Foods with vitamin D
Foods with vitamin D help absorb about 20% of the Recommended Daily Allowance, the remaining 80% is obtained from the sun.
- Egg yolk
- Wheat germ
- Mackerel, sardines
- Nuts and seeds
- Cod liver oil
- Enriched margarines
- Cereals enriched with vitamin D
- Animal liver and kidneys (high cholesterol content)
Depending on the cooking of some foods on the list, the vitamin D content may vary, in case of fish if fried it loses 50% of the vitamin while if it is roasted it remains intact.
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A healthy diet can incorporate dried shiitake mushrooms, this provides 1,660mcg per 100g.
Eating foods that contain vitamin D helps prevent health problems like osteoporosis.
Wild fish contain less vitamin D than farmed fish because they are fed complete feed.
The importance of the sun in health
Although we live in a country that is characterized by having a lot of sun, especially in the Mediterranean area or southern Spain, a large deficit of this vitamin is detected among the population.
This is due to the high temperatures that are reached in summer makes sun exposure is avoided at optimal times to generate vitamin D.
The best time to take it and take advantage of vitamin D would be when the sun is at its highest peak, in the range of 12 to 17 or so, since neither the morning nor the afternoon are worth us.
Another of the most important causes that influence the lack of this vitamin is due to the use of sunscreens, it is known that more than 80% of the population has a lack of vitamin D.
But sunbathing is not as easy as it seems, since it depends a lot on the position of the sun, latitude, if it is cloudy or if we go with sun protection.
An alternative would be to take 30 minutes in the sun without using the protector on your face or arms to absorb UV rays and then put on the protector to avoid burning more than you should.
To maintain vitamin D it is enough to sunbathe with caution of 20 to 30 minutes a day on the face and forearms, if you are brown skin you will need more time, people with brown skin have more vitamin D deficiency.
All about vitamin D
This is my research on vitamin D, so important for health and that unfortunately many of us have very low levels, this leads from mild symptoms such as calcium deficiency to serious diseases.
I had never noticed the importance of taking care of this vitamin since I live in the countryside, I am a brown skinny and I spend many hours outdoors watering my plants, taking care of my garden or walking in the countryside.
But after reading several articles I have realized that I can have a deficit of this vitamin since I avoid the sun at rush hour, I have brown skin so my exposure should be longer than someone with fair skin and I should not put creams that avoid filtering the ultraviolet rays necessary to activate the chemistry between my body and the sun.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is essential for the body since it regenerates, recovers and ensures the proper functioning of the body throughout life, perhaps it is the only one we are able to produce.
We have vitamin D receptors all over the body, small intestine, brain, heart, skin, beta cells, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, mononuclear cells.
When the sun's rays come into contact with the skin it triggers a photochemical reaction with cholesterol which results in the formation of vitamin D3.
We need it to fix calcium to the bones through the intestines that serve as a connection between the vitamin D that is ingested by some foods and the re mineralization of the bones.
The intake of foods with vitamin D is also important to keep the immune system strong that prevents colds and flus in winter thanks to the reserves that are generated when sunbathing in summer.
The lack of vitamin D in older people can cause autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes or multiple sclerosis, it also influences the increase in fractures, not due to bone fragility but also due to the loss of balance caused by falls.
In children, deficiency of this vitamin can result in them developing type I diabetes more likely than children with normal levels of vitamin D in their blood.
Types of Vitamin D
Vitamin D fulfills important functions in the body, thanks to it the nerves can connect the brain with each part of the body, it also serves to fight viruses and bacteria since it is part of the immune system, it also allows to preserve the bones along with calcium.
Differences between vitamin D2 and D3.
- Vitamin D2 supplement is plant-based is extracted from yeasts.
- Supplement Vitamin D3 animal origin is extracted from sheep's wool or fish oil and that produced by the body thanks to the influence of the sun.
- Vitamin D supplements in drops or capsules purchased in pharmacy.
To control the amount of Vitamin D in the body the doctor controls it by the levels of 25- Hydroxyvitamin D in the blood, it is normal to have 50nmol/I (20ng/ml).
How to prevent osteoporosis, vitamin supplements serve to increase vitamin D levels.
According to age there are certain recommendations on the amount of vitamin D that is necessary to avoid certain problems caused by its deficit
- In infants and children up to six years of age, an intake of 10 micrograms per day (400 IU) is recommended.
- From 6 years to 18 years the amount would be 15 micrograms per day (600 IU)
- People over the age of 18 are recommended between 10 micrograms to 20 micrograms (800IU) per day.
The functions of vitamin D
Vitamin D has several functions:
- Maintain blood calcium levels.
