Vitamin D or calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is mostly made in the human body after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The liver and kidney help convert vitamin D to its active hormone form.
Benefits of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency can make bones thin, brittle, soft and easily prone to fractures. Without sufficient vitamin D, our body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
Vitamin D acts like a hormone, thus regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine.
It helps to control the movement of calcium between bone and blood, and vice versa.
It helps bone mineralization along with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones of the body.
Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and even helps control diabetes and obesity.
What are the sources of Vitamin D?
Food sources -
Only a few foods naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D. Foods with naturally occurring vitamin D are usually animal derived containing the vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). They include egg yolk, liver, fatty fish and fish oils. Smaller amounts are also present in dark leafy vegetables.
Fortified foods are the major dietary sources of vitamin D. Although milk, soya milk is fortified with vitamin D, dairy products made from milk such as curd, cheese, yogurt are usually not fortified.
It is important for individuals with limited sun exposure to include rich sources of vitamin D in their diet.
Exposure to sunlight -
Exposure to sunlight is an important source of vitamin D as ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in the body.
What can Vitamin D deficiency lead to?
Vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children which results in skeletal deformities. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which results in muscular weakness in addition to weak bones.
Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D, which resists calcium absorption.
Insufficient vitamin D leads to prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency may also make a person prone to Type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production. Infants who receive vitamin D supplementation have around 80% reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes over the next twenty years.
Vitamin D deficiency causes schizophrenia.
How much vitamin D is required?
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine considers an intake of 1,000 IU for infants up to 12 months of age and 2,000 IU for children, adults, pregnant, and lactating women to be the tolerable upper intake level.
Daily intake above this level increases the risk of toxicity and is not advised.
Who all are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
Older people as the ability of the skin to convert vitamin D to its active hormonal form decreases
with age. The kidneys, which help convert vitamin D, do not work quite well when people age.
People who do not get adequate exposure to sunlight, such as women who cover their body outside for religious or cultural reasons or individuals working in occupations that prevent exposure to sunlight.
People with dark skin synthesize less vitamin D on exposure to sunlight than those with light skin.
Obesity increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Once vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, it is deposited in the body fat, making it less bio-available to overweight and obese people..
Individuals who have reduced ability to absorb dietary fat as Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This may be due to conditions such as pancreatic enzyme deficiency, Crohn's disease, bowel disease.
Exclusively breast-fed infants because human milk may not contain adequate vitamin D.
Is too much of vitamin D risky?
Intake of too much vitamin D can cause toxicity leading to nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can also raise levels of calcium, causing mental status changes.
Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in soft tissues such as kidneys, lungs, blood vessels and heart can be caused by vitamin D toxicity. The kidneys may be permanently damaged and start malfunctioning.
A word of caution:
Even weak sunscreens (SPF of 8) block the body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body. Chronic Vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Vitamin K supplements be taken in conjunction with Horse Chestnut Supplements to improve varicose veins?
Im just wondering because vitamin k assists in blood clotting and horse chestnut assists in blood thinning yet both are popular in treating the condition. my question is will taking both at the same time be beneficial or contradictory?
I do know that Horse Chestnut Supplements helps with circulation in the legs due to spider veins. Varicose veins are a bit complicated because they are largely damaged veins and sometimes has to be surgically removed.
Harmless but unsightly veins on my legs?
The only thing that makes me crazy with self-consciousness is the visible veins on my legs. They are not varicose; they do not hurt. Apparently they're harmless but has anyone taken Vitamin K or Vitamin E and has noticed an actual difference? I exercise and eat healthy.
These are easily treated with injections for 0-0 and if caught early can help prevent progression to worsening problems. Also if you are on your feet a lot then support stockings willl slow the progression. The creams do not get rid of the veins but may also help prevent the spread. Just make sure you go to someone who uses polidocanol or sotradecol for injection not "saline" because believe it or not the saline has more side effects and hurts. The other solutions are virtually painless.
Most people this is hereditary and you get more as time goes on. Find someone you can trust to do touch ups every year or two.
uncle joe began to hemorrhage from esophagus?
Uncle Joe began to hemorrhage from the esophagus. He was rushed to the emergency room, where he was intubated & a rapid infusion of 5% dextrose plus thiamine & colloid solution was started. He also was given an infusion of Sandostatin to stop the bleeding. His blood was typed &he received fresh frozen plasma, fresh blood, and vitamin K-1. He received endoscopic varicealligatioh, in which elastic bands were placed around 2 ruptured varices (varicose veins) to strangle & obliterate them. He will require this procedure every 2-3 weeks until the esophageal varices have disappeared. He has been started on a beta blocker proptanolol 40 mg PO bid & an ethanol drip. He has a nasogastric tube and is NPO for the next 24h. Gastric lavage thru the nasogastric tube will be performed repeatedly over the next 24h to examine aspirated stomach contents & identify any rebleeding. Uncle Joe's skin has an orange tan. His breast got bigger. He has stretch marks on his belly. He has no hairs on his legs & arms. He has red splotches on his nose, and his palms are really red.
1.What health problem does uncle joe probably have?
2.What caused the esophageal varices?
3.Why would the unvle joe be started on the beta blocker( which slows the heart and lower blood pressure?
4.Why would uncle joe be started on an ethanol drip?
5.Why does uncle joe have breasts, stretch marks, tan, red marks on his face?
6.Uncle joe has hepatitis C. how does this viral infection play a part in his current problem and prognosis?
7.What is uncle joe’s prognosis? Are there any treatment for this?
Great question! Is this some kind of home work?
Anyway, #1, Uncle Joe is an alcoholic with severe liver damage, most likely cirrhosis, which means there are parts of his liver which are now dead. #2. Esophageal varices are caused by Portal Hypertension which is common in alcoholics, again, due to cirrhosis of the liver. #3, the beta blocker is used to reduce the Portal Hypertension, similar to reducing regular old high blood pressure, for which beta blockers are still commonly used. #4. Ethanol drip is to prevent Uncle Joe from going into the DT's (google that one...lol), which are triggered when withdrawal from alcohol kicks in. #5. The orange tan is from increased iron in his blood, called alcohol-induced Hemochromatosis, again from the damaged liver. Too much iron is remaining in the body and it will collect in various organs, including the skin, and turn the skin a tan colour. The swelling in his belly is Ascites, again, the product of advanced liver disease, not a good sign. Hard to survive long without a liver. #6. Hep C will be a contributing factor to his liver damage, making it even worse. #7. Uncle Joe's prognosis will depend on how much liver function he has lost, or, how much function is still there. Cirrhosis will stop in it's tracks if the liver doesn't continue to be damaged, depending on how advanced the damage is, of course. It sounds, by his symptoms that he has quite significant disease, and like I said, it is hard to survive long with out a functioning liver.