Vitamin D

International name – , antirachitic vitamin, ergocalciferol, cholecalcefirol, viosterolol, solar vitamin. The chemical name is ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), 1,25 (OH) 2D (1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D)

Helps maintain healthy bones, keeping them strong and strong. Responsible for healthy gums, teeth, muscles. Essential for maintaining cardiovascular health, helps prevent dementia and improve brain function.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble substance necessary for the mineral balance in the body. There are several forms of vitamin D, the most studied and the main forms important for humans are cholecalciferol (vitamin D3which is synthesized by the skin under the influence of ultraviolet rays) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2contained in some products). When combined with regular exercise, proper nutrition, calcium and magnesium, they are responsible for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. Vitamin D is also responsible for the absorption of calcium in the body. In combination, they help prevent and reduce the risk of bone fractures. It is a vitamin that has a positive effect on muscle health and also protects against diseases such as osteomalacia.

A brief history of the discovery of the vitamin

Diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency were known to mankind long before its official discovery.

  • Mid-17th century – Scientists Whistler and Glisson first carried out an independent study of the symptoms of the disease, later called “rickets“. However, scientific treatises did not say anything about how to prevent the disease – enough sunlight or good nutrition.
  • 1824 Dr. Schötte first prescribed fish oil as a treatment for rickets.
  • 1840 – Polish doctor Sniadecki released a report that children living in regions with low solar activity (in the polluted center of Warsaw) have a greater risk of developing rickets compared to children living in villages. Such a statement was not taken seriously by his colleagues, as it was believed that the sun’s rays could not affect the human skeleton.
  • Late 19th century – over 90% of children living in polluted European cities suffered from rickets.
  • 1905-1906 – the discovery was made that with a lack of certain substances from food, people fall ill with one or another disease. Frederick Hopkins suggested that in order to prevent diseases such as rickets, it is necessary to take some special ingredients with food.
  • 1918 – the discovery was made that hounds who eat fish oil do not get rickets.
  • 1921 – Scientist Palm’s assumption of a lack of sunlight as the cause of rickets was confirmed by Elmer McCollum and Margarita Davis. They demonstrated that by feeding laboratory rats fish oil and exposing them to sunlight, the growth of rats’ bones was accelerated.
  • 1922 McCollum isolated a “fat-soluble substance” that prevents rickets. Since not long before that vitamins A, B and C of a similar nature were discovered, it seemed logical to name the new vitamin in alphabetical order – D.
  • 1920s – Harry Steenbock patented a method of irradiating foods with UV rays to fortify them with vitamin D.
  • 1920-1930 – Various forms of vitamin D were discovered in Germany.
  • 1936 – It was proved that vitamin D is produced by the skin under the influence of sunlight, as well as the presence of vitamin D in fish oil and its effect on the treatment of rickets.
  • Beginning in the 30s, some foods in the United States began to be fortified with vitamin D. In the postwar period in Britain, there was frequent poisoning from excess vitamin D b. Since the early 1990s, numerous studies have appeared on the decrease in vitamin levels in the world’s population.

Foods with the highest vitamin D content

Indicated approximate content of D2 + D3 in 100 g of product

Ricotta cheese0.2 mcg (10 IU)

Daily need for vitamin D

In 2016, the European Food Safety Committee set the following RDA for vitamin D, regardless of gender:

  • children 6-11 months – 10 mcg (400 IU);
  • children over one year old and adults – 15 mcg (600 IU).

It is worth noting that many European countries set their own vitamin D intake, depending on solar activity throughout the year. For example, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the norm since 2012 is the consumption of 20 μg of vitamin per day, since in these countries the amount obtained from food is not enough to maintain the required level of vitamin D in blood plasma – 50 nano mol / liter. In the US, the recommendations are slightly different, with people aged 71 and over being advised to consume 20 mcg (800 IU) per day.

Many experts believe that the minimum amount of vitamin D received should be increased to 20-25 mcg (800-1000 IU) per day for adults and the elderly. In some countries, scientific committees and nutritional societies have succeeded in raising the daily value to achieve the optimal concentration of the vitamin in the body.

When does the need for vitamin D increase?

Despite the fact that our body is able to produce vitamin D on its own, the need for it can increase in several cases. At first, dark skin color reduces the body’s ability to absorb type B ultraviolet radiation, which is necessary for the production of the vitamin. In addition, the use of sunscreen SPF 30 reduces the ability to synthesize vitamin D by 95 percent. In order to stimulate the production of the vitamin, the skin must be fully exposed to the sun’s rays.

