The primary function of vitamin D is to maintain the balance of minerals in the body. Primarily calcium and phosphorous levels. So, vitamin D deficiency is an important matter.
Vitamin D enhances the absorption of minerals in the intestine, prevents the excessive loss of these minerals in the kidneys, and controls the level of the minerals in the bones.
In addition, new research indicates that vitamin D has an important role in regulating cell growth processes, including suppressing the growth of cancer cells and increasing immune system activity.
The most important sources of vitamin D.
The most important sources of vitamin D are:
- Self-production in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation: the raw material dihydrocholesterol is converted into pre-vitamin D and finally into vitamin D3 (D3).
- External supply from food source: Vitamin D is found in food that comes from animals, and it is completely identical to the vitamin D3 that is produced in our bodies. On the other hand, vitamin D2 comes from plant foods. Vitamin D is found in special types of foods such as liver, egg yolks, and fish oil.
The recommended daily intake is 400 – 600 IU (0,1 IU = 0,025 m “g) This amount can also be provided by exposure to the sun. In the United States of America, vitamin D is added artificially to milk and milk products.
Important details of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is, in fact, a hormone from the steroid hormone family, our body produces it in a very strictly controlled process, and its production mechanism is similar to that of other hormones.
The vitamin must undergo changes in the liver and kidneys to be ready for our body. In the liver, the vitamin undergoes a hydroxylating process that results in hydroxy vitamin D25 (D25).
The vast majority of vitamin D is converted into this form, and the identification of this substance in the blood reflects the state of vitamin D in the body.
In the kidneys, an additional hydroxylating process is performed to obtain dihydroxy vitamine D 1,25 (D 1,25). This hormone is the active hormonal derivative of vitamin D.
The production of dihydroxy vitamin D 1,25 D in the kidneys is tightly controlled: in a situation where the level of calcium or phosphorous is low, or the level of parathyroid hormone in the blood is high, the production of the active vitamin D derivative is increased, and vice versa.
Malnutrition or diseases in the digestive system. Which in turn leads to difficulty in the process of absorbing food and insufficient exposure to sunlight. Results in a deficiency of vitamin D, a low level of calcium in the blood, disorders of bone calcification, and diseases such as rickets in children and soft bones in adults.
A reduced ability to absorb vitamin D in the gut, and a decreased efficiency of self-production of vitamin D in the elderly, may lead to vitamin D deficiency in the elderly.
After understanding the system for converting substances to obtain vitamin D. It turns out that liver diseases may lead to a decrease in the level of hydroxy vitamin D25 (D25) in the blood. Renal failure leads to disturbances in the production of dihydroxy vitamin D 1.25D, and a similar problem appears in the case of hypothyroidism.
In these cases, the balance is undermined in the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood, and various bone diseases result.
Women and vitamin D.
The disappearance of estrogen in postmenopausal women has a negative effect on mineral production. Due to the decrease in the production of dihydroxy vitamin1.25D and the decrease in the amount of dihydroxy vitaminophen receptors 1,25 D.
The decrease in the level and activity of dihydroxy vitamin D 1,25D increases the activity of the thyroid gland and promotes the processes of bone breakdown, which leads to osteoporosis.
In addition, two inherited diseases are known as a result of the body’s resistance to vitamin D:
- In the first type, there is a very low production of dihydroxy vitamin D 1,25D
- The second type is characterized by the absence of the receptor for dihydroxy vitaminosis 1.25 D in the target cells. In either case, the symptoms are due to a deficiency in vitamin D.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include the following:
- Chronic fatigue.
- Chronic and persistent pain in different parts of the body.
- Autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, etc.)
- Osteoporosis (slow weakening of the bones due to depletion of calcium stores in the body)
- Development of heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
Vitamin D deficiency complications
The classic symptom associated with vitamin D deficiency in the body is Osteoporosis.
The effect of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency affects humans as follows:
- Vitamin deficiency, especially in children, leads to fragility diseases that result in severe deformities of the skeleton and bones of the limbs.
- In adults, a deficiency in vitamin D may lead to weak muscles and bones.
The population group at greatest risk of developing vitamin D deficiency are:
- The elderly
- People who are overweight
- Breastfeeding women
- People have limited exposure to sunlight
- People with cystic fibrosis or inflammatory diseases of the intestine (Crohn’s disease).
Treating the deficiency of Vitamin D
Treating vitamin D deficiency is by:
Exposure to sunlight
- Eat foods rich in or fortified with vitamin D.
- Take a pill that contains a vitamin
- Intravenous vitamin injection.
For patients with metabolic disorders, they are treated with dihydroxyvitamin D 1.25 or its synthetic analogs.
The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and represent the opinions of the authors. The authors are not medical doctors and do not engage directly or indirectly in diagnosing disease, dispensing medical advice, or prescribing the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.