As everyone will know, vitamin D is a nutrient that we can find in many foods that we commonly incorporate into our diet -this would be expected- and it is essential for our good health and to have strong bones, in general terms, although it has many other benefits and benefits. Something that interests us to begin by stating is that according to our age the need for this vitamin will vary, the age groups with the greatest need being adults over 71 years of age, although from the year on it is important not to neglect the incorporation of this vitamin to our body. It is about her that we want to talk to you today, that is why we invite you to continue reading because we are going to tell youwhat is vitamin D for, in what foods can we find it and what happens if we do not meet the amount required by the body.

What is Vitamin D good for?

We begin by saying that this vitamin, in general terms, helps the body to be healthy, but in particular it helps the bones to be strong. This is because it helps the body to absorb all the calcium that enters through the food we consume as well as supplements, this mineral being the one that plays a key role in good bone health.

In this way, people who do not meet the body’s requirements for this vitamin or its presence is very low, their bones will be more fragile, weak and thin. This has a medical diagnosis for children, called rickets, and for adults, osteomalacia.

On the other hand, this vitamin also helps the muscles of the body to move properly. In this sense, the nerves require vitamin D for the task of transmitting messages between the brain and the different parts of the body. The immune system also needs it to be able to fight against viruses and bacteria that try to attack it.
We cannot fail to mention that along with calcium, this vitamin is very important in order to protect the elderly against osteoporosis disease.

Where to get Vitamin D?

It is important to note that the skin has the ability to produce vitamin D and this is achieved by being exposed to sunlight every day. In this way, the common people manage to satisfy a part of what the body requires from vitamin D.
In this sense it is important to know that people who are indoors and there are exposed to sunlight by means of a window, this does not help the synthesis of this vitamin. In turn, when the sun does not come out, or when people are in the shade or people with dark skin, these are all situations that cause the skin to decrease the amount of vitamin D it produces.

In any case, even when it is important to be exposed to the sun to be able to collaborate with the skin in the task of synthesizing this vitamin, we cannot fail to mention that it is necessary to take care of the skin from sunlight and limit this exposure in order to reduce the maximizes the risk of skin cancer. For this reason, what is suggested is that people can expose themselves to the sun for only a few minutes and that they do so taking the necessary precautions, that they wear sunscreen and that they use clothes that help protect themselves.
At the same time, we also want to mention that tanning beds can help the skin to synthesize this vitamin, but as with uncontrolled exposure to the sun, they can cause risks of skin cancer.

On the other hand, the part that is lacking in vitamin D for the body, we get through the foods that are a source of it. But in truth there are not many foods that naturally have this vitamin D, and we say this since there are many others that have been artificially fortified with this vitamin.
Fish, such as tuna, salmon and mackerel are one of the foods that have the highest amounts of this vitamin. Although to a lesser extent, we can also find it in cheese, egg yolk and beef liver.

Regarding foods fortified with this vitamin, usually on the label we find the amounts they contain.

What if I lack vitamin D?

In any case, there are many people who fail to meet the requirements of the organusmod e this vitamin and in these cases they may suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin. This can occur for different reasons, either because they do not consume foods rich in it, or because the body cannot absorb significant amounts of this vitamin, or because its exposure to sunlight is very little or because the kidneys are not capable of transforming it. vitamin D as it is active in the body.

Regarding the consequences of the severe lack of this vitamin are the cases that we mentioned at the beginning, that is, rickets and osteomalacia, characterized by weakness in the muscles and pain in the bones. In the case of rickets, we must mention that nowadays there are not many cases of it, although cases are still known in children in Africa. The symptoms of this disease have to do with weak bones and deformation.

Tips to avoid vitamin D deficiency

To finish the journey that we have done throughout this post, it is important to take all the necessary precautions to avoid vitamin D deficiency, especially in the case of children and the elderly, precisely because of the consequences to the ones we mentioned above.
Therefore, what we suggest from here is that we take care of your food, eating a varied diet and paying attention to be able to incorporate foods that are a source of this vitamin -which we mentioned above-. We must also take care of our exposure to the sun and that we emphasized previously, do not forget to take all the necessary care, so that by doing a good that is synthesizing this vitamin, you end up producing damage to your skin and your health, as would be the case. of a skin cancer.

In the case of older adults, this is where the greatest care must be taken to take care of and avoid falling into a deficiency of this vitamin. This is due to the fact that they tend to have an inadequate diet, because the absorption by the intestines of this vitamin has decreased as well as the ability to transform vitamin D into the active form that is the protovitamin and is also usually less common in them exposure to the sun. This is why in these cases you have to redouble care and attention, so if you have older adults in your family and close, try to help them meet the amounts of this vitamin required by the body.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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