Mainly produced under the effect of the sun, vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of our body. However, with the lack of sunshine, deficiencies are frequent. What if our food had a role to play?
What are its benefits?
Vitamin D improves our general condition. It has the particularity of being able to be synthesized directly by the body, after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, from which it also derives its nickname “vitamin of the sun”: this makes it a separate vitamin, since it behaves almost like a hormone, and can be stored in fat and liver, to be released as needed by the body. The 비타민d is important.
What is it for?
Vitamin D is primarily known for its major role in bone health. It is involved both in improving the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, but also in fixing these two minerals on the bones and teeth. In this sense, it helps to keep the bones strong and rigid, and thus would prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
It also plays a role in maintaining the immune system, and is essential for neuromuscular function.
It is used in children to prevent rickets, a growth disorder which manifests itself in particular by a defect in calcification of the skeleton.
Finally, it is the subject of more and more research for its potential anti-cancer role (colon, rectum, breast, prostate).
Where do we find it?
There are relatively few foods rich in vitamin D: it is found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, cod liver), and to a lesser extent, in milk, butter, cheese, etc.Therefore, food only covers a minimal part of our needs (around 10 or 20% maximum generally), and the rest must be covered by being exposed to sunny days (from March to October, about twenty minutes a day, but not more so as not to get sunburned), or by supplementing with vitamin D during the cold season (from October to March, in the northern hemisphere). Indeed, during these cold season months, the sun is too “low”, and the wavelength of ultraviolet rays does not allow the skin to absorb vitamin D.
Deficiency and excess
Since vitamin D is fat soluble and stored in the body, it can be toxic in high doses. However, it seems that only doses above 10,000 IU / d can have this effect.
Cases of deficiency or deficits, on the other hand, are much more common: it is estimated that it affects up to 91% of the French population in winter. Apart from newborns, in prevention of rickets, we could therefore recommend vitamin D supplements to all adults during the cold season.
People with insufficient sun exposure, or dark skinned skin, should also pay attention to their blood levels of vitamin D, and take supplements as needed. The same is true of overweight people, most of the vitamin D being stored in fat.Finally, the body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases with age.