What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a liposoluble (soluble in fat) vitamin, which we probably all have heard that can be synthesizedby ourselves if we expose our skin to the sun for enough time. Like all the other liposoluble vitamins, vitamin D has the ability to be stored in our body.
Functions in the human body
- It regulates and helps absorption of calcium
- Is required for muscle contractions (movement of muscles)
- Neural pathways need vitamin D for efficient transmission of information from the brain to all cells and tissues
- Provides the proper function of the immune system
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
Symptoms of deficiency
Rickets in children and osteomalacia (bone pain and muscle weakness) in the elderly.
Symptoms of an overdose
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, relaxation, loss of body mass, confusion, disorientation, problems with heart rhythm, kidney stones.
In what quantities do we need vitamin D?
|Infants||0-6 months, 10mcg/day||7-12 months, 10mcg/day|
|Children||1-3 years, 15mcg/day||4-8 years, 15mcg/day|
|Adolescents and adults||Male and female from 9 to 70 years, 15mcg/day||Male and female >70 years, 20mcg/day||Pregnant and breastfeeding 15mcg/day|
Which food is the best source of vitamin D
Food is not really the best source of vitamin D, but the best source of vitamin D is simply ourselves in combination with the sun. Foods that contain vitamin D in small quantities aretuna and other fatty fish, liver of animals, cheese, mushrooms, and yolk. However, the amount of vitamin D in food is low, and our vitamin D needs will be best satisfied by daily exposure to the sun for at least 15 minutes. In doing so, the skin of our hands, face or feet should be exposed directly to the sun. When sunbathing, follow the general recommendations for safe sun exposure and avoid the time periods of the day when sunbathing can be dangerous.