Healthy Foods and Vitamins

Vitamin D Analysis

Vitamin D

The mention of vitamin D is directly linked to the sun, and why not, it is called the sunshine vitamin, as this vitamin is manufactured within the body in sufficient quantities upon moderate exposure to sunlight with the help of cholesterol, so consuming this vitamin from food is not considered necessary in the event of sufficient exposure to sunlight.

Exposure to the sun on sunny days for 10 to 15 minutes a day, two to three times a week, is considered sufficient to obtain the needs of vitamin D for most people, but people with dark skin need exposure to the sun for longer periods to obtain their needs of this vitamin.

Vitamin D analysis

Although it is easy to obtain the body’s vitamin D needs from the sun , many people avoid exposure to the sun, or use sunscreen – which hinders the production of vitamin D in the skin – to protect the skin from damage that the sun can cause, such as wrinkles and skin cancer.

To obtain the benefit of exposure to sunlight and avoid its harm at the same time, the best thing to do is to use sunscreen after exposure to it for a period sufficient to obtain the vitamin D requirement.

The truth about vitamin D

Vitamin D, although it is called a vitamin, is in fact not a vitamin, but rather a hormone that is produced in the body as a result of exposure to sunlight.

The active form of this hormone is represented by the form of 1,25-dihydroxy-cholecalciferol (1,25-dihydroxy-cholecalciferol), and it is called calcitriol (Calcitriol).

The manufacture of this hormone begins in the skin and then its activation occurs in two steps, the first In the liver, and the second in the kidneys.

People who live in the Arctic regions cannot obtain their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight, especially in the winter, as well as people who do not leave the house or whose lives are limited to indoor spaces and buildings, and people who live in crowded places where the level of vitamin D is high.

Air pollution, which prevents adequate access of ultraviolet rays, and people with dark skin, as dense skin pigmentation can prevent up to 95% of ultraviolet rays from reaching the deep layers of the skin where vitamin D3 is synthesized. Also, the use of sunscreen with a factor A prophylaxis of 15 or more also reduces the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D by up to 99%.

Vitamin D Hormone Functions

When talking about the importance of vitamin D and its functions in the body, the first thing that comes to mind is its importance in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and bone health, but science is still discovering other important functions and roles for vitamin D, and its functions include the following:

Maintaining the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body by stimulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and their reabsorption in the kidneys, It also works with the parathyroid hormone to stimulate the excretion of calcium from the bones and the excretion of phosphorus in the urine if the level of calcium in the blood decreases.

Thus, it maintains the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the blood to allow the bones to deposit them, and obtaining sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium ensures the maintenance of the level of calcium in the blood, and thus maintains bone health.

Participating in muscle metabolism and influencing their strength and contraction. On the other hand, people who do not have vitamin D in sufficient quantities are more likely to suffer from muscle weakness, which includes heart muscle weakness.

Some scientific studies have found that the level of the hormone vitamin D (calcitriol) in the blood is inversely proportional to insulin resistance and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin D contributes to controlling immune system responses, the imbalance in which causes some autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and rheumatic diseases resulting from autoimmune dysfunction.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency leads to a decrease in the absorption of calcium from food, and as a result, calcium is released from the bones in order to maintain a constant percentage of calcium in the blood, which causes rickets in children, softening and brittle bones in adults, and preventing adolescents from reaching the largest bone mass they can. to get it.

These diseases are considered the main results of vitamin D deficiency, but its deficiency has been found to have other effects, including the following:

Vitamin D Poisoning

Vitamin D poisoning does not occur from excessive exposure to sunlight, nor has it been caused by eating fortified foods. However, vitamin D toxicity occurs by taking its nutritional supplements without a prescription, and these supplements must be taken under supervision.

Medically, to prevent any side effects, and taking it in very large quantities causes an increase in the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, which leads to calcium deposition in soft tissues such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and tympanic membrane in the ear, which can result in deafness,  and kidney stones.

Calcium can also be deposited in the walls of blood vessels, leading to increased rigidity, which is considered dangerous if it occurs in major arteries, and its danger may reach the point of death. As for infants, vitamin D poisoning causes Intestinal confusion, delayed growth, and weak bones.

Vitamin D Analysis

Vitamin D that is ingested or manufactured in the skin is transformed into 25-hydroxyl vitamin D (in English: 25(OH)-vitamin D), and therefore the best analysis to determine the body’s reserve of vitamin D is to analyze the level of complete 25-hydroxyl vitamin D, and there is a difference.

On the definition of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, according to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, a person is considered to have a severe vitamin D deficiency if the test result is less than 10 nanograms/ml, while he is considered to have a deficiency if the result ranges between 10-24 nanograms/ml.

If the result is between 25-80 nanograms/ml, it is considered normal and good, and if it exceeds 80 nanograms/ml, it is considered a level that may cause toxicity.

When should one Get a Vitamin D Test?

Although vitamin D deficiency is common, not everyone is routinely required to test it due to its high cost, but it should be tested in people at risk of severe deficiency, as in the following cases:

Not getting enough vitamin D due to not consuming sufficient quantities of it, due to malnutrition , or due to insufficient exposure to sunlight.

Digestive system problems, such as diseases that cause malabsorption, such as short bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and amyloidosis. Celiac disease, also known as celiac disease, and surgeries performed to treat obesity that result in malabsorption (malabsorptive bariatric surgery procedures).

Some liver diseases: such as taking some anti- epileptic drugs , which increase the activity of the enzyme 24-hydroxylase, and in cases of severe liver disease or liver failure, which reduce the activity of the enzyme 25-hydroxylase.

Some kidney conditions, such as aging and renal insufficiency, in which the activity of the enzyme 1-α-hydroxylase increases, and cases of nephrotic syndrome, in which the level of Vitamin D binding protein.

Zaheer Ahmad

I am Zaheer Ahmad. Currently I am doing P.hd on Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Sorbonne University. Previously, I have also done masters in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology.

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