Did you know that the sun is imperative for our body? Our world is organized so cleverly. Have you ever thought about it? Continue reading the article to get plenty of useful information on this issue.
It is a well-known fact that our body cannot produce vitamins itself and therefore should receive vitamins from daily food. However, this vitamin is an exception to the rule. This is the so-called "sunshine vitamin" or vitamin D. Sunshine, and vitamin D are an integral part of each other - vitamin D absorption from the sun. =)
In February 1928, the German chemist Adolf Windaus and his colleagues for the first time got a substance that later proved the precursor of vitamin D (Windaus was awarded the Nobel Prize for work in the field of vitamins). For most people, vitamin D is associated only with rickets: the eternal question young and caring mothers - is it necessary to give this vitamin to a child or it is enough walks in the sun? Meanwhile, this material needs virtually for all systems of the body at any age and vitamin D deficiency in our time experiencing almost everyone. Well, vitamin D absorption from the sun.
Calciferol (Vitamin D) is not like the usual vitamins. Today, doctors say it correct to assume that this substance is a steroid hormone: it is synthesized, processed, and acts on the body similar to sex hormones and corticosteroids. Vitamin D is a group of substances. Humanity more familiar with the following vitamins: vitamin D3 cholecalciferol is ergocalciferol and is vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the human skin exposed to direct sunlight and comes from foodstuffs. Vitamin D2 can only be obtained from food. Nowadays, science knows the daily human need for Vitamin D - 15 mcg (micrograms) or 600 IU (international units) of cholecalciferol.
Well, after verification of the scientific points, we move on to the research: we will find out why we so need vitamin D?
Vitamin D and depression
Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase - the enzyme that is needed to produce dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A proper level of these hormones is the most important condition for a good mood and well-being, so the "sunshine vitamin" protects against depression. So, in October 2014, psychologists and nutritionists from New Zealand published in the journal "Nutrients," research that indicate the relationship between depression and vitamin D deficiency in students (the average age of participants in the experiment - 19,5 years). Young boys and girls with vitamin D deficiency are twice more likely to report symptoms of depression than those, who reached calciferol levels at least the lower limit of normal.
Effect of vitamin D on the mental attitude of older people is interested scientists. In October 2014 in The Journals of Gerontology (Series A, Biological Sciences, and Medical Sciences) published results of a study led by gerontologist Julie Williams. The authors used data on the health of 2.6 thousand men and women aged 70-79 years (they were involved in long-term US study, «Health ABC» (Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study)). Scientists discovered that older mentally healthy people at risk to get depressed if they have a deficiency of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is associated even with seasonal affective disorder (seasonal affective disorder, SAD, it is also seasonal depression). Communication is quite logical. SAD occurs in autumn and winter when daylight hours are getting shorter, and the opportunity to get your dose of vitamin D in the sun is so minimal. In November 2014 magazine "Medical Hypotheses" published the results of the research team of American and Australian scientists headed by Alan Stewart (Alan Stewart) from the University of Georgia. The authors analyzed more than 100 scientific papers and concluded that the lack of vitamin D is likely to play a crucial role in the development of Seasonal Depression.
"The level of vitamin D in the body varies depending on the season - Stewart explains. - Studies show that between the highest level of UV radiation in the area where a person lives, and the beginning of autumn depression takes about eight weeks. During the same period - eight weeks - the human body processes the received sunlight into vitamin D. We believe that these figures coincide do not by chance".
Australian member of the team of scientists, Michael Kimlin from the Queensland University of Technology says that although Queensland is known as the most Sunshine State of Australia, even here not all the residents are getting enough vitamin D.
What can we say about people living in the northern latitudes, where the sun is a rare guest in the sky? The authors reiterate that it is necessary several times a week at least a little time to spend in the sun, and those who live above the 37th parallel of north latitude (or below the 37th latitude South) - also should take vitamin supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency and thrush
A study by researchers from Singapore was published in December 2014 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, showed the effect of vitamin D levels in the body for the treatment of candidiasis - an infection caused by the yeast genus Candida.
Candidiasis (thrush) often occurs in the vagina and the mouth (in infants, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems), but it happens and the system - the fungi can affect the skin, mucous membranes, nails, internal organs. One of the essential functions of vitamin D in the body is the stimulation of production of cathelicidin. The antimicrobial peptide (short protein) cathelicidin helps the body to cope with inflammation and therefore it is required to combat infections including candidiasis.
