Precious ally of our health, vitamin D can hide pitfalls if it is present in excess or in default in our organism: it is then that we must start to worry.
Sometimes underestimated, vitamin D is a precious ally for our health: its deficiency (as well as its excess in the blood) can indeed lead to many health problems. For this reason, it is very important to check your levels of this nutrient in our blood often and to contact your doctor who can advise you on possible supplements or a change in diet.
What is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one special vitamin: Unlike other vitamins that cannot be produced by our body but must be absorbed through food or supplements, vitamin E is produced by our body as a result of exposure of the skin to sunlight.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun converts a cholesterol-like lipid in the skin into vitamin D3 (calciphenol). The vitamin D thus obtained then passes into the blood, where it binds to a specific protein responsible for transporting it to different organs and tissues.
This vitamin plays a fundamental role in our body, as it regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, favoring the formation and mineralization of bones. But not only: vitamin D contributes to the proper functioning of the muscles (ensuring good muscle contractility) and the immune system (exerting an immunomodulatory effect).
In addition to exposure to the sun, there are many foods rich in calciphenol that can help us meet our daily needs for this nutritional principle: fish, milk, eggs, mushrooms, but also processed foods with added vitamin D . Alternatively, you can use supplements, which can be purchased at the pharmacy.
Also read: Vitamin D: where to find it, what is it for and how to get it
Symptoms of a deficiency
In short, as we have seen, vitamin D is a fundamental aid for many aspects of our daily life and its deficiency in our blood can pose a serious risk to our health. Low levels of calciphenol, which are so important for bone and muscle health, are commonly associated with:
- muscle and bone pain
- spasms and cramps
- rickets (occurs mainly in infants and young children, who are still forming their skeletons and for whom a correct vitamin D intake is essential).
Recent research has also investigated the possible link between vitamin D deficiency and a higher risk of contracting multiple sclerosis – although, in this case, this correlation remains to be explored. On the other hand, the link between a low level of calciphenol in the blood and depression seems to be confirmed.
Read also: Vitamin D: symptoms and consequences of a deficiency
Symptoms of hypervitaminosis
What happens if vitamin D levels in our blood are too high? As popular wisdom says, excess always handicaps: indeed, even if vitamin D is essential for our well-being, abusing it inevitably leads to serious problems that should not be underestimated.
Also Read: Vitamin D: Here’s What Can Happen To Your Body If You Take Too Much
Suppose that the state of hypervitaminosis (excess of vitamin D in the blood) is very rare even if we often expose ourselves to the sun or consume foods rich in calciphenol with our diet, and it can only be achieved with an excessive dosage of supplements of this vitamin. . The first symptoms of this pathology are:
- He vomited
- frequent headaches
- loss of appetite
If the state of hypervitaminosis persists over time, more serious disorders may occur, such as itching and dermatitis, frequent urination, mood swings, kidney and heart damage (caused by calcium deposits in these organs).
Also read: Do you pee a lot? Beware of the symptom that indicates an excess of vitamin D
When to see your doctor
But what are the “normal” values of calciphenol in the blood? Optimal vitamin D values, which can be verified with a normal blood sample in the laboratory, are between 20 and 40 ng/mL. For values above 20 ng/ml, efficacy for skeletal outcomes is considered guaranteed, while for values below 40 ng/ml, safety is considered guaranteed, as no additional risks are documented.
Indicative values of vitamin D “deficiency” are however noted for values below 20 ng/mL. Therefore, a vitamin D level below 20 ng/mL justifies the establishment of additional deficiency treatment by taking supplements.
We remind you that taking supplements is not a decision that we can make independently, but must be agreed with your doctor who, after seeing the results of the analyzes, will be able to tell you which drug is best suited to our needs. After all, vitamin D supplements require a doctor’s prescription because the attending physician must be aware of taking these drugs taking into account possible adverse effects.
Once supplementation and maintenance have begun to redo the analyses, you must wait at least 6 months from the start of vitamin D intake.
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Sources: AIFA / National Institute of Health
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