VITAMIN D: SOURCES, BENEFITS, AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO THE BODY – ZIGIHOW.COM.NG
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble steroid hormone responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of Calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. It’s produced from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is popularly known as a “Sunshine Vitamin”
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Vitamin D is a fat soluble Vitamin which means It can dissolve in oil and fats and can also be stored in the body for a very long time.
There Are Two Dietary Forms Of Vitamin D. They Include:
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Which is found in some animal foods. Example: fatty fish, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): Which is found in some plants such as mushrooms, and yeast.
How Does Vitamin D Perform In Our Body.
Vitamin D has to undergo two conversion stages in the body in other to enable it become active. First, it is converted to calcidiol, or 25(OH)D, in your liver. This is known as the storage form of the vitamin.
Secondly, it is converted to calcitriol, or 1,25(OH)2D, mostly in your kidneys. This is known as the active, steroid-hormone form of vitamin D.
Calcitriol interacts with the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is found in almost every single cell in your body. When the active form of vitamin D connects to this receptor, it turns genes on or off, leading to changes in your cells. This is very similar to how most other steroid hormones works in the body.
Vitamin D is a very important Vitamin which enhances the absorption of Calcium and phosphorus from your gut. There have also been a discovery by scientists about Vitamin D which also plays roles in other areas of health, such as immune function and protection against cancer. You can learn more on fruits and food aboundantly rich in calcium.
Sunshine An Effective Source Of Vitamin D.
When the skin is exposed to the sun (Ultraviolet B. UVB Rays) Vitamin D will be produced from cholesterol in the skin. If you live in an area with regular sunshine, you’ll get all the Vitamin D you need, with your large amount of your body exposed to the sun. But exposing only your face and hands will yeild you lesser amount of Vitamin D.
However while staying under the sun, it’s advised you use sunscreen to Prevent premature aging skin, or sunburn. If you’re staying under the sun for a long time, consider going without sunscreen for the first 10–30 minutes depending on your sensitivity to sunlight — then apply your sunscreen before you start to burn.
Vitamin D stores in the body for weeks and months. In a situation whereby you stay in an area with a lesser sun, it’s adviced you should get your Vitamin D from supplements and foods.
Best Sources Of Vitamin D
1. Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
Amount: 1,360 IU / 34 mcg.
2. Salmon, cooked, 3 ounces (85 grams)
Amount: 447 IU / 11 mcg.
3. Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces (85 grams)
Amount: 154 IU / 4 mcg.
4. Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces (85 grams)
Amount: 42 IU / 1 mcg.
5. One large whole egg (D is found in yolk)
Amount: 41 IU / 1 mcg.
6. One sardine, canned in oil, drained
Amount: 23 IU / 0.6 mcg.
The above mentioned foods are decent Sources of vitamin D, but you’ll have to keep eating them regularly to get all the Vitamin D your body needs. The only excellent dietary source of vitamin D is fish liver oil, such as cod liver oil which contains upwards of two times the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) in a single tablespoon (15 ml).
Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is a process whereby the body lacks a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. The recommended intake of Vitamin D is 400Ul for children under one year. 600 IU for children, teens and adults up to age 70.
Vitamin D deficiency is a very common nutrients deficiencies. Older adults are at a much greater risk of being deficient. The most well-known and popular symptom of vitamin D deficiency is rickets, a bone disease common in children in developing countries.
Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis, a bone disease which reduces the bone’s density or the weakens the bone which leads to multiple fractures. You can learn more on all you need to know about osteoporosis and it’s treatments.
Research studies indicate that people with low vitamin D levels have a much greater risk of heart disease, diabetes(types 1 and 2), cancer, dementia, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Benefits Of Vitamin D
Potential benefits of vitamin D to the Body includes:
- Increase Strength: adequate intake of vitamin D can increase one’s strength both upper and lower limb.
- Prevention Of Cancer: According to research vitamin D may help prevent cancer. One study noted that 1,100 IU per day, alongside calcium reduced cancer risk by 60%.
- Reduced The Risk Of Osteoporosis: Adequate intake of vitamin D can help prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis in older adults.
- Reduced Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes: One study in infants linked 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day to a 78% reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.
- Manages Depression: Research proves that adequate intake of vitamin D ease symptoms in people with clinical depression.
What Happens When you Take Much?
Well, Vitamin D toxicity is very rare and only happens if you take very high doses for an extended period of time.
The main symptoms of toxicity include confusion, lack of concentration, drowsiness, depression, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, and high blood pressure.
Vitamin D is a very important Vitamin for the the health especially the bone, it’s also a fat-soluble vitamin which can store in the body for weeks and months.
Adequate intake of vitamin D can boost your strength level, and reduces depression. The skin also produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Foods such as fatty fish, fish oil and liver also Contains excellent and sufficient amount of vitamin D, as well as certain fortified foods and supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency (lack of vitamin D) is rare due to regular exposure of the skin to the sun, but if in any case You’re not getting enough Vitamin D and you stay in an area where the sun is lesser consider supplementing.
Getting Adequate amount of Vitamin D enhances the absorption increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, prevents some certain complicated illness by boosting your immune system.
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