The authors of this study measured vitamin D levels in patients with candidiasis and found that most of them do not have enough the vitamin. Then vitamin D3 is injected at different doses to mice infected with fungi Candida. Mice treated with small doses of vitamin D were cured of the infection and survived more often than those who did not receive the vitamin. At the same time, high doses of vitamin D, on the contrary, worsen their condition, so the authors of the study warn of the danger of overdose.
Vitamin D for men
Calciferol, not without purpose, called vitamin-hormone. More and more studies show that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with sexual problems and disorders of reproductive health in women and men. A study under the direction of Alessandra Barassi (Alessandra Barassi) from the University of Milan, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in November 2014, showed that in men suffering from erectile dysfunction, there is also a deficiency of vitamin D. Moreover, in severe and complete erectile dysfunction indicators vitamin D is the lowest in blood level.
A study by South Korean doctors, published in December 2014 in the Asian Journal of Andrology, linked the issue to the degree of the primary male hormone - testosterone. As the authors of this study, they found low levels of testosterone in men older than 40 years which is correlated with low levels of vitamin D. This correlation persisted after were taken into consideration factors: body mass index, physical activity, chronic illness, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Vitamin D for women
Previously, pregnant and lactating women doctors were suggested vitamin D to the child's bones were formed correctly. In the February issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology appeared research under the direction of professor of gynecology Lisa Bodnar from the University of Pittsburgh (USA). Dr. Bodnar and her colleagues examined thousands of women and found that pregnant women who have not enough of vitamin D during an early stage of pregnancy, in most cases, as a result, have a premature birth.
Dr. Bodnar says that while there is no single answer, exactly how vitamin D may affect the duration of pregnancy. The reason may be previously set impact of vitamin D on an infection and inflammation in the body.
"It is possible, vitamin D reduces the risk of bacterial infections of the placenta, which often cause premature birth" - suggests Bodnar.
Bodnar's another study, published in March 2014 in the magazine of Epidemiology, found that women with vitamin D deficiency often suffer from pre-eclampsia. This is a serious complication of pregnancy (preeclampsia, late toxicosis). Vitamin D is necessary not only to carry a child and give birth in time but even to get pregnant. In the November 2014, a magazine of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a study team of gynecologists in Milan. This study showed that women with vitamin D deficiency are almost two times less likely to become pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF), compared to those whose levels of vitamin D is sufficient (researchers examined patients with indications for IVF).
As noted by one of the authors of the study Alessio Paffoni, women who do not suffer from a lack of vitamin D, at all stages the process of IVF has a significant advantage: their ovaries produce higher quality eggs, and embryos are more successfully implant in the uterus.
Where does vitamin D come from and how many?
This is only a small part of the most recent studies benefits of vitamin D. Other scientists study indicate that this substance protects against cancer, diabetes, allergies, asthma, immune disorders, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, thyroid problems. In general, according to large-scale Danish study population (examined data of 96,000 people), published in November 2014 in the British Medical Journal - individuals who do not have the D vitamin deficiency, live longer.
But since this vitamin is so useful, raise new questions: how do we get enough vitamin D?
1. As I have said earlier - the sun. Paradoxically, we hear for decades that the sun is very harmful to the skin, and you have to hide from the sun and use cream with high protection. Indeed, there is humanity trapped in double vises: studies suggest that vitamin D reduces the risk of almost all types of cancer - other than skin cancer. And so that the body develops a sufficient number of vitamin D, needed to show a bare skin to the sun, and this should be done in the middle of the day when the sun's rays fall directly. While a large area of the skin surface is exposed to the sun, the greater vitamin D is synthesized, and sunscreens interfere with us to get the necessary vitamin. What to do in this case?
*** The good news is that in the summer to get their dose of vitamin D, do not need to be fried in the sun for hours, quite a few times a week to spend in the sun for about half of the time during which your skin begins to turn red. Light-skinned people get sunshine vitamin anymore because of melanin - the dark pigment - prevents the synthesis of vitamin D. Accordingly, swarthy and sunburned people need to spend more time in the sun.
