For a long time, vitamin D was considered exclusively “children’s medicine”. The fact that not only the youth of youth, but also the soaring maturity and even the bowed old age, equally badly needs it, became known only 15 years ago.
And today, scientists argue that without his participation, prevention of the most dangerous diseases is impossible.
Vitamin D receptors have been found in almost all cells of the human body, including bone, muscle, immune and nerve. Having made such an important discovery, scientific minds recognized: this biologically active substance has a complex effect on the entire body.
For example, vitamin D is involved in the regulation of metabolism, supports normal blood pressure, slows the growth of malignant cells, has an anti-inflammatory effect, strengthens the immune system, improves coordination of movements. And this is not a complete list.
The only pity is that ordinary people do not even know about the magical properties of vitamin D.
When there is enough vitamin D in the blood, it fulfills its purpose quietly and imperceptibly. As soon as its concentration drops, unpleasant processes start in the body.
It has long been known that low levels of vitamin D in babies inevitably lead to rickets, and in older people – to osteoporosis. Recent studies have revealed many other equally sad outcomes.
So, against the background of a deficit in children, the psychomotor development lags, the adult population has faster heart attacks and strokes, the coordination of movements is worsened in the elderly, and during pregnancy the risk of developing severe complications — gestosis — increases by 5 times. There is a shortage and such consequences that all ages are submissive. For example, with a low level of vitamin D increases the risk of developing hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer. In parallel, immunity decreases and the frequency of acute respiratory viral infections increases, which is especially dangerous in bronchial asthma and chronic lung diseases.
But the most unpleasant news is that any of us can face such problems. According to statistics, about 1 billion earthlings are deficient in vitamin D. A person can take it from nature in two ways: take a sunbath or eat a product rich in it.
And although both ways seem straight and short, in fact they turn out to be too slippery and unreliable.
The revolutionary discovery of the last decade allowed us to see another until now unknown form of vitamin D. It turned out that it is he who is responsible for the strength of our bones, and not calcium at all. Calcium has a different mission – it is responsible for vital processes (contraction of the heart, respiration, etc.). As planned by nature, this macro element should always be in the blood in a certain amount.
In the bones, it is simply stored. The balance of calcium in the blood is maintained due to a complex mechanism.
Some substances ensure its movement from the bones into the blood, others from the blood to the bones. Vitamin D is also among the latter. Calcium is washed out of the bones when it is lacking, and this process cannot be stopped by either curd, milk or calcium preparations.
Our body is able to produce vitamin D under the influence of sunlight. Scientists estimate that in 30 minutes of beach tanning, the skin of light-skinned skin forms the same amount as can be obtained by destroying 227 eggs or a pound of canned cod liver in one sitting. Everything would be great if it were not for one “but.”
To start the production of vitamin D in the epidermis can only rays of a strictly defined length. This key indicator depends primarily on the geographical coordinates, as well as the time of year and day. Throughout the 12 months, only the tropics warm themselves with rays of optimal length.
In countries with a temperate climate, they shine only in the spring-summer period, and practically do not look in the Arctic regions.
In Russia, the inhabitants of the southern regions derive the maximum benefit from the sun, while the inhabitants of the polar zones derive minimal benefits. For example: in the area of Sochi, Makhachkala and Vladikavkaz in the “right” rays you can swim 7 months a year.
In the environs of Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, happy time lasts from mid-April to mid-August, but even at these intervals you will have to seize the moment and look for a suitable place for sunbathing. The formation of vitamin D in the skin is completely stopped in the morning and evening hours. Polluted air, clouds and clouds, glass in the windows of houses and cars, clothing and sunscreen do not let in the miraculous rays even in summer.
This means that you have to roast in the very sun at those hours when all oncologists sound the alarm. At the same time to achieve the goal of sunscreen you need to forget.
An actual for mid-latitude research was conducted by American professor at Boston Medical College, Michael Holick. According to his calculations, in order to obtain the required amount of vitamin D in this part of the planet, it is sufficient for only 5–10 minutes from 11 to 2 o’clock in the spring or summer to substitute a light to choose from either bare hands and feet, or face and hands. According to the professor, the risk of developing skin cancer with such a schedule is minimal. However, the production of vitamin D depends not only on geographical values.