People living in the northern parts of the Earth, in contaminated regions, working at night and spending the day indoors, or those who work from home, must ensure that they get enough vitamin levels from their food. Infants who are exclusively breastfed should receive a vitamin D supplement, especially if the baby has dark skin or minimal sun exposure. For example, American doctors advise giving babies 400 IU of vitamin D daily in drops.

Physical and chemical properties of vitamin D

Vitamin D is a group fat-soluble substanceswhich promote the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphates in the body through the intestines. There are five forms of vitamin D in total.1 (mixture of ergocalciferol and lumisterol), D2 (ergocalciferol), D3 (cholecalciferol), D4 (dihydroergocalciferol) and D5 (sitocalciferol). The most common forms are D2 and D3… It is about them that we are talking in the case when they say “vitamin D” without specifying a specific number. These are secosteroids by nature. Vitamin D3 is produced photochemically, under the influence of ultraviolet rays from the protosterol 7-dehydrocholesterol, which is present in the epidermis of the skin of humans and most higher animals. Vitamin D2 is found in some foods, especially mushrooms and shiitake. These vitamins are relatively stable at high temperatures, but are easily destroyed by oxidizing agents and mineral acids.

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Useful properties and its effect on the body

Vitamin D has been confirmed to have clear health benefits, according to the European Food Safety Committee. Among the positive effects of its use are observed:

  • normal development of bones and teeth in infants and children;
  • maintaining the condition of teeth and bones;
  • normal functioning of the immune system and a healthy response of the immune system;
  • Reducing the risk of falls, which are often the cause of fractures, especially in people over 60;
  • normal absorption and action of calcium and phosphorus in the body, maintenance of normal levels of calcium in the blood;
  • normal cell division.

In fact, vitamin D is a prohormone and has no biological activity by itself. Only after it undergoes metabolic processes (first turning into 25 (OH) D3 in the liver, and then in 1a, 25 (OH)2D3 and 24R, 25 (OH)2D3 in the kidneys), biologically active molecules are produced. In total, about 37 vitamin D3 metabolites have been isolated and chemically described.

The active metabolite of vitamin D (calcitriol) performs its biological functions by binding to vitamin D receptors, which are mainly located in the nuclei of certain cells. This interaction allows vitamin D receptors to act as a factor that modulates the expression of genes for transporting proteins (such as TRPV6 and calbindin) that are involved in intestinal calcium absorption. The vitamin D receptor belongs to the superfamily of nuclear receptors for steroid and thyroid hormones and is found in the cells of most organs – the brain, heart, skin, gonads, prostate and mammary glands. Activation of the vitamin D receptor in the cells of the intestine, bone, kidney and parathyroid gland leads to the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood (with the help of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin), as well as the maintenance of normal skeletal tissue composition.

Key elements of the vitamin D endocrine pathway are:

  1. 1 photoconversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D.3 or dietary intake of vitamin D2;
  2. 2 vitamin D metabolism3 in baked up to 25 (OH) D3 – the main form of vitamin D circulating in the blood;
  3. 3 function of the kidneys as endocrine glands for the metabolism of 25 (OH) D3 and converting it to the two main dihydroxylated metabolites of vitamin D – 1a, 25 (OH)2D3 and 24R, 25 (OH)2D3;
  4. 4 systemic transfer of these metabolites to peripheral organs by plasma binding protein vitamin D;
  5. 5 the reaction of the above metabolites with receptors located in the nuclei of cells of the corresponding organs, followed by biological responses (genomic and direct).

Interaction with other elements

Our body is a very complex biochemical mechanism. How vitamins and minerals interact with each other is interconnected and depends on many factors. The effect that vitamin D produces in our body is directly related to the amount of other vitamins and minerals called cofactors. There are a number of such cofactors, but the most important are:

