Vitamin D deficiency, how to check it

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Robert Maurer
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It is often associated with osteoporosis, and indeed this is one of the main risks of vitamin D deficiency: the weakening of the bones.


The link is hidden in the role played by this vitamin incalcium absorption, a very important mineral for bone health.

However, the functions of vitamin D do not end here. Having adequate doses available is also important for the proper functioning of the nervous system, muscles and immune system.


There also appears to be a link between anemia and vitamin D deficiency, but the exact role played by this nutrient in controlling iron levels (which, if not adequate, can lead to the onset of anemia) have not yet been fully clarified.

To meet the needs of the organism it is not enough to rely on nutrition. In fact, there are not many foods that can provide vitamin D. In addition, much of what we need is synthesized thanks to a reaction that occurs in our skin thanks to the action of ultraviolet rays.

 

Vitamin of the sun

Our main source of vitamin D is therefore the Sun. Unfortunately, however, we have to deal with the fact that the same ultraviolet rays that allow us to synthesize this substance can also increase the risk of skin cancers; that's why it's important protect us from excessive exposure to sunlight.


The resulting use of products containing factors capable of shielding ultraviolet rays, combined with the lower tendency to spending time outdoors which characterizes many modern lifestyles, reduces our ability to synthesize vitamin D, exposing us to the risk of shortage.


A similar problem also occurs in the children, whose delicate skin should not be exposed to direct sunlight before 6 months of life.

The question should not be underestimated; just think that among the consequences of vitamin D deficiency in children is included the rickets.

 

Read also Vitamin D in infants, because it is important >>

 

How to check for vitamin D deficiency

To check if you suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, simply undergo a blood test. The parameter that is measured to determine whether integration is necessary is the 25-OH vitamina D.

La alert threshold it may vary slightly depending on the scientific society chosen as a reference; there are also those who, for example, take into consideration whether the exam was done in summer or winter.


Generally speaking of shortage when vitamin D levels are below 10 ng / ml and di insufficiency for values ​​between 10 and 30 ng / ml. Often the supplementation it is recommended for values ​​below 30 ng / ml.

 

I test in farmacia

In addition to resorting to the classic withdrawal, it is also possible to undergo rapid tests available at the pharmacy. The sample needed is always blood, but a drop simply obtained is enough pricking a fingertip. Results are typically available within 10 15-minute.


But be careful: there is also the opposite condition, that is the excess of vitamin D. The threshold beyond which we speak of toxicity is stabilized at 100 ng/ml.

In order not to take any risks, it is good consult your doctor to assess the need to hire any supplements in adequate doses.

 

Read also Vitamin D in disease prevention >>

 

Credit foto: Antonio Guillem

 

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