Vitamin D – Health Benefits and Effects on the Body, Importance and Functions.

Cheese is one of the main sources of Vitamin D

Health Benefits and Effects on the Body of Vitamin D.

– Ensures growth , mineralization and bone strength,
– Strengthens muscles and prevents falls and fractures in the elderly ,
– Reduces the risk of some cancers ( colon , lung , prostate , pancreas , breast, ovaries) and autoimmune diseases ,
– Stimulates and modulates the natural defenses of the body,
– Decreases the frequency, duration and severity of viral and bacterial infections ( flu , pneumonia, periodontitis , hepatitis C and tuberculosis ) ,
– Promotes the production of insulin in the pancreas ,
– Improves the condition of patients suffering from asthma , multiple sclerosis , rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes ,
– Fights against seasonal depression and improves mood,
– Influences the production and maturation of sperm
– Regulates the expression of genes and over 200 significantly reduces the overall mortality risk …

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, as it plays a vital role in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the body. It includes a set of five molecules very similar to each other with ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3) , provitamin D is the best known form. Vitamin D2 ( ergocalciferol) is of plant origin. It is found in small amounts in many foods such as fungi , yeast and grains. Vitamin D3 ( cholecalciferol) is of animal origin .

It is concentrated in the liver oils of fatty fish , milk, butter and cheese. Much of the vitamin D 3 ( 90 % ) is synthesized in the skin , under the effect of sunlight. Vitamin D3 is more effective compared to the vitamin D2 . In our body it becomes faster in its active form and circulates in the blood longer . This is the reason why vitamin D supplements contain more frequently D3  than vitamin D2 !

The discovery of vitamin D is linked to a disease: rickets. At the end of the 18th century an English doctor noticed that cod liver oil could substantially improve the health state of children with this disorder and recover their healthy bone growth. The world had to wait several years for a French researcher to demonstrate the beneficial effects of sunlight on the health of patients suffering from rickets. And it was only in 1922 that vitamin D has been identified. As a result, researchers worldwide have revealed its healing virtues necessary for growth, mineralization and bone strength .

Vitamin D regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Improving intestinal absorption and renal re-absorption of these minerals, it promotes mineralization of bones and teeth . This vitamin is also involved in the addition and removal(mineralization and demineralization) of calcium from the bones, according to the needs of the organism, and the process is called calcium metabolism. During growth, vitamin D is essential for the formation of bone tissue .

The vitamin D deficiency in children results in rickets : a softening of the skull bones , dental disorders and growth retardation . In adults, it produces osteomalacia : bone pain , deformities of the spine and spontaneous fractures. Furthermore other than rickets and osteomalacia, vitamin D deficiency can lead also to osteoporosis. An estimated one in seven adults would be concerned. Several studies have shown that vitamin D may prevent osteoporosis and slow its progression in people over 50 years of age. It also improves balance and muscle strength in the elderly and helps reduce the risk of fractures.

The active form of vitamin D is beneficial to the immune system . It plays an important role in the case of autoimmune diseases , like multiple sclerosis , rheumatoid arthritis , inflammatory bowel disease . Several studies show that vitamin D can inhibit the growth of malignant cells (cancer of the colon , prostate , breast ) and reduce hypertension. This vitamin seems to relieve psoriasis ( a skin condition ) and increases our resistance to tuberculosis . According to several recent scientific research (2007-2009) , people with the lowest levels of vitamin D have more colds and flu !

A proper supplementation with vitamin D is needed in countries where the sun is low , and especially among infants and children during the first two or three years of life . Vegans and the elderly are at risk for deficiency because their diet provides little vitamin D. The vitamin D deficiency could be linked , among other things, poor intestinal absorption, drug use , alcohol and hereditary disorders. Some drugs ( barbiturate , cortisone , hypolipidemic ) block the metabolism of vitamin D.

To maintain an adequate level of vitamin D in our body , a daily 20-minute exposure to the sun is necessary. In just about 30 minutes of walking in a sunny day, our body converts 20,000 IU of vitamin D equivalent to 200 glasses of milk ! It is also possible, even necessary, to obtain this essential supplement during your meals or using supplements.

From mid-September a deficiency of the important vitamin D leaves most of us ill-equipped to face the flu, bacterial infections, fractures , depression and degenerative diseases. In the light of new research has recommended that the daily dose is 400 to 1,000 IU ( 10-25 mcg) for adults under age of 50 and 800 IU to 2,000 IU ( 20-50 mcg) for the older. Namely: more than 70% of men and women are deficient in vitamin D.

So make sure that you take vitamin D either as a supplement or with your food in enough quantities to maintain a good health and longevity.

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  1. CandiceWray December 18, 2013 7:32 am Reply

    Vitamin D is one we definitely can’t do without and a lack of it can cause a majority of illnesses . It is of great importance to make sure we consume our vitamins daily.

  2. December 18, 2013 3:02 pm Reply

    You are right Candice, vitamin deficiency is one major problem in the modern society, so proper nutrition and sufficient vitamin intake should be practiced.

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