The importance of vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin naturally produced in the body through exposure of the skin to sunlight, and it can also be obtained in greater quantities through the consumption of some foods of animal origin.
In reality, it is known as a vitamin, but it is a hormone.
It is the hormone D.
Today, we have sufficient resources to understand that its origin and its functions in the human body are much more related to hormonal functions.
When the hormone D was discovered in 1928, the systems for detecting and isolating new molecules were very rudimentary. So, it was called vitamin D in reference to the raw material that we need to keep in the body to produce it: D-hydrocholesterol.
Vitamin D or hormone D, has important functions in the body, mainly in regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the body, favoring the absorption of these minerals in the intestine and regulating the cells that degrade and form bones, maintaining their levels in the blood.
Vitamin D deficiency could cause bone changes, such as osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults, and rickets in children. In addition, some scientific studies have linked the deficiency of this vitamin to an increased risk of developing some types of cancer, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
Deficit of Vitamin D is the origin of many diseases, mainly those related to bone health such as osteoporosis, arthritis or osteoarthritis, in addition to depression and some autoimmune diseases. The lack of this type of vitamin in the blood usually requires the intake of supplements that can regulate this deficiency.
The statement, published in the Spanish Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology, highlights the link between vitamin D levels and the severity of COVID-19. According to the authors, “the relationship is clear and the global crisis requires quick action”. However, they insist that there is still not much evidence on specific dosage requirements.
There are data showing that the majority of deaths and severe cases of Covid 19 were due to vitamin D deficiency.
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Elderly people and people with chronic diseases, such as hypertension or cancer, have more vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, being more acute in winter due to the scarcity of solar hours. And this vitamin is obtained mainly thanks to exposure to sunlight and, to a lesser extent, through a varied and balanced diet.
Low levels in the body can cause instability in the perineuronal networks, leading to a high risk of cognitive changes in the person who suffers it. In conclusion, there is a clear relationship between vitamin D and the neural functions of the brain.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- red meat
- egg yolks
- fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals