Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin D (Calciferol) is a vitamin that dissolves in fats. We bring it into our body through exposure to the sun rays, as well as nutrition and supplements. In the organism it is found in several different forms and each form of vitamin D has a different activity. Some forms are relatively inactive in the body and have limited ability to function as vitamins, liver and kidneys convert vitamin D into its active form.
Vitamin D deficiency has been, in the recent times, more often associated with many diseases and disorders, some of them can be very serious, and more often studies have shown a great lack of vitamin D effect on the occurrence of heart attack, stroke and even some forms of cancer.
Possible symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are the occurrence of:
- Multiple sclerosis
The role of vitamin D
The main biological role of vitamin D is to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium which is essential for strong bones. Vitamin D affects the incidence of influenza and respiratory infections, impaired parathyroid gland and seasonal depression which are the consequences of lack of sunlight, as well as many other disorders. Vitamin D deficiency rarely occurs with healthy people and usually manifests itself as rickets in children and with older people through developing osteoporosis. Recent studies have found that it is strongly correlated with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.
Foods rich in vitamin D
Vitamin D is soluble in fats, present in oily fish (tuna, salmon, sardines.), eggs and milk. This vitamin is otherwise formed in the skin under the influence of solar radiation and the liver and kidneys are responsible for the transformation of vitamin D from food into an active form that exerts effects in the body. Vitamin D is more found in the cod liver oil, butters (fortified) margarine, herring, kippers, salmon (canned), mackerel, pilchards (canned), roe, breakfast cereal (fortified)...
If a sufficient amount of vitamin D is not introduced through food, vitamin D should be taken through supplements.
Sufficient daily intake of vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet rays, but skin color and complexion determine the extent to which the vitamin will be produced. For brighter-skinned people it is enough to expose their faces and hands to strong sunlight for 20 minutes a day to produce enough vitamin D, while people with darker skin should spend slightly longer period of time on the sunlight for the same absorption of vitamin D.
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol) is used in daily doses of 50-1000IU in the form of multivitamin or calcium preparations (preparations for strengthing of bones ) to ensure its absorption. The recommended daily dose for healthy adults is 200-400i. In the treatment of condition caused by lack of vitamin D much higher doses are used. With liver damages or kidney failure vitamin D should be taken in the form of calcitriol (active form of vitamin D).
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