What does the body need vitamin D3 for?

Disclaimer: Not medical or professional advice.

Why You Need Vitamin D

The Role Of Vitamin D3 In The Body — Solar Battery

Colecalciferol, better known to the general public as D3, is a unique type of vitamin in its way: it acts not only as a regular vitamin but also as a hormone precursor. Most of the body's cells have receptors for it, and some tissues are even capable of generating high concentrations of cholecalciferol for their local purposes - but without increasing its level in the general circulation. Unlike many other vitamins, D3 is not easily obtained from foods. For this reason, at least half of the world's population has colecalciferol hypovitaminosis. Vitamin D3 is a lipophilic vitamin, some part of which can be obtained from food. But through the food, it is hardly possible to get the required daily dose of vitamin D3. The main part of colecalciferol is synthesized by the skin when exposed to ultraviolet rays.

The Effect of Vitamin D in the Human Body

  • Provides normal growth and development of bones, prevents the development of rickets and osteoporosis, by regulating mineral metabolism.
  • Contributes to muscle tone.
  • Increases immunity.
  • It is necessary for the functioning of the thyroid gland and normal blood clotting.
  • It helps the body repair the protective covering surrounding the nerves.
  • Participates in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Prevents cancer cells growth.

Also, vitamin D is especially important during pregnancy, when mineral elements are consumed at double rate, and the woman's skeletal system may weaken. With a meager amount of vitamin D3, bones become deformed, thin, and fragile. The normal level of vitamin D3 concentration in the blood prevents the Softening of bones — osteomalacia - in adults. Working in conjunction with calcium, cholecalciferol also helps protect older people from chronic bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Getting the required daily dose of vitamin D3 significantly reduces the incidence of fractures in older men (over 65) and postmenopausal women.

Some American researchers consider D3 to be the only vitamin with such a wide spectrum of activity in the immune system. It is recommended to measure the level of this vitamin in all older adults and children because it is a key factor for a healthy and strong immune system and the prevention of autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D also stimulates the pancreas and triggers the production of insulin (getting the daily value of vitamin D3 helps diabetic patients better control the disease) and plays an important role in regulating mood and preventing depression (research has shown a link between symptoms of depression and vitamin D levels in serum)

Vitamin D for Children

The importance of getting the daily intake of vitamin D3 for children is worth mentioning separately. Newborns are not provided with adequate supplies of this nutrient. This situation is dangerous and requires special attention: vitamin D3 deficiency in infants leads to the development of bone deformities (rickets), seizures, and breathing problems. The health of the child depends on the enrichment of breast milk or milk formula with cholecalciferol, as well as on a sufficient supply of sunlight in the first months of life (which is why it is so important to walk with babies during the day in an open stroller). When breastfeeding, the vitamin content in milk directly depends on its level in the mother's body.

To avoid the development of vitamin D3 deficiency, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementing breastfeeding with 400 IU of vitamin D3per day, starting from the first days of the baby's life.

Why May A Person Lack The Sunshine Vitamin? 

Lack of vitamin D3 can be observed in children and adults for the following reasons. 

  • Staying indoors or in a car interferes with adequate sunbathing. 
  • The habit of dressing in closed clothes with long sleeves. 
  • Excessive use of sun protection products (creams, sprays, oils). Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in which the absorption of certain nutrients is impaired. 
  • Insufficient bile production. 
  • Eating low-quality meat or meat of those animals that rarely are exposed to the sunlight. 
  • Excess weight. 
  • Hormonal imbalance. 
  • Living in northern areas with little sun.

How is the Lack of the Vitamin D Expressed in the Body?

Vitamin D hypovitaminosis is very insidious because in ordinary life it does not manifest itself in any way. Usually, problems start when the lack of the sun vitamin becomes critical.

  • Weakness in muscles and bones, pain. 
  • Loss of bone mass. 
  • Frequent cases of seasonal colds and flu. 
  • Chronic high blood pressure. 
  • Unstable stool (constipation, diarrhea, flatulence). 
  • Sharp increases in weight (if the dietary pattern remains unchanged). 
  • Excessive sweating. 
  • Problems with falling asleep, which then provoke fatigue and drowsiness during the day. 
  • Sudden mood swings, outbursts of aggression. A tendency to burnout and depression. 
  • Pain in the heart and other disturbances in its work. 
  • Gum disease. 
  • It increased hair loss. 

You can replenish the amount of vitamin D with the help of pharmaceutical preparations, as well by paying attention to food products, mainly of animal origin. But then the question remains, which dosage of vitamin D to choose? Indeed, with the prevention of deficiency and a real lack of vitamins, the proportions will differ.

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Vitamin D Blood Test

To obtain reliable results, it is necessary to prepare for the study properly.

  • 7 days before passing the test, stop taking medications with calciferol.
  • Refrain from X-ray examinations and physiotherapy procedures the day before.
  • Remove alcohol, carbonated drinks, fatty foods from the diet 12 hours before.
  • 1.5-2 hours before refraining from cigarettes and any drinks, except for plain water.
  • Before the test, you need to sit for a few minutes, calm down.

Note! Children do not need to be specially prepared for the blood test for vitamin D. It is enough to maintain a three-hour interval between food intake and biomaterial sampling.

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Learn More about the Effects of UV Rays on Skin