Why should you supplement vitamin D?

Why should you supplement vitamin D?
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According to research, up to 90% of Poles are deficient in vitamin D, which can be associated with side effects in the form of poorer immunity, weaker teeth, bones and muscles, or a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. It is therefore worthwhile to take care of supplementation of this vitamin.

Vitamin D is also called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the human body when exposed to sunlight. Skin synthesis should provide the most vitamin D, but in our latitude this can be difficult to achieve. Only from April to September is there enough radiation to be able to provide sufficient vitamin D through skin synthesis, with a minimum of 20 minutes spent outdoors, between 10 am and 3 pm, several times a week. During the other months, even on sunny days, there is not enough radiation for vitamin D to be produced in the skin. The solution is vitamin D supplementation.

Functions of vitamin D in the body

For a long time, vitamin D was associated exclusively with the prevention of rickets in children. Its important role in the development of healthy bones and teeth was also emphasized. It is now known that the impact of this substance on health is much greater and necessary for maintaining physical and mental health.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to:

  • diarrhea,
  • lack of appetite,
  • bone and muscle pain,
  • periodontal ailments,
  • problems with sleeping (insomnia),
  • vision problems (visual disturbances),
  • burning sensation in the mouth and throat (often confused with heartburn),
  • convex frontal lumps and flat back head (in infants).

Vitamin D has many important functions in our body, including:

  • helps in the proper utilization and maintenance of adequate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus,
  • helps maintain healthy bones and teeth,
  • prevents the development of diabetes,
  • stabilizes blood pressure,
  • supports the cardiovascular system,
  • takes part in the process of cell division.

The important role of vitamin D in the proper functioning of the immune system is also emphasized. Adequate levels of it in the blood support the body in the fight against bacterial and viral infections. Vitamin D also helps calm inflammation.

Vitamin D requirements and supplementation

Vitamin D supplementation should be carried out from September to March, or even year-round if skin synthesis is insufficient, for example, as a result of limited sun exposure or the use of UVB sunscreens, which block the synthesis of the vitamin in the skin.

Before starting supplementation, it is a good idea to test for vitamin D levels in the blood. This will help us find out whether we are suffering from its deficiency. If so – your doctor may recommend consuming higher than recommended doses of the vitamin.

According to current guidelines, healthy individuals should take the following doses of vitamin D as a preventive measure:

  • newborns and infants – 400 IU/day (only for breastfed children),
  • children and adolescents between the first and eighteen years of age – 600-1000 IU/day,
  • adults – 800-2000 IU/day.

Larger doses of vitamin D can be used only on the recommendation of a doctor. Both deficiency and excess have a negative effect on the functioning of the body.

Supplementation can also be supported by a proper diet. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, dairy products, eggs and tranny.

main photo: pixabay.com/stevepb

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