May 08, 2019

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide problem. About 70% of Chileans have insufficient levels. This puts us at risk for fractures, osteoporosis, cancer and a weak defense system.

There is overwhelming current scientific evidence that calls us to talk about this topic. The modern human being, covered with clothes, hats and sunglasses, produces little or nothing of Vitamin D. Let's review together what this vitamin is and how to optimize its positive effects.

Via Truth In Supplements

SOURCES AND BENEFITS

Vitamin D is a type of chemical that the surface of the skin produces when it comes into contact with the sun's rays , specifically UVB rays. People who live in the middle latitudes of the Earth, with darker skin or older adults, will have less capacity to produce it.

vitamin d sun

Via Heliocare

We can obtain it from food sources and here we must bear in mind that there are 2 types of Vitamin D: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) found in vegetables and mushrooms, and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) which is what is actually produced in the skin. The latter is also found in fatty fish and animal liver; also in eggs and milk or fortified flours but in less quantity.

However, it's not just a vitamin, it's actually a hormone . In other words, it fulfills multiple biological functions: regulate calcium and phosphorus in the bones, allow good muscle health, promote normal nerve impulses, regulate the immune system (of defenses) and keep the intestines vital with their associated bacterial flora. Even adequate levels link it to a decreased risk of dying from any cause.

CAUSE OR CONSEQUENCE?

As human beings, until not a few thousand years ago, we were used to running almost naked through the Amazon jungles or African deserts. Here hormone D was not a problem. However, we covered ourselves more and more, due to cold, lifestyle or fashion.

Vitamin D vegan food

Via MIT Game Lab

Due to the above, today we face the problematic situation described above. The increase in irritable colon, allergic and autoimmune diseases, breast and colon cancer, or low bone density, would be closely linked to the lack of Vitamin D. Or the other way around? Studies also suggest that low levels of this vitamin could be a consequence of being sick, rather than the cause itself . And we know that almost all diseases in the modern world are linked to the way we currently eat poorly. So, what to do so that we don't miss it?

RECOMMENDATIONS

    1. TAKE SUN. But smartly! Best time? From 9 a.m. to 12-1 p.m. of the day. Because in this interval there is a greater amount of UVB rays and not UVA. The latter is the most damaging. How to do it? Face, neck and arms uncovered for 10-15 minutes exposed to the sun, without sunscreen, to generate up to 3 times the dose of Vitamin D3 needed for the day. Do not bathe after sunbathing! The vitamin takes time to get from the skin to the blood, so wait a while. And it is stored, so you will have reserves for a few more days.

    2. SUPPLEMENTATION. If you work indoors or have little contact with sunlight, current guidelines recommend supplementing. And it doesn't matter if you are an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan ... almost all of us lack it! Make sure you get medical guidance in this case. In general, it is recommended to take a supplement that covers 2000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D per day. Eat it after fatty meals (avocado, nuts, oils) since it needs them to be absorbed. He prefers Vitamin D3 supplements since the D2 type would last and be less absorbed in the body. There is also not enough scientific evidence about it. If you are vegan, there are supplements extracted from Lichen (fungus-algae). If you eat animals, the source of the supplement is from sheep's wool fat (lanolin).
    3. BLOOD TEST. Currently there is a lot of variation between the results of different laboratories for the same sample . Ask your doctor first if it needs to be done.

    4. DISEASES. Of those mentioned above, several would improve markedly with supplementation. However, this must be handled by a trained professional.

    5. HEALTHY NUTRITION. Exposed and discussed in previous articles: it may be that your resistance to insulin , obesity, depression , osteoarthritis, high blood pressure or fibromyalgia are the cause that you have little Vitamin D. Perhaps paying attention again to what you are eating would be a good idea.

    6. TANNING SALONS. Not recommended. In addition to having an addictive component, its use has caused an increase in skin cancer in the population. Freak fact: There are more tanning salons in the US than Starbucks.

harmful vitamin D

Via Sverigesradio

More than a vitamin, an important hormone. Just as thyroid hormone is supplemented in hypothyroidism, “hormone D” should also be taken into consideration .

We are not vampires , but the atmosphere has been greatly damaged by us. We can no longer walk naked in the sun, running all day with exposed skin as our ancestors did. Select when to expose yourself to the sun and use sunscreen if you will be exposed for more than 30 minutes, so you take advantage of the summer sun.

Author: Dr. Nico Soto

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REFERENCES

SCHWEITZER, D. et al. 2016. Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in older adults with hip fracture in Chile. [online]. Medical Journal of Chile < http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/rmc/v144n2/art05.pdf > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

MIRANDA, D. et al. 2009. Diagnosis and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency. [Online]. Chilean Journal of Nutrition < http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/rchnut/v36n3/art09.pdf > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

AUTIER, P. et al. 2014. Vitamin D status and ill health: A Systematic Review. [online]. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology < http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(13)70165-7/abstract > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

THEODORATOU, E. et al. 2014. Vitamin D and multiple health outcomes: Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of observational studies and Randomized Trials. [online]. British Medical Journal (BMJ) < http://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/348/bmj.g2035.full.pdf > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

BJELAKOVIC, G. et al. 2014. Review: Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults. [online]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews < http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/14651858.CD007470.pub3/asset/CD007470.pdf?v=1&t=iz32sqco&s=8e504218cb338353d67121e9b5ec37f31fc8053f > [query]: 21-21

HEANY, R. et al. 2008. 25-Hydroxylation of vitamin D 3 : relation to circulating vitamin D 3 under various input conditions. [online]. American Society for Clinical Nutrition < http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/6/1738.full.pdf+html > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

VEITH, R. 1999. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety. [online]. American Society for Clinical Nutrition < http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/5/842.full.pdf+html > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

GILLIE, O. 2011. Publisher. Blinded by science, pragmatism forgotten. [online]. Public Health Nutrition < https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S1368980011000401 > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

WELSH, P. 2014. Vitamin D and chronic disease prevention: Multiple meta-analyses but still no magic bullet. [online]. British Medical Journal (BMJ) < http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2280 > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

GARLAND, C. et al. 2014. Meta-analysis of All-Cause Mortality According to Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. [online]. The American Journal of Public Health < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103214/ > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

HEANEY, R. et al. 2014. The Vitamin D requirement in health and disease. [online]. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology < http://www.direct-ms.org/sites/default/files/Heaney%20vit%20D%20requirement%202005.pdf > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

HEANEY, R. et al. 2015. Letter to Veugelers, PJ and Ekwaru, JP, A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D. [online]. Nutrients < http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1688/htm > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

LUXWOLDA, M. et al. 2012. Traditionally living populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l. [online]. British Journal of Nutrition < https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S000711451100716 1> [accessed: 02-12-2017]

BONIOL, M. et al. 2012. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis [online]. British Medical Journal (BMJ) < http://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/345/bmj.e4757.full.pdf > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

PETIT, A. et al. 2014. Phenomenology and psychopathology of excessive indoor tanning. [online]. International Journal of Dermatology < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24601904 > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

BJÖRN, L. et al. 2000. Vitamin D in an ecological context. [online]. International Journal of Circumpolar Health < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10850004 > [accessed: 02-12-2017]

MULTIVAMIN GUIDE. 2017. Best Vitamin D Supplements in 2017 [online]. < https://www.multivitaminguide.org/Best-Vitamin-D-Supplements.html > [accessed: 02-12-2017]


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