It’s no secret the importance of vitamins and nutrients in our diet, and without them our health is compromised. But it is clear that each group offers different contributions, discover all they have for you vitamin D.
The summer day brings more relaxed, warm and lots of outdoor options, but also opens a window to improve our health and it is precisely thanks to sun that our skin is able to produce vitamin D, essential to keep our bones strong and improve the appearance of teeth.
But this is not its only function; it is also closely linked with calcium absorption as it increases making them inseparable companions. Our body is also benefit to including it in the diet to increase the absorption of phosphorus.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Bones require vitamin D for calcium absorption and people with vitamin D deficiency take less than 30% of the calcium in the diet. The calcium is responsible for building strong bones and teeth and its deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteoporosis in adulthood. An example of the importance of the combination of these two substances is that whenever calcium supplements are recommended it is done together with vitamin D to act in the absorption of the mineral.
Vitamin D participates in the control of contractions of the heart muscle, necessary to pump blood to the body, also allows the relaxation of blood vessels and influences the production of blood pressure of renin, the main hormone regulatory.
The lack of vitamin D can lead to the accumulation of calcium in the artery, favoring the risk of obstruction with plaques and increasing the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, stroke and heart attacks.
The consumption of vitamin D is essential for pregnant women. Its deficiency can lead to miscarriages in the first trimester and at the end of pregnancy, the lack of this nutrient favors preeclampsia and increases the chances that the child is autistic.
Preventing and controlling Diabetes
The fact of the influence of vitamin D in the production of renin is also favorable to prevent diabetes, because the lack of this substance favors the disease, on the other hand, the production of insulin by the pancreas requires the participation of the vitamin D.
Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, vitamin D becomes an immune regulator that selectively inhibits the type of immune action that causes the response to the body itself.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases
Vitamin D is already being used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, a condition that occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the healthy tissues of the body by mistake. Vitamin D is an immunoregulator that selectively inhibits the type of immune action that causes the response against the body itself. The treatment of autoimmune diseases with vitamin D is a recent phenomenon, but is seen by experts as a breakthrough in medicine.
Some of the autoimmune diseases that can be treated with high doses of vitamin D are: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and ophthalmological problems that can seriously damage the person’s vision and whose treatment used to be very difficult.
Prevents and helps in the treatment of cancer
The lack of vitamin D contributes to 17 types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and melanomas. This occurs because the substance participates in the process of cell differentiation, which successively maintains the heart and skin cells, thus preventing the cells from becoming cancerous; in addition, vitamin D also promotes the self-destruction of cancer cells.
For these reasons, some studies have shown that, in addition to the prevention of cancer, the consumption of high doses of the substance may be effective in the fight against certain types of cancer, however, in this case it is also necessary that the intake of Vitamin D supplements are done with medical supervision.
Good for autism
Since vitamin D is important for brain development, it helps prevent autism during pregnancy. If a person has this condition, it is still possible to get benefits with vitamin D, which often does not occur easily through exposure to the sun, the main source of the hormone, because the individual spends a lot of time indoors.
A study conducted in children by the Research Institute of the Oakland Hospital in the United States, indicated that three hormones in the brain that affect social behavior (serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin) are activated by vitamin D.
What is the recommended dose of vitamin D?
According to several recent studies, including one from the University of Wisconsin in the USA and another at the University of Toronto in Canada, the orientation for people over 50 kilos is to consume between 5,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The same goes for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
For children, the guideline is to ingest up to 1,000 units of vitamin D per 5 kg of weight. So, a child weighing 30 kilos, for example, can ingest up to 6,000 units of vitamin D.
Obtaining vitamin D
Despite being present in foods of animal origin, these do not have the amount of vitamin D that the body needs, therefore, to avoid the lack of the hormone it is important that you take 15 to 20 minutes of sun a day. The arms and legs should be exposed because the amount of vitamin D to be absorbed is proportional to the amount of skin that is exposed.
When you are exposed to the sun to get vitamin D it is important not to use sunscreen, the reason that you have an idea, is that an 8 FPS inhibits the retention of vitamin D by 95% and a major factor practically nullifies the production of the hormone. To prevent skin cancer, after 15 to 20 recommended minutes of vitamin D, put on sunscreen.
Windows also hinder the absorption of vitamin D. This is because type of ultraviolet B (UVB), capable of activating the synthesis of vitamin D, cannot penetrate the glass.
Sun exposure in the recommended way will provide 10,000 units of vitamin D. Although sun exposure should already provide you with good amounts of the hormone, it is important that you go to a health professional to know if only that sun is enough or if it is necessary that you have a diet rich in vitamin D or take supplements.
Sources of vitamin D
All food sources of vitamin D are of animal origin, since plant sources cannot synthesize the vitamin in the way that animals do. Even the food with the largest amount of this substance, salmon has only 6.85% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D in a 100-gram serving. So sunbathing is essential to avoid the lack of this nutrient.
In addition, these foods are very rich in saturated fats and omegas fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 (which are essential for our body), when they are ingested in large quantities, the lipid is subjected to an oxidation process and there is a risk of the appearance of plaques that can clog arteries in the blood, causing long-term vascular diseases that can affect the heart, kidneys and brain.
Other important sources are eggs, perfect guests in a light salad, dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, and nuts in special seeds or sunflower seeds. Options abound so feel free to add to this good friend to your diet. You’ll be healthier every day!