  • : One of the most important functions of vitamin D is to stabilize the calcium level in the body. That is why the maximum absorption of calcium occurs only when there is a sufficient amount of vitamin D in the body.
  • : every organ in our body needs magnesium in order to properly perform its functions, as well as fully transform food into energy. Magnesium helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin D. Magnesium can be obtained from foods such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • : our body needs it for wound healing (ensuring blood clotting) and for maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin D and K work together to strengthen bones and develop them properly. Vitamin K is found in foods such as kale, spinach, liver, and hard cheese.
  • : It helps us fight infections, form new cells, grow and develop, and fully absorb fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Zinc helps vitamin D to be absorbed in skeletal tissues and also helps transport calcium to bone tissue. A large amount of zinc is found, as well as some vegetables and grains.
  • : our body needs it a little, but, nevertheless, it plays an important role in the metabolism of many substances, including vitamin D. Boron is found in foods such as peanut butter, wine, raisins, and in some leafy vegetables.
  • : Together with vitamin D, Retinol and beta-carotene help our “genetic code” work. If the body lacks vitamin A, vitamin D will not be able to function properly. Vitamin A can be obtained from, mango, liver, butter, cheese, and milk. It must be remembered that vitamin A is fat-soluble, so if it comes from vegetables, it must be combined with various fat-containing foods. This way we can get the most out of food.

Healthy food combinations with vitamin D

The combination of vitamin D with calcium is considered the most beneficial. Our body needs a vitamin in order to fully absorb calcium, which is essential for our bones. Good product combinations in this case would be, for example:

  • grilled salmon and lightly braised kale;
  • omelet with broccoli and cheese;
  • sandwich with tuna and cheese on whole grain bread.

Vitamin D can be beneficial to combine with magnesium, for example, eating sardines with spinach. This combination may even lower the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

Of course, it is better to get the required amount of vitamin directly from food and spending as much time as possible in the fresh air, allowing the skin to produce vitamin D. The use of vitamins in tablets is not always useful, and only a doctor can determine How long of this or that element is necessary for our body. The wrong intake of vitamins can often harm us and lead to the occurrence of certain diseases.

Use in official medicine

Vitamin D is essential for regulating the absorption and levels of calcium and phosphorus minerals in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure. Walking on a sunny day is an easy, reliable way for most of us to get the vitamin we need. When exposed to sunlight on the face, arms, shoulders and legs once or twice a week, the skin will produce a sufficient amount of the vitamin. The exposure time depends on age, skin type, season, day. It’s amazing how quickly vitamin D stores can be replenished with sunlight. Just 6 days of intermittent sun exposure can compensate for 49 days without sun. The fat reserves of our body serve as a storehouse for the vitamin, which is gradually released in the absence of ultraviolet rays.

However, vitamin D deficiency is more common than one might expect. People living in northern latitudes are especially at risk. But it can occur even in sunny climates, as residents of southern countries spend a lot of time indoors and use sunscreens to escape excessive solar activity. In addition, deficiency often occurs in older people.

Vitamin D as a medicine is prescribed in such cases:

  1. 1 with a low content of phosphorus in the blood due to a hereditary disease (familial hypophosphatemia). Taking vitamin D along with phosphate supplements is effective in treating bone disorders in people with low blood phosphate levels;
  2. 2 with a low content of phosphates with Fanconi syndrome;
  3. 3 with a low content of calcium in the blood due to low levels of parathyroid hormones. In this case, vitamin D is taken orally;
  4. 4 taking vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is effective in the treatment of osteomalacia (softening of the bones), including those caused by liver disease. In addition, ergocalciferol may help with osteomalacia due to certain medications or poor intestinal absorption;
  5. 5 … In some cases, topical application of vitamin D together with medications containing corticosteroids is a very effective treatment for psoriasis;
  6. 6 with renal osteodystrophy. Vitamin D supplementation prevents bone loss in people with kidney failure;
  7. 7 rickets. Vitamin D is used in the prevention and treatment of rickets. People with renal insufficiency need to use a special form of the vitamin – calcitriol;
  8. 8 when taking corticosteroids. There is evidence that vitamin D in combination with calcium improves bone density in people taking corticosteroids;
  9. 9 osteoporosis. Vitamin D is believed to3 prevents bone loss and bone weakening in osteoporosis.

Some studies show that getting enough vitamin D can reduce the risk of some types of cancer… For example, it was observed that in men taking high doses of the vitamin, the risk of colon cancer was reduced by 29% compared with men who have a low concentration of 25 (OH) D in the blood (study in more than 120 thousand men for five years). Another study tentatively concluded that women who were exposed to sufficient sun exposure and consumed vitamin D supplements had a lower risk of breast cancer after 20 years.

