Everything you need to know about vitamin D

26 May 2021
Everything you need to know about vitamin D

vitamin D

 

There are 2 main forms of vitamin D, namely D3 and D2. Vitamin D3 is also known as cholecalciferol and can be obtained from some animal foods, such as eggs, oily fish, and meat. It is also the form that is synthesized in the body under the influence of ultraviolet sunlight. Vitamin D2, in turn, is known as ergocalciferol and can be obtained by eating portobello or crimini mushrooms, as well as yeast.

 

Vitamin D plays a key role in the health of many organs and systems in the human body. Its optimal amount in the body protects against many unwanted pathological conditions and leads to a better and fuller life.

 

Unfortunately, although the sun vitamin is present in most animal foods, mushrooms, and yeast, almost every second person in our country suffers from vitamin D deficiency, especially during the winter months, when the day is shorter and the sun's rays are weaker.


What are the health benefits of vitamin D?

 

Vitamin D is extremely important for maintaining a healthy bone system, nails, and teeth. It also helps strengthen the immune system, prevents the development of certain cancers, increases strength and endurance, improves brain function, elevates mood, and promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.

 

Optimal amounts of vitamin D lead to a healthier bone system, stronger immunity, better mood, and higher energy levels.

 

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
  • Strengthens the bone system, muscles, nails, and teeth
  • Protects against cancer of the lungs, prostate, breast, and colon
  • Improves mood and fights depression
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
  • Increases the energy levels of the body
  • Regulates blood pressure


Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency

 

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common forms of vitamin deficiency. Although found in fish, meat, and mushrooms, the intake of this vitamin from food sources is relatively lower than other vitamins.

 

Quite often, the sun's rays are also insufficient, especially during the winter months. Therefore, experts recommend vitamin D supplements as part of a well-balanced diet.

 

Deficiency of this important trace element is associated with osteoporosis, decreased bone density, increased risk of fractures in adults, the development of rickets in children, as well as an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and multiple sclerosis.

 

People who are more likely to develop vitamin D deficiency are those in old age (over 50), with darker skin, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

 

Some of the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are:

 

  • Frequent illness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pain in bones, back, muscles, and joints
  • Bad mood, irritability
  • Slow wound healing
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Depression

 

Read more: What is depression and the benefits of taking pine pollen and natural products for depression


Dietary sources of vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D is found mainly in oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, salmon and trout, beef, egg yolks, some mushrooms, and yeast. However, keep in mind that the diet is often insufficient to obtain optimal amounts of the trace element, so it is good to expose your skin to the sun when possible, as well as to take supplements with vitamin D.

 

  • Cod liver oil
  • Oily fish - mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Veal
  • Liver
  • Egg yolk
  • Mushrooms - portobello, crime
  • May
  • Foods and drinks fortified with vitamin D.


Nutritional supplements with vitamin D.

 

Due to the specifics of vitamin D and its absence in most foods and beverages, experts often recommend the use of vitamin D supplements. This is especially important for people who are at risk of developing a deficiency of this important trace element.

 

A study conducted in Bulgaria in 2020 found that almost three-quarters of the Bulgarian population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, supplementation with supplements is a common and recommended practice.

 

One of the most effective supplements with vitamin D, which can be purchased from our online store is a nutritional complex for bone health, the company doTERRA. The food supplement contains a specially combined formula of vitamins and minerals for optimal health of the bone system.


What is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D?

 

The daily recommended intake of vitamin D varies and depends on factors such as age, health, and even the season. Keep in mind that excessive consumption of vitamin D can lead to unwanted pathological conditions, such as calcification of bones, hardening of blood vessels, as well as deterioration of the kidneys, lungs, and heart muscle.

 

Scientists have found that the safe maximum intake of vitamin D for adults is in the range of 3,000 - 4,000 IU (100 mcg). Intoxication may occur at doses above 10,000 IU.

 

Therefore, it is good to adhere to the recommended norms, which you will find in the table below. You should also not forget to get enough vitamin K2 (menaquinone), which is just as important for maintaining healthy bones and clean arteries. Moreover, vitamin K2 works in combination with vitamin D, as the two vitamins interact synergistically and complement each other. You can learn more about vitamin K2 from this article.

 

Daily recommended intake of vitamin D.

Age Minimum quantity Maximum amount
0 - 12 months 400 IU (10 mcg) 1,000 IU (25 mcg)
1 - 18 years 600 IU (15 mcg) 3,000 IU (75 mcg)
18 - 70 years 600 IU (15 mcg)  4,000 IU (100 mcg)
Over 70 years 800 IU (20 mcg)  4,000 IU (100 mcg)
Pregnant and breastfeeding women 600 IU (15 mcg) 4,000 IU (100 mcg)

 
Final words

 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an extremely important role in bone, brain, and heart health. Optimal intake of the sun vitamin protects against depression, increases energy, and fights a number of chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, deficiency of this vitamin is quite common, be it due to limited exposure to sunlight, unhealthy diet or other factors. That is why it is good to consider a dietary supplement with vitamin D. The optimal amount of vitamin D will not only keep your bones healthy but will also contribute to your good mood, well-being, and full life.


References

Conti, P., & Kempuraj, D. (2016). Impact of vitamin D on mast cell activity, immunity, and inflammation.

 

Jorde R, et al. (2008). Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: Randomized double-blind trial.

 

Matyjaszek-Matuszek, B., et al. (2015). Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency.

 

Shaker, JL, & Deftos, L. (2018). Calcium and phosphate homeostasis.

 

Wacker, M., & Holick, MF (2013). Sunlight and vitamin D: A global perspective for health.

 

Wang TJ, et al. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Zittermann A, et al. (2009). Vitamin D supplementation enhances the beneficial effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease risk markers.

 


About the author

 

Ivan is a nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in the specialty acquired at the London Metropolitan University - London, UK. He is deeply interested in proper nutrition, healthy living and the connection between food and various diseases. In his free time, he likes to meet friends, read healthy literature and climb the mountain peaks of Bulgaria.

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