What does vitamin D do? Necessary controls on vitamin-D, which has many health benefits, should be done regularly. Otherwise, various problems may be encountered.
There are actually many reasons why I want to write about vitamin D, which has become the most widely spoken and well-known vitamin in our country. I can list these reasons as vitamin D deficiency in almost everyone in our country and vitamin D being a very important element for a healthy life.
What is vitamin D in this article? From the question, what is sunbathing and vitamin D production, how is vitamin D used? I will touch on many issues from the question to vitamin D deficiency and answer the questions.
If you are ready we go!
What is Vitamin D?
VitaminD is an essential element in the group of essential vitamins that interacts with foods and becomes a hormone within the body and is essential for many body functions.
Although I have made the essential definition before, it is worth repeating. Essential is used for substances that cannot be produced in the body and must be taken from outside.
Vitamin-D is transformed within the body and becomes active after this conversion. I will list these steps below.
- Vitamin-D produces 25-hydroxy vitamin D on the liver. This component may also appear as 25 (OH) D. The 25 (OH) D structure is expressed as the storage state of vitamin D in the body.
- Subsequently, 25 (OH) D-mostly- comes on the kidney and becomes 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D. This component is also referred to as 1.25 (OH) 2D. The 1,25 (OH) 2D form of vitamin D is the active hormone form in the body.
The active steroid hormone form then enters the cell and fulfills its function.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
The definitive diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency is of course possible with blood tests. But when I think about the vitamin D deficiency in our country, you should definitely contribute to the diagnosis process. For this reason, I shared the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in my video below.
In this way, you can suspect vitamin D deficiency and consult your doctor.
What is its importance for the body?
- Vitamin D is necessary for absorption from the kidneys as well as for the absorption of the active form calcitriol, calcium, and phosphorus from the intestines. Blood calcium, whose loss from the body is prevented, prevents muscle cramps.
- It is an immune system regulator. Especially in autoimmune diseases, vitamin D storage in the body is important.
- It is important for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and scientific studies have shown that vitamin D levels are low in MS patients.
- It reduces the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms.
- It is important for healthy bone development, bone, and dental health
- The effect of reducing the risk of catching a cold is controversial.
What does vitamin D do?
We came to the mixed part about vitamin D. Because there is a lot of misinformation on this subject – thanks to social media. Let’s examine the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and disease.
First of all, there are many factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. While I will examine some of these factors under this heading, I will examine some of them (such as obesity) under other headings.
In terms of cardiovascular diseases, I want to start with high blood pressure, which disrupts the vascular structure and increases the risk. Doubts about the relationship between vitaminD and blood pressure first arise when individuals who are not exposed to sunlight sufficiently experience more hypertension.
Afterward, this issue is further clarified when hypertension is seen in mice that are formed with cells that cannot receive vitaminD stimulation (without receptor). VitaminD deficiency causes hypertension that increases cardiovascular risk.
In addition, vitaminD deficiency increases the inflammation that disrupts the vascular wall, causing you to face more risk of vascular occlusion.
The relationship between blood cholesterol levels and vitaminD deficiency has been seriously discussed recently. The possible mechanism is that vitaminD deficiency increases blood LDL levels.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic and very serious disease that occurs due to many bad living conditions. One of the first stages of the disease is insulin resistance.
Many different studies show that individuals with high vitaminD levels have greater insulin sensitivity and, consequently, their blood insulin levels are lower.
85 non-obese children between the ages of four and eighteen are participating in the study. In the study where vitaminD levels and blood sugar, insulin, and HOMA-IR values were compared, those with higher vitaminD levels than the participants in the study,
- Lower blood sugar concentration,
- Less blood insulin level, has been found.
This research shows us that high vitaminD affects insulin resistance even in children and protects against type 2 diabetes.
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, I think it will make you happy to say that you have a chance to get rid of type 2 diabetes by simply changing your lifestyle and diet. I strongly recommend that you read my type 2 diabetes and treatment guide on this topic.
When you run the logic backward, it turns out that vitaminD supplementation will work to overcome insulin resistance. So, do the studies agree with your logic? Yes!
