Vitamin D is essential for health.
This vitamin is also known as the "sun" vitamin, which is synthesized under your skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
However, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiency problems in the world.
Up to 42% of adults in the United States have low vitamin D levels, which can cause many health problems .
Vitamin D is especially important for bone health and immune system function.
This article will discuss the amount of vitamin D needed for your body.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a steroid hormone (naturally soluble or synthetic organic fat compounds) in the body.
There are two types of vitamin D in the diet:
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): found in some fungi.
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): found in fish oil, fish liver oil and egg yolk.
D3 is a vitamin that has a stronger effect on the two types of vitamin D above, helping to increase vitamin D content in blood twice D2 .
Large amounts of vitamin D can also be produced under the skin when it comes in contact with UV light from sunlight. Excess vitamin D is stored in the body's fat layer for gradual use.
Each cell in the body has one taking vitamin D. This vitamin is involved in many processes, including bone health, immune system function and anti-cancer protection .
Crux: Vitamin D functions as a steroid hormone in your body. There are two types of vitamin D in the diet, D2 and D3. Vitamin D can also be synthesized under the skin when exposed to the sun.
How common is vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem worldwide.
However, this problem is especially common in young women, babies, elderly people and people with dark skin .
About 42% of the US population lacks vitamin D. However, this rate increased to 82% in blacks and 70% in Spaniards .
If you almost always have the chance to be exposed to the sun, regular sun exposure may be sufficient to meet your vitamin D needs.
However, if you live far north or south of the equator, your vitamin D levels may fluctuate depending on the season. Vitamin D levels may drop in the winter months due to lack of sunlight .
In that case, you need to rely on diet (or supplements) of vitamin D, as well as vitamin D stored in the body under fat in the summer .
In adults, vitamin D deficiency may :
- The cause of muscle weakness.
- Increased risk of bone loss.
- Increased risk of fracture.
In children, severe vitamin D deficiency can cause developmental delays as well a disease that weakens the bones.
Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency is associated with a number of cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure and thyroid problems .
Crux: Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the world, but this occurs at a higher rate in specific population populations. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many health problems.
How much vitamin D should you take?
How much vitamin D is sufficient depends on many factors. They include age, race, latitude, season, sun, clothing and many other things.
The US Institute of Medicine recommendations show an average daily intake of 400-800 IU, or 10-20 micrograms, which is consistent with our 97.5% .
However, some studies have shown that daily intake needs to be higher if you are not exposed to the sun.
Depending on each person, blood pressure above 20 ng / ml or 30 ng / ml is considered "enough."
A study in healthy adults found that an intake of 1120-1680 IU daily was necessary to maintain blood pressure .
In the same study, those who lacked vitamin D needed 5000 IU to achieve blood pressure levels above 30 ng / ml.
Studies in postmenopausal women with vitamin D concentrations below 20 ng / ml suggest that consumption of 800-2000 IU increases blood levels above 20 ng / ml. However, more tolerance is needed to achieve 30 ng / ml .
People who are overweight or obese may also need higher amounts of vitamin D .
After all scrutiny, a daily amount of vitamin D from 1000-4000 IU, or 25-100 micrograms It is recommended to be sufficient to ensure blood pressure stabilization in most people.
4000 IU is the upper limit of safety according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Make sure you do not load excessively without consulting a medical professional.
Crux: Body vitamin D intake is recommended at 400-800 IU / day, or 10-20 micrograms. However, some studies show that it is necessary to take higher doses of 1000-4000 IU (25-100 micrograms) daily to maintain optimal blood pressure levels.
What is the optimal level of Vitamin D in blood pressure?
Blood levels of vitamin D are assessed by measuring 25 (OH) D, which is the form of vitamin D stored in the body .
However, there has been some debate about the definition of optimal blood pressure.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Nordic Nutrition Council offer the following recommendations for blood pressure levels :
- Enough: 25 (OH) D> 20 ng / ml (> 50 nmol / l).
- Not enough : 25 (OH) D <20 ng ml (<50 nmol l). < li>
- Short : 25 (OH) D <12 ng ml (<25 nmol l). < li> 12> 20>
These organizations give blood pressure above 20 ng / ml to meet the vitamin D requirement of more than 97.5% of the population.