- Control the calcium in the bones by facilitating absorption.
- Controls the proper functioning of cells.
- Helps the immune system.
There are symptoms that can give clues to vitamin D deficiency
How to prevent osteoporosis, vitamin supplements serve to increase vitamin D levels.
It is known that there is a direct relationship between the kidneys and liver with vitamin D and that if there are problems with these organs that activate the production of this vitamin in the body can lead to:
- Cold feet and hands.
- Lack of motivation.
- Bone problem.
- Muscle problems.
But just as the deficit causes problems, an excess of this vitamin is also counterproductive since it can generate kidney failure due to the increase in calcium in the blood.
That is why, through analytics, it can be determined if we have vitamin D deficiency and not trust the aforementioned symptoms since they can also be caused by other ailments
Taking a vitamin D supplement without making sure we need it can cause dehydration, hypercalcemia and even kidney stones.
Unlike water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C or those of group B that their excess is eliminated in the urine, vitamins A, E, D and K are absorbed in the intestine together with fat and it is more complicated to eliminate them, their administration must be controlled by a doctor.
Vitamin D in its proper measure
It is known that in children, a deficiency of the vitamin from the sun comes to cause the disease called rickets that affects the structure and growth of bones, in adolescents osteomalacia can also develop that causes pain and muscle problems.
Both excesses and a deficit of this vitamin can cause problems in the body, a study conducted in Denmark, a country with little sun exposure, showed that the majority of the population should take vitamin D supplements to avoid adverse effects.
But those people who exceeded a high dose of vitamin came to cause alterations in cardiovascular risk calling the study as the efficiency curve of vitamin D as "inverted J" where low values showed adverse effects but high values as well.
The study was based on a review of medical records of 247,000 people of both sexes and in a period of years where the level of vitamin D in the blood was controlled, during the study period there were 5,453 deaths from cardiovascular diseases, among which 700 myocardial infarctions were recorded.
The study's conclusion reflected that people with low vitamin D had a 2.5 times higher risk than people with normal levels, but people with high blood vitamin D values had a 1.3 times higher risk of heart-related diseases as well.
Relationship between covid-19 and Vitamin D deficiency
Since Vitamin D helps to have a strong immune system, its deficit is related to contracting some infectious, autoimmune and viral diseases such as covid-19.
Scientists are trying to find out why some infected with coronavirus suffer from severe lung inflammation that is fatal in many cases, while others infected pass the disease with symptoms similar to a common flu.
Scientific studies published in The FEBS journal warn that having low levels of vitamin D increases the chances of coronavirus contagion and hospital admission.
- The word vitamin derives from the word vitamine vitae-life mine-substance containing ammonia, it was a proposal devised by the biochemist Casimir Funk who wanted to register the word vitamine published in the Journal of State Medicine thinking that all vitamins had the same composition.
- But years later English scientists showed that not all vitamins contain ammonia as is the case with Vitamin C so they proposed to eliminate the "e" leaving the word "vitamin".
- Between 1912 and 1940 all vitamins were discovered and the way to obtain them synthetically was studied to be able to administer them in case of deficit.
- Vitamin D was discovered in 1918 by the British doctor Sir Edward Mellanby while experimenting with dogs that were induced by rickets and after administering cod liver recovered them and a year later healed some children with ultraviolet light.
- Although it was not until 1922 when a team of Dr. Ernestine Becker Mc. Collum isolated vitamin D recognizing that it served for the protection of bone growth and preventive of rickets, they also discovered that exposure to the sun produced vitamin D without consuming it by food.
- In 1930, milk and other products began to be reinforced with vitamin D to eradicate rickets suffered mainly by malnourished children and adults.
- In 1920, Coco Chanel made it fashionable to sun exposure to tan the skin, after showing photos of her sunbaths on the French Riviera, until now women were looking for the opposite, products were used to whiten it
Vitamin D and healthy foods
In conclusion, dark-skinned people, children and infants who avoid sunbathing to protect the skin, pregnant or nursing mothers with deficits of this vitamin, premature babies and those cultures that use dresses or sunscreens to avoid natural exposure to the sun, are more likely to have a worrying vitamin D deficiency.
Sunbathing becomes an effective remedy to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D in the body, even so, there are risks of exceeding it, or our geographical position makes it not entirely assimilable.
Exposure to the sun between 10 in the morning and 13 in the afternoon in different seasons of the year and for a maximum time of 15 minutes without sunscreen, is enough to synthesize vitamin D correctly.
After this minimum exposure we must protect the skin to avoid overexposure in the rest of the hours we spend in the sun.
Look for different sources to provide the body with the necessary amount of vitamin D to have a health in conditions at any age.