What foods contain vitamin D? Is it considered a hormone? We clear these and other doubts.
Exposing your skin to the sun for a short time. But very often is the key to acquiring the necessary dose of vitamin D. It also helps, although to a lesser extent- to consume fatty fish, dairy products, eggs, and fortified foods. But, if you do not have any chronic disease or situation that prevents the body from synthesizing this vitamin well. Supplements will not provide any extra benefit. We detail everything in the following lines.
Role of Vitamin D in Human Life
✅ Calcium Absorption Depends on Vitamin D
The most important function of this vitamin is to regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. These will maintain stable concentrations of these minerals in the blood. So, vitamin D is essential in maintaining bone health. It also regulates sugar levels, the production of lipids, and blood pressure regulation.
❌ With Food, you get the Necessary Vitamin D
Vitamin D is found in small doses in foods of animal origin. Such as fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, or herring), eggs, dairy products, and meat—or of plant origin, such as mushrooms and mushrooms. It can also be obtained from fortified foods (such as vegetable drinks or breakfast cereals). But, exposure to sunlight is the main source responsible for producing up to 80-90% of vitamin D.
✅ Vitamin D is Considered a Hormone
A vitamin is a compound that our body cannot synthesize and, therefore, we must ingest it through food. Hormones, however, are synthesized naturally by our bodies. As is the case with vitamin D, which is manufactured in the body. Thanks to the teamwork of our skin, liver, and kidney. In addition, this vitamin acts in practically all the organism’s organs. That is why specialists believe that vitamin D should be called “hormone D” or “hormone D complex.”
❌ The More you take, the Better
Vitamin D is fat-soluble; it dissolves in fat and is stored in the liver and other fatty tissues. So it is not eliminated through the urine like other vitamins. If the body receives large doses, hypercalcemia, a buildup of calcium in the blood. That can occur, leading to nausea, vomiting, weakness, bone pain, and even the formation of kidney stones.
So, the tolerable upper intake is 4,000 IU (international units, equivalent to 100 micrograms) per day. So, for healthy adults and young people aged 9 to 18 years, and between 1,000 IU. Similarly, 3,000 IU/day for children under nine years of age. Achieving these levels through food or sunlight is impossible. So the toxicity is usually due to the abuse of supplements, which should always be taken under medical supervision.
Scientific evidence has not shown that vitamin D supplementation entails any extra benefit for the population that does not present risk factors for deficiency. Such as people with chronic diseases that affect the metabolism of this vitamin, infants and some pregnant women, and the elderly.
✅ With Age, it is Synthesized, Less
The elderly have a reduced ability to synthesize vitamin D in the skin when exposed to the sun because, as we age, the body is less efficient and less absorbs it. So, for this reason, the recommended intake for this age group is higher than for the rest: 800 IU for people over 71 years of age and 600 IU for the rest of the population over one year of age.
❌ It is Good to Lie in the Sun for Hours
The length of daily sun exposure required to get enough varies with skin type, latitude, the season of the year, time of day, and amount of exposed skin.
The solar radiation research group of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) analyzed the time required for sun exposure to obtain the recommended doses. It established that in spring and summer, with an exposure of arms, hands, and face, about 5-10 minutes a day would be necessary. In October, we would need 30 minutes and more than two hours in winter.
Guide to enjoy the sun safely
✅ Sunscreen Blocks the Absorption of Vitamin D
Sun protection, essential to avoid sun damage (skin cancer, burns, or aging), blocks the synthesis of vitamin D. It is not a question of not using photoprotector but of giving it a margin with great caution. But, we do not need prolonged exposure to acquire vitamin D. For example, between April and October, you can briefly go outside without protection and take the opportunity to take a walk in the hours around noon, leaving your hands, face, and arms exposed.
❌ This Vitamin is Closely Related to Depression
Changes in mood from one day to the next are common in most populations. Vitamin D is involved in synthesizing dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters related to mood. So, anyone can experience a low mood episode when the sun’s rays disappear. But seasonal affective disorder, related to reducing daylight hours, has nothing to do with depression.
So, there are no conclusive data to affirm that a deficiency of this vitamin can be considered a risk factor for suffering from this pathology or that treatment with supplements can help treat the symptoms of depression. This disorder arises from factors (family, biological, psychological