A committee at IOM did not see higher blood pressure levels associated with any additional health benefits .
However, other experts, including the Endocrine Association, recommend blood pressure higher than nearly 30 ng / ml (75 nmol / l) .
Crux: Vitamin D levels are usually considered sufficient if blood pressure is above 20 ng / ml (50 nmol / l). However, some experts believe that blood pressure above 30 ng / ml (75 nmol / l) is optimal.
Where do the main sources of Vitamin D come from?
You can get vitamin D from:
- Exposure to the sun.
- Food contains vitamin D.
- Use functional foods.
Dietary vitamin D intake is generally low, because very few foods contain large amounts of this vitamin .
Foods that contain vitamin D include fish liver oil as well as oil-rich fish like salmon .
Egg yolk also contains a small amount, and in some countries milk and cereal are also supplemented with vitamin D .
However, functional foods are also widely sold, they are safe and effective.
Crux: Good sources of vitamin D are sunshine, oily fish, egg yolk, fish liver oil, vitamin D fortified foods and functional foods.
Is sun exposure only sufficient for vitamin D?
Summer sun exposure is the best way to get enough vitamin D.
However, the amount of sunlight that each person needs is different.
Older people and dark skinned people synthesize less vitamin D under the skin.
Geographic location and season of the year very Important, because vitamin D cannot be synthesized year-round in countries far from the equator.
Although there may be sunshine in those countries, this amount of sunshine is not strong enough to help synthesize vitamin D.
Here are some facts about vitamin D synthesis in the sun:
In more than 70 countries located north of 35 degrees north latitude, in the winter months no vitamin D is synthesized .
Farther north, in countries like Norway (69 ° N), from October to March no vitamin D is synthesized .
Factors such as clothing, weather, pollution, sunscreen use, body weight and genetics can also affect the body's ability to synthesize vitamin D itself.
Regularly exposing your hands and feet to sunlight for 5-30 minutes between 10 am and 3 pm is sufficient to meet the daily vitamin D needs of most light-colored skin. People with darker skin need more contact time .
One study found that summer sun exposure was sufficient to ensure vitamin D levels in the winter, regardless of whether or not vitamin D intake was more or less .
However, if you live away from the equator, you may need vitamin D supplements or eat foods that contain vitamin D.
Crux: The amount of Vitamin D your body needs to be able to be met is enough only to get enough exposure to the summer sun. In the winter, and for people who live far away from the equator, vitamin D supplementation may be necessary .
How much is too much?
Information on vitamin D overdose is outdated, and toxicity arising from overdose of vitamin D is rare.
Overdose of vitamin D is associated with high levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood, along with low parathyroid hormone.
This is usually seen only in people who have accidentally or intentionally taken vitamin D doses extremely high for a long time, such as 50,000-1,000,000 IU / day for several months .
The safe intake of vitamin D is at 4000 IU, or 100 micrograms per day.
However, if this number reaches 10,000 IU per day, there is no proof that it is harmful to healthy people .
Very few people really need more than 4,000 IU per day .
A study of 17 thousand people taking different doses of vitamin D, up to 20,000 IU / day, showed no signs of toxicity. Their blood pressure level is still lower than normal, at 100 ng / ml, or 250 nmol / l .
In addition, it is not possible to take vitamin D overdose from sunlight.
However, it should be noted that although large doses may not be harmful or toxic, they may be completely unnecessary.
Crux: The body's absorption of vitamin D is 4000 IU / day. However, higher vitamin D levels have been shown to be safe in some studies.
Message for you
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and many other aspects of health.
Vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem, and can have serious health consequences for many people.
If you are thinking about adding vitamin D to your diet, consider the following factors:
If you live somewhere where the sun is year-round, there is no need to take vitamin D as long as you make sure you get enough exposure to the sun.
If your place is not sunshine, then vitamin supplements D3 added 1000-4000 IU (25-100 micrograms) is enough for most people.
The only way to know if you really need vitamin D supplementation is to have your blood pressure measured.
In general, vitamin D is very important. The lack of supplement is simple, inexpensive and can bring many health benefits.