There is evidence that vitamin D may reduce the risk of autoimmune diseasesin which the body produces an immune response against its own tissues. Found that vitamin D3 modulates autoimmune responses that mediate immune cells (“T cells”), so that autoimmune responses are reduced. These are diseases such as type 1, diffuse and rheumatoid.

Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest an association between higher blood levels of 25 (OH) D and lower blood pressure, suggesting that 25 (OH) D decreases renin synthesis, playing a key role in regulation of blood pressure.

Low vitamin D levels can increase the likelihood of morbidity. Preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin D may be a useful adjunct to the usual treatment for this infection.

Vitamin D dosage forms

Vitamin D in dosage form can be found in different forms – in the form of drops, alcohol and oil solutions, solutions for injections, capsules, both alone and in combination with other beneficial substances. For example, there are such multivitamins as:

  • cholecalciferol and calcium carbonate (the most popular combination of calcium and vitamin D);
  • alfacalcidol and calcium carbonate (active form of vitamin D3 and calcium);
  • calcium carbonate, calciferol, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, copper oxide, manganese sulfate and sodium borate;
  • calcium carbonate, cholecalciferol, magnesium hydroxide, zinc sulfate heptahydrate;
  • calcium, vitamin C, cholecalciferol;
  • and other additives.

Vitamin D is available in supplements and fortified foods in two forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Chemically, they differ only in the structure of the side chain of the molecule. Vitamin D2 produced by ultraviolet irradiation from ergosterol, and vitamin D3 – by irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol from lanolin and chemical conversion of cholesterol. These two forms are traditionally considered equivalent based on their ability to cure rickets, and indeed most of the steps involved in the metabolism and action of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are identical. Both forms effectively increase 25 (OH) D levels. No specific conclusions have been drawn about any different effects of these two forms of vitamin D. The only difference is when using high doses of the vitamin, in this case vitamin D3 is very active.

The following dosages of vitamin D have been studied in scientific studies:

  • to prevent osteoporosis and fractures – 400-1000 International Units per day;
  • to prevent falls – 800-1000 IU of vitamin D in combination with 1000-2000 mg of calcium per day;
  • to prevent multiple sclerosis – long-term intake of at least 400 IU per day, preferably in the form of a multivitamin;
  • for the prevention of all types of cancer – 1400-1500 mg of calcium per day, in combination with 1100 IU of vitamin D3 (especially for women during menopause);
  • for muscle pain from taking drugs called statins: vitamin D2 or D3, 400 IU per day.

Most supplements contain 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D.

The use of vitamin D in traditional medicine

Traditional medicine has long appreciated foods rich in vitamin D. With them, there are many recipes used to treat certain diseases. The most effective of them:

  • eating fish oil (both in capsule form and in natural form – by eating 300 g / week of fatty fish): to prevent hypertension, arrhythmia, breast cancer, to maintain a healthy body weight, from psoriasis and to protect the lungs when smoking, when, depression and stress, inflammatory processes. Ointment recipe for pruritus, psoriasis, herpetic dermatitis: 1 teaspoon of elecampane, 2 teaspoons of fish oil, 2 teaspoons of clarified lard.
  • application of chicken eggs: raw egg yolk is useful for fatigue and fatigue (for example, a mixture of gelatin powder and raw egg dissolved in 100 m of water is used; a drink made from warm milk, raw chicken yolk and sugar). When coughing, use a mixture of 2 raw yolks, 2 teaspoons, 1 dessert spoon of flour and 2 dessert spoons of honey. In addition, there are several recipes for the treatment of various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. For example, in case of unpleasant sensations in the liver, folk recipes recommend drinking 2 beaten egg yolks, drinking 100 ml of mineral water and applying a warm heating pad to the right side for 2 hours. There are also recipes with eggshells. For example, with chronic catarrh of the stomach and intestines, high acidity, or, folk recipes are advised to take half a teaspoon of ground eggshell in the morning on an empty stomach. And to reduce the risk of stone formation, you can use the calcium salt of citric acid (egg shell powder is poured with lemon juice, wine or apple cider vinegar, stirred until dissolved, or 1-2 drops of lemon juice are dripped onto 3 tablespoon of egg powder). An infusion of egg shells and citric acid is also considered an effective remedy for arthritis. With sciatica, it is advised to rub the back with a mixture of raw eggs and vinegar. Raw eggs are considered a good remedy for psoriasis, raw yolks (50 grams) are mixed with birch tar (100 grams) and heavy cream. apply an ointment from fried daughter yolks of hard-boiled eggs.
  • milk, rich in vitamin D – this is a whole storehouse of folk recipes for a variety of diseases. For example, goat milk helps with fever, inflammation, belching, shortness of breath, skin diseases, cough, tuberculosis, sciatic nerve disease, urinary system, allergies, etc. With a severe headache, it is advised to drink 200 grams of goat milk with grated viburnum berries with sugar. For the treatment of pyelonephritis, folk recipes are advised to consume milk with apple peel. With exhaustion and asthenia, you can use oat broth in milk (simmer 1 glass of oatmeal in the oven with 4 glasses of milk for 3-4 hours on low heat). With inflammation of the kidneys, you can use an infusion of birch leaves with milk. It is also recommended to take a decoction of horsetail in milk for inflammation of the urinary system and edema. Milk with mint will help relieve an attack of bronchial asthma. For persistent migraines, a mixture of boiling milk with a fresh egg stirred in it is used for several days – one week. To reduce acidity, pumpkin porridge cooked in milk is useful. If the affected areas are wet, lubricate with a decoction of 600 ml of milk with 100 grams of black radish seeds and 100 grams of hemp seeds (you can also apply compresses for 2 hours). For dry eczema, applications are used from a decoction of 50 grams of fresh burdock leaves in 500 ml of milk.
  • butter used, for example, for trophic ulcers – in the form of an ointment from 1 part of marsh dryweed powder, 4 parts of oil and 4 parts of honey.

