Vitamin D

I’d like to explain to you the importance of vitamin D for our body. Vita is life, amin is protein. So a vitamin is a very important for our lives.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that if you don’t have enough fat in your body or if you don’t eat enough fat vitamin D will have a problem. It will not be able to function so well. Remember that.

It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that is mainly made through exposure to sunlight, so if we sit in the sun we make enough amounts of vitamin D for our bodies. There’re also some other sources for vitamin D in our food, like from fish, cod liver oil, some sorts of milk and butter, especially if they’re fortified. Fortified means added to something else and in this case fortified with vitamin D. So, read always on the packs and see if the food is fortified with good elements like vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from supplements, especially if you live in a place where there isn’t enough sunlight, you can always rely on supplements.

So, why is vitamin D important for our health? It’s very important for the health of our bones, because if we don’t have it we don’t have enough calcium in our bones. I’ll explain later why. And it’s also important for other systems in our body. Our immune system depends on vitamin D for many processes. SO, if you don’t have enough vitamin D you get often sick, like with viral infections, bacterial infections and also on the long run, we found out, that people deficient in vitamin D can have higher risk for cancer.

Our nervous system is also depending on vitamin D for many vital processes. That’s why people who don’t have enough vitamin D can experience symptoms of depression. Our intestinal functions also need vitamin D and calcium. That’s why people who have problems with vitamin D can suffer from problems with absorption of food, chronic constipation or problems in general with their colon. We’ve also found out that vitamin D plays a role in prevention of multiple sclerosis, diabetes I and II, glucose intolerance and hypertension.

So, let’s see how vitamin D works in our bodies. Imagine that you’re on holiday, you’re sitting in the sun with your chest, back and arms exposed. You have no sunblock on your skin and you’re enjoying a relaxed time. If you’ve been eating omega 3 and omega 6 (fats in your food), that’s very good. It will protect you against sunburns, but it’ll also help your skin make better amount of vitamin D. Now, your skin in making, under the influence of ultraviolet rays, vitamin D, and this will go to your liver, because it’s not so active. In the liver, using the healthy fats, vitamin D will become vitamin D2. But it’s still not an active form. That’s why it goes to the kidneys and healthy kidney can transform it into D3, and that’s the active form of vitamin D. This is the form that can do the job to go pick up the calcium. Now, you’ve been drinking calcium in your milk, or cheese. So, the building blocks of calcium that you eat in your food and drink in your milk goes on vitamin D3 and they get transported into your blood stream, to the organs that need it, and gives them out. These organs are: your bones, your brain, your immune system, your intestines. So many organs need your calcium, and it’s only possible through vitamin D3. So, in order to have healthy levels of vitamin D, or vitamin D3, you need to sit in the sun, have enough omega 3 and omega 6 in your diet have a healthy liver and healthy bile, have healthy kidneys, and when all those organs working together you will be having enough vitamin D3 in your body, otherwise you will have a problem with it.

So, why do we sometimes get to little vitamin D in our bodies, when does that happen? One reason is not having enough sunlight because we are to scared of having skin cancer or because we don’t want to get a sunburn, also because we’re to busy working, so there’s no time to go in the sun. Another reason is that some people have cultural reasons or religious reasons to cover their bodies, and then they don’t expose to enough sunlight. Also some people are too scared of cancer, so they use to much sunblock on their bodies, and then there’s no chance for the ultraviolet rays to get into your skin and make vitamin D. If you eat too little fat in your diet or the wrong fats in your diet, then you will end up having a problem with vitamin D. If you have too much stress in your life you make too much cortisone, and then the cortisone is responsible for blocking the action of vitamin D. If you have dark skin, like me or darker, then you need to sit longer in the sun to get healthy amounts of vitamin D. So, very dark skin people need much longer time in the sun to make enough vitamin D.

If you are breastfeeding you might need extra vitamin D, using supplements, you and your child as well. If you’re suffering from any health problems, especially liver disease and gall bladder problems, if you have chronic kidney disease, parathyroid or thyroid problems, or intestinal problems in general, you could be having problems with your vitamin D. So, talk to your doctor about checking your vitamin D in the blood, if you have any of these diseases.

I wish you all the best!

Alyaa Gad