Eight prediabetes participants participate in the study to investigate the effect of vitaminD supplementation on insulin resistance.
Before starting the study, participants whose insulin resistance was measured by a glucose load test take 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for four weeks. At the end of the research, the participants,
- Insulin sensitivity increases,
- Acute insulin response decreased
As a result, it seems that vitaminD supplementation can reduce insulin resistance in a cheap and fairly simple way.
In addition, studies show that low vitaminD levels increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and high vitamin D levels can prevent type 2 diabetes.
I examined the relationship between insulin resistance and vitaminD in the previous topic. In fact, insulin resistance, which is closely related to obesity, should have given you an idea about the relationship between vitaminD and obesity. Although there are many mechanism suggestions here about how vitaminD triggers obesity, there is no proven, definitive mechanism.
All we know is that there is a relationship between vitaminD deficiency and the frequency of obesity.
In a study conducted on this subject, it was reported that vitaminD deficiency was more common in the obese part of the society.
VitaminD takes part in muscle cells like all other cells. In fact, this has led to many studies on vitaminD in many areas such as exercise performance and muscle mass development.
First of all, I want to talk about the findings. Then I will mention example research.
First of all, vitaminD receptors are found in all cells. We can play with these receptors on mice. VitaminD receptors (receptors) are reduced, so it has been observed that worn-out muscle cells build and develop more slowly in vitaminD-insensitive mice.
We know that vitaminD affects the structuring of muscle cells, especially in mechanical trauma. Exercise is a great example of mechanical trauma for the muscles.
In addition, the effects of vitaminD on the nervous system are very important. I will give additional information about this later in the article, but here is a detail about muscle development. Because the main element that directs muscle contraction in the body is the nervous system elements (neurons).
Poor nerve conduction causes less muscle development along with poor contraction.
Apart from muscle growth and regeneration, there is a relationship between vitaminD and exercise performance.
Twenty male participants with low blood vitaminD levels (average 45 ± 25 nmol / l) are participating in the study to examine the effect of vitaminD on exercise performance. In the study, 4,000 IU of vitaminD per day was given to the first group of the participants who were divided into two groups, while the second group was given a placebo (50 mg cellulose) for six weeks.
At the end of the six weeks, all participants are given an eccentric leg extension with twenty sets, ten repetitions per set, and followed for seven days. As a result of biopsies and exercises,
- While the development and change of muscle cells in the vitaminD group was faster than the group that did not take vitaminD,
- The exercise performance of the vitaminD group was better than the other group.
As a result, vitaminD positively affects athlete performance, injury recovery, and muscle development at the right levels.
Let's start with depression. First of all, there are many studies showing that low vitaminD concentrations reduce the risk of depression. The better part is that vitaminD is effective in relieving the complaints of individuals with a lower than normal vitaminD level and a diagnosis of depression.
I want to share a little bit more information here. In the past, patients were frequently sunbathed in many mental hospitals. Apart from the fact that sunlight creates relaxation and makes individuals feel safe, I think it is definitely related to vitaminD production. Even if it is not noticed then, it is definitely the right application.
There are so many resources and research on vitaminD and cancer that I have to write an average-sized book to cover all of them. The only point I want to give you here will be about cancer risk and vitaminD levels.
Low vitaminD levels increase the risk of many cancers. I can list the most important ones like breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. For this reason, keeping vitaminD at normal levels constantly is very important for a healthy life.
- According to many studies, individuals with sufficient vitaminD levels are thought to have a lower risk of developing cancer.
- There are studies showing that high vitaminD levels accelerate the recovery of tuberculosis patients.
Low vitaminD levels increase the risk of people with potential heart disease having a seizure.
- It reduces the risk of developing 'rheumatoid arthritis', a joint disorder in women.
- It is very important for women with arthritis, diabetes, and chronic diseases to check their vitaminD levels during the winter months and take supplements if necessary.
Sunlight and vitamin D production
Since the beginning of the article, we have talked about the intake of vitaminD from outside. Now it is time for vitamin D to be produced in the body.
VitaminD can be produced on the skin using cholesterol. VitaminD produced on the skin is called vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Sunbathing, which we frequently recommend especially for individuals with low vitaminD, is a method that significantly increases vitaminD levels. For this reason, sunbathing is a very valuable way.
