Vitamin D deficiency is related to a lack of sun exposure. We show you how to increase vitamin D with a list of foods.
Vitamin D is essential for our body since thanks to it the body can absorb calcium, the main component of bones. It is necessary, therefore, to build and maintain healthy bones.
Unfortunately, there are not many foods with vitamin D. As the body produces it when direct sunlight converts a chemical from the skin into an active form of vitamin D, also called calciferol. Here’s how to increase vitamin D without exposing yourself to the sun.
What foods have vitamin D
The amount of vitamin D our body produces depends on many factors. Factors, such as the season we are in, latitude, time of day, and skin pigmentation. Depending on your place of residence or your lifestyle, the production of vitamin D may decrease, disappearing almost completely in winter.
Besides, sunscreen, although it is very important to use it when we are going to be exposed to the sun. Also decreases the production of vitamin D. But you can get it through certain foods with vitamin D such as:
- Milk and fortified cereals.
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, or sardines.
- Beef liver, egg yolk, and cheese.
- Mushrooms also provide a certain amount of vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light.
- Vegetable drinks made from soy, oats, etc., also contain added vitamin D, including some yogurts and margarine.
Where is vitamin D found
It should be noted that many of the older adults do not have regular exposure to sunlight and have problems with the absorption of vitamin D. This can cause problems in their bodies due to vitamin D deficiency, especially if they also do not consume foods that they contain.
In these cases, you can always opt for a multivitamin supplement with a great contribution of vitamin D. Thus, you will help improve bone health, although it is also advisable that you eat foods with vitamin D and expose yourself from time to time, and with caution, in sunlight.
For your consideration, the RDA for vitamin D is 400 IU (International Units) for children up to 12 months old, 600 IU for people ages 1 to 70, and 800 IU for those over 70. Pregnant or lactating women also need 600 IU of vitamin D daily, as recommended by the Nutrition and Food Committee.
Therefore, vitamin D deficiency will cause bones to become weak, thin, and brittle. Furthermore, the deficiency of this vitamin is related to osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. So, in case you don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight or the foods we’ve mentioned, you may need to take a vitamin D supplement.
What is vitamin D for?
There has been a lot of research that has been done on the use of vitamin D to treat different specific conditions. These investigations have shown that vitamin D deficiency can generate the following disorders:
Vitamin D may help prevent certain types of cancer, especially when taken with a calcium supplement.
Vitamin D supplements can be used to treat some inherited disorders related to the inability to absorb or process vitamin D correctly, such as familial hypophosphatemia.
If you do not take enough food with vitamin D it could influence your cognitive health. In fact, in a study conducted with people over 60 who were receiving treatment for dementia, they found that taking vitamin D supplements helped them improve their cognitive function.
Vitamin D deficiency causes loss of bone mineral content, bone pain, muscle weakness, and softening of the bones, known as osteomalacia. This serious condition in adults can be treated with vitamin D supplements.
For people with this condition, applying vitamin D or a topical preparation containing a compound of this vitamin called calcipotriol to the skin can help treat plaque psoriasis.
Although this condition is rare, it can occur in children with vitamin D deficiency. To prevent and treat this problem, in addition to taking foods with vitamin D, they may need a supplement of this vitamin.
Some studies suggest that people who get enough vitamin D and calcium in their diets can delay the loss of bone mineral, helping to prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Long-term vitamin D supplementation has been found in these investigations to greatly reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis.
Inadequate doses, vitamin D intake is considered safe but if taken in excess it can be harmful. In both children and adults, the symptoms you may experience if you take more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily are:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Kidney damage
- Heart rhythm problems
Now you know, vitamin D deficiency is harmful, as is abusing it. Just the right amounts of this vitamin will keep us healthy and help keep our bones strong.