Interesting fact! You can reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body by 3% while you have а sunbathe, thereby increasing the amount of vitamin D by two-thirds. However, do not abuse this fact. What time do you get vitamin D from the sun? Doctors are advised to take a "sunbathing" during warm summer days is not more than 20-30 minutes before 11 am or after 16 pm.
2. Food. Vitamin D is found in some foods, mostly - of animal origin:
- Oily fish (such as salmon), liver and roe fish, fish oil
- Beef liver
- Eggs (yolks)
- Dairy products, especially fatty (cheese, butter, cream, sour cream)
Unfortunately, vitamin D is not very much in all these products of - to get the daily norm, have to eat, for example, 900 grams of cod or 800 grams of cheese.
There is another source of unexpected sunshine vitamin: mushrooms! For example, chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms. Research by endocrinologist Michael Holick from Boston University found that mushrooms with the sunshine or specifically were subjected to UV-irradiation, contain high doses of vitamin D2.
3. Vitamin supplements. Thus, vitamin D is a little in the diet, the sun rarely shines in the winter, so doctors advise taking preparations vitamin D. In addition to the multivitamin complexes in pharmacies you can buy cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). American Organization Vitamin D Council recommends choosing vitamin D3 - this is a form of calciferol, which is formed in the body under the influence of the sun, so it is absorbed more efficiently.
The important thing to remember is that an overdose of vitamin D is not better than the lack of it. So it is necessary to observe the dosage carefully, and before taking drugs should consult with a physician.
TOP 7 facts about vitamin D - vitamin from the sun - which is important to know
1. Our assistants in getting vitamin D are not only sunlight but also animal products.
2. Dark-skinned people have a lower percentage of produced "sunshine vitamin," than in fair-skinned under the action of ultraviolet rays.
3. This is because their skin has a dark pigment called melanin consisting of copper and tyrosine. Melanin delays the sun's rays and thus reduces the amount produced in the skin of vitamin D. As calciferol it is a fat soluble vitamin, a significant number of its postponed "in reserve" in our liver. This data will enough to provide our body for six months. An excessive intake of vitamin D preparations for a considerable time can lead to hypervitaminosis and its terrible consequences.
4. It is necessary a sufficient amount of bile to calciferol absorption in the intestine. The lack of bile in the body can lead to a deficiency of vitamin D. The reasons for the release of bile disorders include:
- congenital defects of the biliary tract;
- blockage of the bile duct by stones;
- hepatic insufficiency.
5. The vitamin from the sunshine is resistant to atmospheric oxygen and heating up to 100° C and above. However, factors such as a long residence time in the air and heating to 200° C may lead to the destruction of vitamin D.
6. Air pollution and smog reduce the amount of sunlight that is needed to form calciferol in the skin
7. People who spend all day indoors and only rarely come into the open air, are more prone to a lack of vitamin D. In this case, foods help to get "solar vitamin." For example, 1 liter of milk can fully cover the daily requirement of calciferol.
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How useful the sun and, as a consequence, Vitamin D for our bodies?
- It promotes the absorption of calcium and its "allies": magnesium and phosphorus. Therefore, vitamin D is called calciferol. Thus, vitamin D has a very important role for children during the formation, growth and development of bones and teeth. It also prevents the development of rickets. Also, women in menopause should ensure that their body gets enough "sunshine vitamin." The fact is that during this period they are most susceptible to loss of strength and bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D promotes faster bone from healing in fractures. It is also involved in wound healing, including - postoperative.
- In cosmetology vitamin D is used for hair growth.
- It is used to eliminate the lack of calcium in the blood during renal disease
- It reduces the risk of breast cancer
- It prevents the appearance of early signs of aging.
- In conjunction with vitamins A and C, vitamin D is used for the prophylaxis of colds, thereby increasing the overall immunity. Also, it is assisting in the treatment of conjunctivitis, facilitating the absorption of vitamin A.
- It increases the stability of the nervous system.
- Vitamin D is necessary for normal functioning of the heart and the thyroid gland. It promotes the active muscle activity, improve circulation. It is involved in the synthesis of hormones.
- Vitamin D helps to remove plumbum from the body. People, with a lack of vitamin D are more susceptible to lead poisoning. The fact that the lead body molecules move on to the same path as the calciferol. Adequate intake of dairy products such as milk and cheese, will protect you from this "dangerous pest."