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The importance of vitamin D

Vitamin D, known to be that which comes from exposure to the sun, is one of the essential nutrients for the body to obtain energy and, therefore, optimal functioning, since it helps process the benefits present in some foods.

Its importance is such that it contributes to the uptake of calcium in our bones and even regulates the absorption and excretion of calcium and phosphorus in our body. In addition, this vitamin stimulates the assimilation of proteins in the intestine after consumption from the same diet.

What are the risks of vitamin D deficiency?

According to Millaray Leiva, nutritionist at Clínica RedSalud Valparaíso , " currently, Vitamin D deficiencies are strongly associated with the development of osteopenia, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, parathyroid hyperplasia, type 1 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases ."

Furthermore, " in children, Vitamin D deficiency produces rickets and defective bone growth," he adds. By the latter he refers to a deformation in the bones of the legs, which causes them to be "bent ".

What are the symptoms associated with its deficiency?

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Muscle spasms: these symptoms can occur in most parts of the body.
  • Hyperplasia of the parathyroid gland: this condition can be seen visually, as it increases the volume of the neck (near the "Adam's apple"), better known as goiter.
  • It should be noted that, in patients with kidney diseases, vitamin D deficiency is common , due to the lack of a kidney enzyme (renal hydroxylase), which is essential for regulating the functioning of our kidneys.
  • Also, medications that contain corticosteroids , such as prednisone, interfere with the absorption of vitamin D , so it is important to consume foods and supplements away from these drugs.

Where can we get this vitamin? There are two ways to obtain vitamin D:

  • Due to the action of sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) radiation in contact with the skin.
  • Due to the consumption of some foods that have significant amounts of vitamin D. Among them we can mention milk and its derivatives, eggs, salmon, sardines, liver and fortified foods from the food industry.

"Because prevention is better than cure"
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