Vitamin D in the latest scientific research

It has been found that taking a high dose of vitamin D for four months can slow the process of vascular hardening in overweight dark-skinned young people. Hard vascular walls are a harbinger of many fatal heart diseases, and vitamin D deficiency appears to be a major contributing factor. According to research from the Georgia Medical Institute, USA, very high doses of the vitamin (4000 IU per day, instead of the recommended 400-600 IU) were observed to reduce vascular hardening by a record 10,4 percent in 4 months.

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2000 IU lowered it by 2%, 600 IU led to a deterioration of 0,1%. At the same time, in the placebo group, the vascular condition worsened by 2,3%. Overweight people, especially dark-skinned people, are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Darker skin absorbs less sunlight and fat interferes with vitamin production.

Vitamin D supplementation can help relieve painful irritable bowel syndrome, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Sheffield, Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

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The study found that vitamin D deficiency is common in IBS patients, regardless of ethnicity. In addition, the effect of this vitamin on the symptoms of the disease has been studied. While scientists believe further observations are needed, the results already show that consuming the vitamin in dosage form can reduce IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. “The data shows that all people with irritable bowel syndrome should have their vitamin D levels checked. It is a poorly understood disease that directly affects the quality of life of patients. Nowadays, we still don’t know what causes it and how to treat it, ”says Dr. Bernard Korfy, research leader.

The results of clinical trials, published in the journal of the American Osteopathic Association, show that about one billion of the world’s population may suffer from complete or partial vitamin D deficiency due to chronic diseases and regular use of sunscreen.

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“We spend more and more time indoors, and when we go outside, we usually put on sunscreen, and ultimately prevent our body from producing vitamin D,” says Kim Pfotenhauer, Ph.D. student at Turo University and researcher on the subject. “While overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, a moderate amount of ultraviolet rays are beneficial and necessary to increase vitamin D levels.” It has also been noted that chronic diseases – type 2 diabetes, malabsorption, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease – markedly inhibit the absorption of vitamin D from food sources.

Low vitamin D levels in newborns have been associated with an increased likelihood of developing autism spectrum disorders in children as young as 3 years old, according to a recent study published in the journal Bone and Minerals Research.

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In a study of 27 newborns from China, 940 were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 310, representing a prevalence of 3 percent. When comparing data for 1,11 children with ASD to 310 controls, the risk of ASD was significantly increased in each of the bottom three quartiles of vitamin D levels at birth compared to the highest quartile: 1240 percent increased risk of ASD in the lowest quartile, 260 percent in the lowest quartile. the second quartile and 150 percent in the third quartile. “Newborn vitamin D status was significantly associated with risk of autism and mental disability,” said senior study author Dr. Yuan-Ling Zheng.

Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels helps prevent the onset of certain inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.