I would like to point out that there are a few points to be aware of here. Let me list the important points.
- Primarily, vitaminD is produced by the ultraviolet B dimension of sunlight. Since it is produced together with sunlight, the steeper sunlight contains more UV-B waves and provides more vitaminD production.
Here, latitudes are very important in terms of the angle of incidence of the sun. Let me give an example to understand the seriousness of the job.
There are studies showing that there is a difference in cancer risk between two American states that are farther from the equator than the other.
- Darker individuals absorb less ultraviolet B light, so less vitaminD is produced in their skin.
There are multiple conclusions to be drawn from these important points. By paying attention to these points, you can produce more vitaminD and increase your blood vitaminD levels more efficiently.
For more effective vitaminD production, you should prefer noon when sunlight is steep. As a mouthing habit – thanks to magazine-based medical science – many televisions do not recommend going out in the sunlight at noon in the summer; If you want vitaminD production, you should prefer noon.
Of course, I don’t want you to be sunburned. For this reason, I recommend you not to keep your sunbathing time longer than half an hour at noon.
The sunscreen really provides great protection. This protection is so strong that it even covers the ultraviolet B wavelength from the sun. As I explained above, blocking ultraviolet B, the wavelength that produces vitaminD while sunbathing, means that you cannot produce vitaminD at all. For this reason, you should not use sunscreen for at least the first half-hour while sunbathing.
Many women constantly use sunscreen to prevent their skin from aging. Studies show that long-term and continuous use of sunscreen can lead to vitaminD deficiency. You have beautiful skin but I know you don’t want to be a sick person. For this reason, it is useful to limit the use of sunscreen.
How is vitamin D used?
First of all, I would like to point out that vitaminD intake does not depend on a simple mechanism as intake of other vitamins. Because with vitaminD intake, you are not only getting a “vitamin” but a hormone.
For this reason, it is very important that you do not take vitaminD without checking your blood vitaminD levels.
I want you to know that too much vitaminD intake causes many unpleasant side effects such as kidney stones.
Depending on the severity of vitaminD deficiency, season, age, and gender, vitaminD levels vary.
Studies show that taking vitamin K with vitaminD increases the existing benefits several times.
If you want to know the normal level of vitaminD values and how much vitaminD to use, How long does it take for vitaminD levels to increase? You can read my article.
How can we get it?
Vitamin D we get from food is not enough by itself to meet your dietary needs. This is where you need sunlight. For this, it is sufficient to get 15-20 minutes of sunlight from the face, arms and legs for light-skinned people and a half or one hour for dark-skinned ones without applying high-factor sunscreen three days a week in summer and autumn. Ultraviolet rays taken from behind glass do not provide vitamin D synthesis.
What is our daily need?
Although it may vary according to the geography and season inhabited, generally recommended;
- 400IU for infants aged 0-12 months, 600IU for everyone between the ages of 1-70,
- 800IU for those over 70 years old, and 600IU for pregnant or newly delivered women.
Which foods are they found in?
Few foods contain vitamin D directly inactive form. For this reason, many foods are enriched in vitamin D. Especially in countries with little use of sunlight…
– Fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources of vitamin D.
Contains small amounts of beef liver, milk, cheese, egg yolk, and cocoa.
Vitamin D is found in some mushrooms, especially in mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet rays.
Most brands of milk in America are enriched with 400 IU of vitamin D per liter. There are also enriched milk in our country.
– In addition, some brands of soy milk, breakfast cereals, orange juice, yogurt, and margarine are among the enriched products.
Vitamin D and health: Summary
- Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of many diseases. Some of these can be listed as obesity, insulin resistance, and cancer.
- Low vitamin D levels reduce the risk of obesity and may disrupt the weight loss mechanism.
- Low vitamin D levels in athletes may cause later recovery of traumas and decrease performance.
- In order to increase the production of vitamin D on the skin, sunbathing is required at noon and without sunscreen.
- Vitamin D intake should not be taken without checking blood levels. You should definitely arrange vitamin D supplements with your doctor.
- Vitamin D should not be taken alone. Vitamins A and K should be added.