Vitamin D, effects of deficiency and excess

La vitamin D is very important for the health of the organism and plays a fundamental role especially for theabsorption of calcium and phosphorus and for the deposition of these minerals in the bones.

Vitamin D also contributes to health of the pancreas, colon, skin, nervous system, immune system and muscles, including the heart muscle.

The lack of vitamin D, therefore, has negative effects on the general health of the organism, but the excess can also be harmful.


The effects of vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency has negative effects especially on the bones; it may, in fact, be the cause of rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults; it can also promote osteoporosis.

When vitamin D is deficient, there is an abnormal absorption of calcium in the intestinal tract and a retention of phosphorus in the kidney, resulting in a defect in mineralization of the skeleton.

A vitamin D deficiency also has negative effects on other organic structures, especially muscles.

For some years, then, the emphasis has often been placed on the importance of vitamin D for immune system; in fact it has been observed in several studies that a vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher one vulnerability to viral and bacterial infections and there is even talk of a possible association between vitamin D deficiency and some types of neoplasms.


The importance of vitamin D and sun exposure for adults and children


Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency

To prevent a vitamin D deficiency, one should above all sufficiently expose yourself to the sun, taking advantage of spring and summer, when the body stores vitamin D to be used even in winter.

Obviously, a balance must be found between the need to guarantee the body adequate levels of vitamin D and that of protecting the skin from the aggression of the sun's rays; to do this you need to follow some good rules:

  • avoid to expose yourself for too long and in the ore more hot;
  • for the people of skin clear just oneexposure of about 10-15 minutes, while those of dark skin they need a period from three to six times higher, based on the color of the skin.

For infants, vitamin D supplements are usually given by the pediatrician.


What if vitamin D is excessive?

According to a recent study developed by the University of Copenhagen, too high levels of vitamin D would increase the risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Therefore, not only the deficiency, but also the excess of vitamin D can have negative effects on health.

The authors of the research studied the vitamin D level in 247.574 Danes and analyzed their 7-year mortality rate. By assessing the vitamin D levels in the 16.645 patients who died in that time frame, they concluded that vitamin D values ​​less than 50 or more than 100 nanomoles per liter are connected with a plus high risk of death.

The authors of the research suggest, therefore, that vitamin D levels are maintained in this range and that the ideal quantity is equal to 70 nanomoles per liter.

Excess vitamin D can be caused bytaking unnecessary supplements or used for too long; it is practically impossible for an excess of vitamin D to occur due to dietary reasons or to being exposed to too much sun.

The results of this research therefore make us reflect on the use of supplements which are sometimes taken without thinking too much about the possible negative consequences.


Vitamins for the winter sun


To learn more:

> What are and when are natural vitamin D supplements used


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