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However, while vitamin D is effective in preventing inflammation, it is not as active when an inflammatory condition is diagnosed. Rheumatoid arthritis, along with other diseases, makes the body immune to vitamin D. Another key finding of the study was that the effect of vitamin D on inflammation could not be predicted by studying cells from healthy people or even blood cells from patients suffering from inflammation. Scientists have concluded that even if vitamin D is prescribed for inflammatory conditions, doses should be significantly higher than currently prescribed. Treatment should also correct the vitamin D responsiveness of immune cells in the joint. In addition to the already known positive effect of vitamin D on skeletal tissue, it also acts as a powerful modulator of immunity – this vitamin is able to reduce the inflammatory process in autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and can be prescribed by doctors in a medicated form.

Getting enough vitamin D in infancy and childhood reduces the risk of developing an autoimmune reaction to the islets of Langerhans (a collection of endocrine cells, predominantly in the tail of the pancreas) with an increased genetic risk of type 1 diabetes.

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“Over the years, there has been disagreement among researchers as to whether vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing self-cell immunity and type 1 diabetes,” says Dr. Norris, study leader. Type 3 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease with an annual incidence of 5-10 percent worldwide. The disease is currently the most common metabolic disorder in children under 1 years of age. In young children, the number of new cases is especially high. And the risks are likely to be higher at higher latitudes, further north of the equator. Vitamin D is a protective factor in type 1 diabetes because it regulates the immune system and autoimmunity. Moreover, vitamin D status varies with latitude. But associations between vitamin D levels and autoimmune response to islets of Langerhans have been inconsistent, due to different study designs, as well as different levels of vitamin D in different populations. This study is unique in its kind and shows that higher vitamin D levels during childhood significantly reduce the risk of this autoimmune reaction. “Since the current results do not reveal a causal relationship, we are developing promising studies to see if vitamin D intervention can prevent type XNUMX diabetes,” said Dr. Norris.

Vitamin D supplementation helps protect against acute respiratory illness and influenza, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

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The results, published in the British Medical Journal, were based on clinical trials among 11 participating in 25 clinical trials conducted in 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, India, Afghanistan, Belgium, Italy, Australia and Canada. It should be noted that individually, these trials have shown conflicting results – some participants reported that vitamin D helps protect the body from SARS, and some that it does not have a noticeable effect. “The point is, the immune effect of vitamin D supplementation is most pronounced in those patients who have initially low vitamin D levels when taken every day or every week.” Vitamin D – often referred to as the “vitamin of the sun” – protects the body from airborne infections by increasing levels of antimicrobial peptides – natural antibiotic substances – in the lungs. The result may also explain why we get colds and flu most often in winter and spring. During these seasons, the level of vitamin D in the body is least high. In addition, vitamin D protects against asthma attacks that cause respiratory infections. Daily or weekly intake of the vitamin reduced the likelihood of getting ARVI in people with levels below 25 nanomoles / liter. But even those who had enough vitamin D in their bodies benefited, although their effect was more modest (a 10 percent reduction in risk). In general, the reduction in the threat of catching a cold after taking vitamin D was on par with the protective effect of the injectable influenza and SARS vaccine.

The use of vitamin D in cosmetology

Vitamin D can be used in a variety of homemade skin and hair mask recipes. It nourishes the skin and hair, gives them strength and elasticity, and rejuvenates. We bring to your attention the following recipes:

