What exactly is vitamin D?
The fat-soluble vitamin D is important for strong bones, a healthy immune system, and good health in general. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is in contact with sunlight, but we can also get it from specific foods and supplements.
When looking for a treatment for rickets, a disease that causes weak bones in youngsters, researchers made the initial discovery of vitamin D at the beginning of the 20th century. They noticed that being in the sun could help treat rickets, and they eventually found out that vitamin D was the main reason for this.
Vitamin D is increasingly recognized as essential for more than simply bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked in studies to an increased risk of various malignancies, autoimmune disorders, and even depression.
Where is vitamin D located?
Egg yolks, fatty seafood like salmon and tuna, fortified foods like milk, and cereal are a few dietary sources that include vitamin D. Moreover, supplements come in a variety of formats, such as tablets and drops.
It’s important to remember that getting enough vitamin D from food alone might be hard, especially for vegetarians and vegans. Because of this, many individuals decide to take vitamin D supplements to make sure they are getting enough of it each day.
Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is common all over the world and is more common in some groups, like older people and people with darker skin. In reality, vitamin D deficiency might affect up to 50% of the world’s population.
Whats inhibits the absorption of vitamin D?
Medications and dietary supplements, among other things, can make it harder for the body to absorb vitamin D. For example, some weight-loss pills, medicines that lower cholesterol, and mineral oils can all stop the body from absorbing vitamin D properly.
Research shows that obesity may also be linked to lower vitamin D levels. This is because fat cells can absorb and store vitamin D, making less of it available to the rest of the body. If you have Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, among other digestive issues, your body might also not be able to absorb vitamin D.
Can vegans get enough vitamin D?
Yes, vegetarians can get enough vitamin D by eating fortified foods like eggs and dairy products. Yet, it could be more challenging for vegans to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
There are vegan-friendly supplement options as well, such as vitamin D2 created from mushrooms or vitamin D3 made from lichen.
According to studies, vegetarians may be more susceptible to vitamin D insufficiency since they tend to eat fewer meals like fish and fortified dairy products, which are foods high in vitamin D. Still, vegetarians can get enough vitamin D if they pay close attention to what they eat and take supplements if they want to.
Can Vitamin D be consumed in excess?
Adults should have 600–800 IU of vitamin D daily; however, overdosing on the vitamin through supplements or fortified meals is possible.
According to several research studies, vitamin D may be important for muscular strength and endurance, as well as overall athletic performance. More research is needed to figure out the exact effects of vitamin D supplements on athletic performance.
While vitamin D may improve general health and sports performance, it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for sound exercise, healthy eating, and adequate rest.
Research shows that athletes who work out indoors or in the winter may need vitamin D supplements because they may not get enough sun to make enough vitamin D on their own.
Taking vitamin D with prescription drugs
Some medicines, such as steroids and weight-loss treatments, might interact with vitamin D. To make sure there are no interactions or contraindications to take into account, it is crucial to see a healthcare professional before beginning any new drugs or supplements.
Taking vitamin D when expecting
During pregnancy, vitamin D is very important for overall health, and a lack of it has been linked to a number of health problems, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Women who are expecting should talk to a doctor or nurse about how much vitamin D they need and whether or not they should take a supplement.
Research shows that vitamin D may also have an effect on the development of embryos and may lower the risk of a number of birth defects.
According to a recent study, taking vitamin D supplements while pregnant may lower your chance of getting preeclampsia, a potentially harmful pregnancy condition that can cause organ damage and high blood pressure.
Taking vitamin D to control weight
Several studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to more body fat and obesity. However, more research is needed to find out exactly how vitamin D affects weight control.
Taking vitamin D supplements may also help reduce inflammation in the body, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
According to one study, obese people who are vitamin D deficient may benefit from weight loss promotion with vitamin D supplementation. Still, more research needs to be done to figure out the long-term effects of vitamin D on weight loss.
Pros and Cons of Vitamin D
- helps maintain strong bones and teeth
- supports a healthy immune system
- It may be beneficial for athletic performance.
Cons of Vitamin D
- It can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D through food alone.
- Excessive intake can lead to serious health problems.
- Some medications and supplements can interfere with vitamin D absorption.
- Vitamin D in Athletes. (2020, October 16). Barça Innovation Hub. https://barcainnovationhub.com/vitamine-d-in-athletes/
What signs might point to a vitamin D deficiency?
Many issues, including fatigue, weakened muscles, bone discomfort, and an increased chance of breaking bones, can be brought on by a vitamin D deficiency. In extreme circumstances, it can also result in illnesses like rickets in kids and osteomalacia in adults.
Can I obtain enough vitamin D only from food?
While certain foods can contain vitamin D, it might be challenging to consume enough of it through diet alone.
Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, egg yolks, and fortified meals like milk and cereal are examples of foods high in vitamin D. It's crucial to discuss your specific vitamin D requirements with a healthcare professional to see if supplements are required to achieve those requirements.