So, dark people and blacks to achieve the proper effect will have to bask in the sun longer. Their skin is initially more pigment melanin, which acts as a natural sunscreen filter.
- Canned cod liver – 4000 IU
- Atlantic herring – 1200 IU
- Sprats in oil – 820 IU
- Keta – 652 IU
- Chicken egg (2−2,5 pieces) – 308 IU
- Beluga and sturgeon caviar – 320 IU
- Butter – 60 IU
- Cheddar Cheese – 40 IU
- Meat, poultry, cereals, vegetable oils, vegetables, fruits – 0−0.8 IU
To products containing vitamin D, no less questions. Sources two – flora and fauna. Shiitake mushrooms and some algae are charged with the “sunny” vitamin, but its main source is still dairy products, eggs and fatty fish. Animals produce vitamin D in the same way that humans do. And domesticated species also lead a similar way of life.
Cows spend most of their vale in stalls, poultry in chicken coops, in this respect it differs little from the millions of office workers and city halls who see the white light except on weekends. And if the cows and chicks themselves are deficient in vitamin D, then there will be very little of it in the products of their vital activity. There is another problem with milk.
Even if cows grazed in the open field and warmed their sides all year round in the sun, in the process of pasteurization (and in the civilized world milk is pasteurized without fail) vitamin D will collapse. The only way out is to enrich the milk artificially at the final stage of production. In many developed countries, this relationship was first traced, and then, at the legislative level, the food industry was obliged to add vitamin D either to milk drinks, or to orange juice, or to margarine, or to ready-made breakfasts and cereals.
Some Western farmers picked up the baton voluntarily and began to regale their wards with enriched feed.
In our state, this practice has taken root badly and so far only on a voluntary basis. At the same time, the content of vitamin D in the products of domestic innovators is very small, and this must also be taken into account. Russians can rely on commercial fatty fish, dried shiitake mushrooms and reindeer meat (these ungulates get vitamin D from lichens), although it is difficult to get these delicacies.
A more affordable, but less useful alternative is cod liver. Since this fat and high-calorie product can not be attributed to the diet, it is regularly unhealthy to use it.
In addition, as in any fish, heavy metals and toxins accumulate in the cod (and even more so in its liver), which abound in the ocean depths.
Having learned about these traps, everyone will understand: it is not possible to solve the problem without active biological food additives. But to begin with, according to all the rules of the medical protocol, it is necessary to make sure that there is a deficiency. Three conditions indicate a pronounced lack of vitamin D: rickets in children, osteomalacia (softening of the bone tissue) and osteoporosis in adults. With a slight deficiency, the symptoms are blurred.
Both old and young complain of muscle weakness, fatigue, constant aching back pain, bad mood.
You can check yourself by passing the test for measuring the indicator with the tricky name “25-OH Vitamin D”. Ideally, it should be taken 2 times a year – in early spring, when vitamin D levels are as low as possible, and at the end of summer – when they are as high as possible. Normally, 1 ml of blood should contain at least 30 ng of vitamin D.
In order to prevent both children and adults, the world medical community recommends consuming a physiological dose of vitamin D, which is 400 IU (international units) per day. Such figures are officially recommended by our Ministry of Health and Social Development and Rospotrebnadznadzor, making an exception only for pregnant women and the elderly.
The first, according to their calculations, requires 500 IU per day, the second – 600. However, physiological doses can be beneficial only if the level of vitamin D was initially normal. Against a background of shortage, they are powerless and have no effect.
So the wisest way out is to dance on your personal score.
For the prevention and treatment of deficiency drugs are used that contain vitamin D in different doses. In pharmacies, they are sold in different forms up to chewable tablets. To enrich the diet of young children, water and oil solutions of vitamin D are most often used. However, liquid forms in both children and adults often cause allergic reactions, including bronchial asthma and food allergies, so you need to be careful with them.
Fish oil also causes complaints: it is not only a rich source of vitamin D, but also a storehouse of vitamin A. The latter in large doses can have a negative effect on the body, including bone tissue, so they do not need to get involved. Considering these and other nuances, the doctor should always choose the best option.