In our last entries we have been analyzing the importance of meeting the needs of certain nutrients such as zinc, potassium or iodine, among others, and seeing how a deficiency in its levels can be directly linked to certain diseases.
We continue analyzing other essential nutrients, in particular, the importance of Vitamin D for bones. Providing adequate levels of vitamin D will be critical, both in adults and children, to avoid consequences that we have today.
Maintaining optimum levels of vitamin D will be directly linked with the maintenance of our organs and with many indispensable functions of our organism
Vitamin D, also known as antirractic vitamin, has as its fundamental function to regulate the passage of calcium to the bones, so that if, due to deficiency of this nutrient, the process is not carried out optimally, we can finish In a weakening and curving the bone system that will lead to malformations like rickets.
In addition to regulating calcium levels, vitamin D controls phosphorus levels and plays a key role in multiple functions such as intestinal absorption from food, reabsorption of calcium at the renal level, bone mineralization (essential for proper development Bone) or the inhibition of parathyroid hormone secretions (PTH).
Even studies have shown the direct relationship between sunlight and vitamin D consumption for the prevention of autoimmune diseases (study), cancers (study) and cardiovascular diseases.
Optimal levels of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble provitamin that can be obtained from food, eating foods rich in this nutrient, or by the transformation of cholesterol or ergosterol by exposure to UV sunlight.
The recommended daily amounts in adults of vitamin D would be the following …
- Between 40-70 ng / ml (approx.): Optimum amount
- Between 20-39 ng / ml (approx.): Sufficient amount
At values above 150 ng / ml, the contribution would be considered toxic (study), while a deficiency of 9-19 ng / ml would be clearly insufficient and a detonating factor of bone diseases.
What can lead us to a vitamin D deficiency?
In addition to rickets, a disease that usually manifests in children through poor growth, delayed growth of teeth or bone deformities, deficiency in vitamin E levels may also lead to impaired muscle function, increased prevalence of diabetes or Other bone diseases typical of adults.
The osteoporosis, which is characterized by bone fragility may be increased by a deficiency of vitamin D in older people. Likewise, other diseases such as osteomalacia, weakening of the bones of adults and similar to rickets, or hypocalcemia, which leads to low concentrations of calcium in the blood can appear.
Signs that may indicate a vitamin D deficiency
- Excessively dark skin tone (study): As we have said, one of the ways to get vitamin D is through exposure to the sun’s rays. Cutaneous pigmentation acts as a natural sunscreen, so that the more pigmentation you have, the lower amounts of vitamin D will be generated in the process, which may lead to a deficit in levels.
- Excessive sweating of the head: This happens due to neuromuscular irritation and is one of the classic symptoms to monitor in newborns. Recall that vitamin D is one of the nutrients to recommend during pregnancy .
- Gastrointestinal problems: Such as Crohn’s, gluten sensitivity or intestinal inflammation. As it is a fat soluble vitamin, its absorption can be affected.
- Sharp and persistent bone pain: In combination with fatigue symptoms, it can be a clear example of vitamin D deficiency due to osteomalacia, which causes a calcium defect in the base of bone collagen.
Top foods rich in vitamin D
The recommended intake of vitamin D gives us a lot of benefits and not just for our bones; So, as in previous installments, in a next post we will tell you what are some of the foods richest in vitamin D, as well as some ideas of recipes perfect to incorporate in our diet.