  • Fish oil masks… These masks are suitable for aging skin, especially dry skin. Fish oil goes well with: for example, a mixture of 1 tablespoon of yeast, fatty sour cream, 1 teaspoon of fish oil and honey is effective. This mask must first be placed in a water bath in hot water until the fermentation process begins, then stir and apply on the face for 10 minutes. You can also use a mixture of fish oil and honey (1 teaspoon each, with the addition of 1 tablespoon of boiled water) – such a mask after 10-12 minutes will help smooth out fine wrinkles and improve skin color. Another effective recipe for a fish oil mask, which is suitable for all skin types, will give it freshness and beauty. For such a mask, you need to mix 1 teaspoon of eggshell powder, 1 teaspoon of fish oil, 1 egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of mustard honey and half a glass of boiled pulp. The mask is applied to the face with warm, after 10-15 minutes, washed off with cool water.
  • Egg masks… These masks are very popular and effective for all ages and skin types. For example, for aging skin, a moisturizing mask with 1 tablespoon of crushed dried peel, 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of olive oil is suitable. For any skin type, a nourishing and cleansing mask of 2 proteins, 1 tablespoon of honey, half a teaspoon of almond oil and 2 tablespoons of oatmeal is suitable. For dry, aging skin, you can use a mask of 1 tablespoon of puree, 1 yolk, sour cream and honey. To get rid of wrinkles, a mask of 1 yolk, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of aloe leaf juice (previously kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks) is suitable. To care for oily skin and tighten pores, a mask is suitable, which includes 2 tablespoons, half a teaspoon of liquid honey and one egg. A whitening mask for any skin type contains half a glass of carrot juice, 1 teaspoon of potato starch and half a raw egg yolk, applied for 30 minutes and washed off in a contrasting way – sometimes with cold or hot water.
  • Hair and scalp masks with vitamin D… Such masks most often include an egg or egg yolk. For example, a mask is used for hair growth, which includes 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of onion juice and 1 egg yolk – applied once a week for 1 hours before washing your hair. For dry hair, a mask with 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of burdock oil and 2 teaspoon of calendula tincture is suitable. Nourishing mask for thinning hair – 1 tablespoon of burdock oil, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoons of onion juice and 2 teaspoons of liquid soap (apply this mask an hour or two before washing your hair). To strengthen the hair roots and get rid of dandruff, use a mask from the infusion of 2 tablespoon of crushed leaves, 1 tablespoons of juice and egg yolk. Effective masks against hair loss are a cinnamon mask (2 egg, 1 tablespoons of burdock oil, 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey; rinse off after 1 minutes) and a mask with sunflower oil (15 tablespoon of sunflower oil and 1 yolk, washed off after 1 minutes). Also useful for strengthening and shining hair is a mask with 40 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of castor oil, 1 yolk and 1 tablespoon of brandy. To restore dry and damaged hair, use a mask with 1 yolks, 2 tablespoon of hazelnut oil and a drop of lemon essential oil.

The use of vitamin D in animal husbandry

Unlike humans, cats, dogs, rats, and poultry must get vitamin D from food, as their skin cannot produce it on its own. Its main function in the body of an animal is to maintain normal bone mineralization and skeletal growth, regulate the parathyroid gland, immunity, metabolism of various nutrients and protect against cancer. It has been proven through research that dogs cannot be cured of rickets by exposing them to ultraviolet radiation. For normal development, growth, reproduction, the food of cats and dogs must also contain a sufficiently high amount of calcium and phosphorus, which help the body synthesize vitamin D.

However, because natural foods contain low amounts of this vitamin, most commercially prepared pet foods are fortified synthetically. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency in pets is extremely rare. Pigs and ruminants do not need to get the vitamin from food, provided that they are exposed to sunlight for a sufficient amount of time. Birds that are also exposed to UV rays for a long time may produce some vitamin D, but to maintain skeletal health and egg shell strength, the vitamin must be supplied through the diet. As for other animals, namely carnivores, it is believed that they can get enough vitamin D by eating fat, blood and liver.

Use in crop production

While adding fertilizer to the soil can improve plant growth, dietary supplements intended for human consumption, such as calcium or vitamin D, are believed to provide no clear benefit to plants. The main plant nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Other minerals, such as calcium, are needed in small amounts, but plants use a different form of calcium from supplements. The popular belief is that plants do not absorb vitamin D from soil or water. At the same time, there are some independent practical studies that show that adding vitamin D to the water that plants are watered will accelerate their growth (as the vitamin helps the roots absorb calcium).

Interesting Facts

  • In 2016, Daman insurance company created an unusual magazine cover to draw attention to such an important issue as vitamin D deficiency. The text on it was applied with a special light-sensitive paint. And to see it, people had to go outside, look for sunlight, thereby getting some portion of this vitamin.
  • The sun’s rays, which help to synthesize vitamin D in the skin, cannot penetrate the glass – for this reason, we are unlikely to be able to sunbathe in a car, indoors or in a tanning bed.
  • Sunscreen cream, even with sunscreen factor 8, can block up to 95% of vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency can occur, so a little time outdoors without sunscreen is very beneficial for your overall health.
  • A clinical study from the University of Minnesota found that people who started a diet higher in vitamin D were able to lose weight faster and easier than people with vitamin D deficiency, although both groups ate the same standard low-calorie diet.
  • Vitamin D is unique in that it is not used in the body like most vitamins. In fact, it is more likely referred to as hormones. Vitamin D is so important that it actually regulates the activity of over 200 genes – many times more than any other vitamin.

