What is vitamin D?
It is one of the vitamins essential for the growth of bones and teeth. Human beings can obtain it through food, sun exposure and supplements.
When vitamin D reaches our body, after several processes it is absorbed by the small intestine and reaches the liver. It is in this organ and in the kidney where it is transformed to give it its active form.
What is vitamin D for?
Research has found that vitamin D performs multiple functions that are very important for human health. A low level of this vitamin in the body can cause problems with growth and bone development.
One of these functions is to help the body absorb calcium, a compound necessary for proper bone formation. In addition to calcium, it also participates in the absorption of phosphorus at the renal level. What it does is to absorb these substances from the food.
But it also influences and is important in immune system processes, helps reduce certain side effects in oncology patients and has anti-aging functions.
How to increase vitamin D levels
Humans obtain vitamin D from its synthesis in the skin through sun exposure and diet.
Experts indicate that minimal sun exposure per day is sufficient to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. According to these same experts, this vitamin D intake does not work the same for people with dark-colored skin. Nor has it been proven that a longer exposure is better.
The foods with the highest vitamin D content are oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. also prawns, calf’s liver, egg yolks, mushrooms and some cheeses.
However, diet provides a much lower intake of vitamin D than sun exposure. Any fortified food has higher amounts of vitamin than the foods mentioned above.
Vitamin D can also be obtained through supplements. Newborns who are breastfed only need vitamin D supplements. Supplements have not been shown to help in other ways. In any case, supplementation should be supervised by medical personnel.
Like deficiency, too much vitamin D can be detrimental to health, as the body would suffer from intoxication that can lead to dizziness, constipation, vomiting, weight loss, disorientation, etc. This toxicity can only be achieved by supplementation.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D insufficiency can be caused by dietary problems, absorption, sun exposure, liver or kidney malfunction and the effects of certain medications.
In these cases, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and rickets in children. Bone density is lost, which in adults can cause bone pain and facilitate fractures, while in children it can prevent proper growth and cause bones to become soft.
In older adults, vitamin D deficiency is more common because over the years the body reduces its ability to synthesize the vitamin.
Other profiles that are at risk of suffering from vitamin D deficiency are obese people, people with kidney disease, with some type of lymphoma, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease and people taking medications that block vitamin D metabolism.
There is a hereditary disease, whose main characteristic is that it blocks the action of vitamin D, so it cannot fulfill its function.
Vitamin D in esthetics
In the world of beauty and esthetics, vitamin D helps us to revitalize the skin through sun exposure. However, we know that high exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause damage to skin cells.
This vitamin will also help the skin to protect us from external aggressions and dehydration.
As it is a soluble compound, it will be easily absorbed by the cells, moisturizing and improving skin tone and texture.
Commitment to quality
This text on vitamin D has been prepared by professional editors. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.
At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.
Among others, we have used the following sources:
- Umar M, Sastry K, S, Al Ali F, Al-Khulaifi M, Wang E, Chouchane A, I. «Vitamin D and the Pathophysiology of Inflammatory Skin Diseases» en Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2018;31:74-86. doi: 10.1159/000485132
- Mostafa WZ, Hegazy RA. «Vitamin D and the skin: Focus on a complex relationship: A review» en J Adv Res. 2015 Nov;6(6):793-804. doi: 10.1016/j.jare.2014.01.011. Epub 2014 Feb 8.