some that stand out for their quantity, for example, fortified milk, egg yolks, fatty fish, etc …
One of the foods with the most vitamin D is cod oil, with more than 1300IU per teaspoon.
Another way to get vitamin D is with sun exposure. With 25% of the exposed skin, you can generate 400IU for every 5-6 minutes approximately. Therefore the best way in my opinion to obtain the optimal amount of this vitamin is through a combination of Daily sun exposure + Foods rich in vitamin D + supplementation
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