Contraindications and cautions

Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency

The vitamin D molecule is fairly stable. A small percentage of it is destroyed during cooking, and the longer the product is exposed to heat, the more vitamin we lose. So, when boiling eggs, for example, 15% is lost, when frying – 20%, and when baking for 40 minutes, we lose 60% of vitamin D.

The main function of vitamin D is to maintain calcium homeostasis, which is essential for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy skeleton. With a vitamin D deficiency, it is impossible to obtain complete absorption of calcium and to satisfy the body’s needs. Vitamin D is required for effective dietary absorption of calcium from the intestines. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are sometimes difficult to identify and may include general fatigue and pain. Some people do not show symptoms at all. However, there are a number of common indications that may indicate a lack of vitamin D in the body:

  • frequent infectious diseases;
  • back and bone pain;
  • depression;
  • long wound healing;
  • hair loss;
  • muscle pain.

If vitamin D deficiency continues for extended periods of time, it can lead to:

  • ;
  • diabetes;
  • hypertension;
  • fibromyalgia;
  • chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • osteoporosis;
  • neurodegenerative diseases such as.

A lack of vitamin D can be one of the reasons for the development of some types of cancer, especially breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Signs of excess vitamin D

Although vitamin D supplementation goes without any complications for most people, overdose sometimes occurs. These are called vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity, when it can be harmful, usually occurs if you have been taking 40 IU per day for several months or longer, or if you have taken a very large single dose.

An excess of 25 (OH) D can develop if you:

  • took more than 10 IU per day daily for 000 months or longer. However, vitamin D toxicity is more likely to develop if you take 3 IU per day every day for 40 months or more;
  • have taken more than 300 IU in the last 000 hours.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means it is difficult for the body to get rid of it if too much is ingested. In this case, the liver produces too much of a chemical called 25 (OH) D. When levels are too high, high levels of calcium in the blood can develop (hypercalcemia).

Symptoms of hypercalcemia include:

  • bad state of health;
  • poor appetite or loss of appetite;
  • feeling thirsty;
  • frequent urination;
  • constipation or diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain;
  • muscle weakness or muscle pain;
  • bone pain;
  • confusion;
  • feeling tired.

In some rare diseases, hypercalcemia can develop even when vitamin D levels are low. These diseases include primary hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, and several other rare diseases.

Vitamin D should be taken with caution for diseases such as granulomatous inflammation – in these diseases, the body does not control the amount of vitamin D it uses and what level of calcium in the blood it needs to maintain. Such diseases are sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, leprosy, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, cat scratch disease, paracoccidioidomycosis, granuloma annular. In these diseases, vitamin D is prescribed only by a doctor and is taken strictly under medical supervision. Vitamin D is taken with great care in lymphoma.

Interaction with other medicinal products

Vitamin D supplements can interact with several types of medications. A few examples are shown below. Individuals who take these medicines on a regular basis should discuss vitamin D supplementation with health care providers.

Corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone, given to reduce inflammation, can reduce calcium absorption and interfere with vitamin D metabolism. These effects can further contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis. Some weight loss and cholesterol lowering drugs can reduce the absorption of vitamin D. Drugs that control seizures increase liver metabolism and decrease calcium absorption.

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Information sources
  1. 15 Surprising Ways To Get More Vitamin D,
  2. 9 Healthy Vitamin D Rich Foods,
  3. USDA Food Composition Databases,
  4. Vitamin D Intake Recommendations,
  5. High doses of vitamin D rapidly reduce arterial stiffness in overweight/obese, vitamin-deficient African-Americans,
  6. Vitamin D supplements could ease painful IBS symptoms,
  7. Widespread vitamin D deficiency likely due to sunscreen use, increase of chronic diseases, review finds,
  8. Low vitamin D levels at birth linked to higher autism risk,
  9. Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis,
  10. Enough vitamin D when young associated with lower risk of diabetes-related autoimmunity,
  11. Vitamin D protects against colds and flu, finds major global study,
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Safety regulations

The administration is not responsible for any attempt to apply any recipe, advice or diet, and also does not guarantee that the specified information will help or harm you personally. Be prudent and always consult an appropriate physician!

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