Vitamin D, also known as antirachitic vitamin, has the fundamental function of regulating the passage of calcium to the bones , so that if, due to deficiency of this nutrient, the process is not carried out in an optimal way, we can finish in a weakening and curving the bony system that will lead to malformations such as rickets .
In addition to regulating calcium levels, vitamin D controls phosphorus levels and plays a key role in multiple functions such as intestinal absorption from food, renal calcium reabsorption, bone mineralization (essential for proper development bone) or the inhibition of secretions of parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Even studies have shown the direct relationship between sunlight and vitamin D consumption for the prevention of autoimmune diseases ( study ), cancers ( study) and cardiovascular diseases.
Optimal levels of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a provitamin soluble in fats that we can obtain it from the feeding, ingesting foods rich in this nutrient, or by means of the transformation of cholesterol or ergosterol by exposure to the solar rays UV .
The recommended daily amounts in adults of vitamin D would be the following:
- Between 40-70 ng / ml (approx.): Optimal amount
- Between 20-39 ng / ml (approx.): Sufficient amount
At values above 150 ng / ml, the contribution would be considered toxic , while a deficiency of 9-19 ng / ml would be clearly insufficient and a trigger for bone diseases.
What can a vitamin D deficiency lead to?
In addition to rickets , a disease that usually manifests itself in children through poor growth, delayed growth of teeth or bone deformities, deficiency in the levels of this vitamin can also lead to alterations in muscle functions , higher prevalence of diabetes or other bone diseases of adults.
The osteoporosis , which is characterized by bone fragility may be increased by a deficiency of vitamin D in older people. In the same way, other ailments can appear, such as osteomalcia , weakening of the bones of adults and similar to rickets, or hypocalcemia , which leads to low blood calcium levels.
How to know about vitamin D deficiency ?
- Excessively dark skin tone : As we have said, one of the ways to obtain vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight . Skin pigmentation acts as a natural sunscreen, so that the more pigmentation you have, the lower amounts of vitamin D will be generated in the process, which can lead to a deficit in the levels.
- Excessive sweating in the head : this happens due to a neuromuscular irritation and is one of the classic symptoms to monitor in newborns. Remember that vitamin D is one of the nutrients to recommend during pregnancy .
- Gastrointestinal problems : such as Crohn's, sensitivity to gluten or intestinal inflammation. As it is a fat-soluble vitamin, its absorption may be affected.
- Pungent and persistent bone pain : in combination with symptoms of fatigue, it can be a clear example of vitamin D deficiency due to osteomalacia, which causes a calcium defect in the base of bone collagen.
We advise you to take enough sunlight and vitamin D rich foods in your diet.