Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin, and its steroid structure and specific characteristics make it more of a hormone than a vitamin.
Unlike other vitamins that can be taken into the body only through food and nutritional supplements, vitamin D can be synthesized in the body, specifically in the skin from endogenous cholesterol under the influence of UVB radiation.
Important roles of vitamin D in the body:
- contributes to the normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus and is important for proper bone mineralization,
- prevention of osteoporosis,
- increases resistance to various infections,
- to preserve the health of the gastroenteric system
Foods rich in vitamin D are butter, egg yolk, liver, fish, seafood, full-fat cheeses, full-fat kefir, and mushrooms.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are reduced bone mass, frequent bone fractures, dental problems, susceptibility to infections, muscle weakness, and cramps, fatigue, and exhaustion.
Vitamin D deficiency has become a global health problem. In the world, more than 1 billion people have a mild or severe deficiency of this very important vitamin. Groups at risk for vitamin D deficiency are people who spend most of their time indoors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, people with chronic liver, bowel, or kidney diseases, people with dark skin, overweight people, the elderly, and smokers.
The recommended concentration of vitamin D in the blood is ≥75 nmol/L, and people who have a concentration lower than the recommended one are advised to take nutritional supplements.