The primary function of vitamin D is to maintain the balance of minerals in the body, mainly the level of calcium and phosphorous.
As vitamin D promotes the absorption of minerals in the intestine, and prevents excessive loss of these minerals in the kidneys, and also controls the entry and exit of minerals into the bones.
In addition, new research indicates that vitamin(D) plays an important role in regulating cell growth processes, including suppressing the growth of cancer cells and increasing the activity of the immune system.
The most important sources of vitamin(D).
The most important sources of vitamin D are as follows:
- Self-production in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation: Dehydrocholesterol 7 (7 - Dehydrocholesterol) turns into a precursor to Vitamin D3 (D3) and ultimately to Vitamin D3 (D3).
- An external supply from a food source: Vitamin D is found in foods that come from animals, and it is completely identical to the vitamin D3 that is produced in our bodies. On the other hand, vitamin D2 is from vegetable foods. Vitamin(D) is found in special types of foods such as liver, egg yolks, and fish oil.
The recommended daily intake is 400 - 600 IU (0.1 IU = 0.025 M "g). This amount can also be provided by exposure to the sun. In the United States of America, it is followed by the addition of industrial vitamin D to milk and milk products.
Important details of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone from the steroid hormone family, whose production in our body is strictly controlled, and its production mechanism is similar to that of other hormones.
The vitamin must undergo changes in the liver and kidneys, before it is ready for function, in the liver the vitamin undergoes a hydroxylation process that results in hydroxyvitamin D25 (D25).
The vast majority of vitamin D turns into this product, and the determination of this substance in the blood reflects the state of vitamin D in the body.
An additional hydroxyl process is required in the kidneys to obtain Dihydroxyvitamine D 1,25 (D 1,25). This product is the effective hormonal derivative of vitamin D.
The production of dihydroxy vitamin 1,25 D in the kidneys is strictly controlled: in the case where the level of calcium or phosphorus is low, or the level of thyroid hormone in the blood is high, the production of the effective derivative of vitamin D increases, and vice versa.
Malnutrition or diseases of the digestive system, which in turn leads to difficulty in the process of absorption of food and insufficient exposure to sunlight, resulting in a lack of vitamin D, a low level of calcium in the blood, disorders of calcification of the bones and diseases such as: rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
The low ability to absorb vitamin D in the intestine, and the low efficiency of self-production of vitamin D in the aging generation, may lead to a deficiency of vitamin D in the elderly.
After understanding the system for converting substances to get vitamin D, it became clear that liver disease may lead to a decrease in the level of hydroxyvitamin D25 (D25) in the blood; Renal failure leads to disturbances in the production of 1,25 D-dihydroxyvitamin, and a similar problem appears in the case of hypothyroidism.
In these cases, the balance is impaired in the levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood, resulting in various bone diseases.
Women and vitamin D.
The disappearance of estrogen in postmenopausal women has a negative impact on the production of minerals, due to the decrease in the production of dihydroxy-vitamins 1,25 D and the decrease in the amount of receptors for dihydroxy vitamins 1,25 D.
The decrease in the level and activity of dihydroxyvitamin 1,25 D increases the activity of the thyroid gland and promotes osteoporosis, leading to osteoporosis.
In addition, two hereditary diseases are known to be the result of the body's resistance to vitamin D:
- In the first type, there is a very low production of 1,25 D dihydroxy
- The second type is characterized by the absence of receptors for Dihydroxy Vitamin 1,25 D in the target cells. Either way, the symptoms are due to a vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Chronic fatigue.
- Chronic and persistent pain in different parts of the body.
- Autoimmune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, etc.)
- Osteoporosis (a slow weakening of the bone due to depletion of calcium stores in the body)
- Heart disease progression, high blood pressure and heart attacks.
Complications of vitamin D deficiency
Osteoporosis is a classic symptom that is associated with a deficiency of vitamin D in the body.
The effect of vitamin D. deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency affects humans as follows:
- Vitamin deficiency, especially in children, leads to fragile diseases that result in severe deformations in the structure and limb bones.
- For adults, a deficiency in vitamin D may lead to muscle and bone weakness.
The population at greatest risk of developing vitamin D deficiency is:
- The elderly
- Overweight people
- Breastfeeding women
- People who expose their bodies to a limited exposure to sunlight
- People with cystic fibrosis or inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease).
Vitamin D deficiency treatment
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency is by:
- Eat foods rich in or fortified with vitamin D.
- Take vitamin-containing pills
- Intravenous vitamin injection.
For patients with metabolic disorders, they are treated with 1,25 D dihydroxyvitamin or its synthetic analogs.
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