Vitamin D is one of the most important and necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Its lack is associated with numerous diseases, including rickets, osteoporosis and fractures, different types of cancer, and metabolic problems such as diabetes, hypertension, or kidney problems.
If you want to know how to increase vitamin D naturally and effectively, continue reading this FastlyHeal article. You will also find information about why this vitamin is so essential and what symptoms you can have if you lack it in your body.
What is vitamin D, and why is it so important?
It is currently known that vitamin D is not just another vitamin but that it acts hormonally since it affects almost all the body’s tissues. So its lack can generate severe and widespread health problems because currently people are not exposed to the sun, this being the most important source of production of this vitamin.
Vitamin D has a well-known function, and it is to regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphate, key for bones to be strong and healthy, but it is not the only one. Let’s see what some of its other functions in the body are:
- Very important in body growth.
- It keeps muscles healthy.
- Their contribution is essential to keep defenses high.
- It facilitates healthy pregnancies and is necessary for standard delivery.
- Participates in the antioxidant process.
- Promotes good cognitive functioning.
- It collaborates in the metabolism of other hormones.
- Essential in neuromuscular functioning.
- Cell proliferation and differentiation (tissue regeneration).
Lack of vitamin D: symptoms
Unfortunately, the lack of vitamin D is widespread today and can manifest itself in many different ways, since many diseases have been associated with this deficit, such as:
- Osteopenia and osteoporosis, with subsequent fractures.
- Problems during pregnancy: pre-eclampsia, lack of muscle strength, up to 300% more likely to have a cesarean section than a woman with normal vitamin D levels.
- Childhood problems: rickets, muscle weakness, bone deformity.
- Children with low vitamin D levels have a higher risk of developing type I diabetes multiple sclerosis in adulthood.
- Increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- There is more possibility of suffering from cancer: breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic.
- Infectious diseases of the upper airway: colds, laryngitis, etc.
- Metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, high blood sugar.
- Heart problems: heart attack.
Therefore, it is understandable that someone with low vitamin D symptoms can be very varied and have no apparent symptoms until a more severe disease develops. Among the signs of lack of vitamin D are:
- Muscle pains.
- Muscular weakness.
- Bone deformation
- Depression, emotional distress.
- Low defenses, recurring infections.
And, as we’ve seen, you may well have no symptoms, even with low vitamin D.
How to increase vitamin D naturally.
Fortunately, unlike other vitamins, our body can generate all the vitamin D it needs, as long as we facilitate the conditions.
The primary source of vitamin D production is given by two factors: the sun and our skin. Our skin and the bacteria that are typically on it can generate the daily dose that our body needs, and, good news, the vitamin D that our body manufactures is much more efficient because it circulates in the blood for longer than vitamin D, found in dietary supplements or added to some foods. So, if you’re thinking about the best way to increase vitamin D, the answer is simple, natural, and the best thing is free: the sun.
It has been shown that sun exposure as short as 5 to 10 minutes per day, yes, just that, is enough to achieve good vitamin D levels. However, there are specific vital points:
- The hours of exposure to UVB rays should be between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon since they are when the sun hits the skin in the best way. For people with darker skin, sun exposure should be a little longer, about 5 minutes more, since melanin acts as if it were sunscreen.
- Exposure to the sun must be without sunscreen. It can be on the arms and legs. The more skin surface is exposed the more vitamin D production.
- It would be best if you did not take a bath immediately. Studies show that the delay in the production and absorption of vitamin D in the skin can be up to 48 hours. To maintain hygiene, you can avoid soaping the area you have exposed to the sun, such as the arms or legs, but allow your body to do its job.
Both children and the elderly should do this since vitamin D is critical at all ages and even more so at the extremes of life.
Vitamin D is measured in international units (IU). Sun exposure, with these characteristics, provides 20,000 IU in just one direction.
Foods with vitamin D
Some foods are rich in vitamin D, but their amount is not much compared to sun exposure. In any case, if you want to increase your levels of vitamin D, you can resort to the intake of:
- Fish like salmon, especially the wild one, the farmed one has less quantity—also the mackerel, tuna, and sardines. (between 400 and 1000 IU).
- Shitake mushrooms have more vitamin D (1600 IU) if they are dried in the sun.
- Cod liver oil (400-1000 IU).
- Egg yolk (20 IU).
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.