Late summer has been warm and pleasant for years. But even if the heat lingers becomes the sunlight becoming weaker. It may not be obvious on the weather and your mood, but it will have a direct effect on the amount of vitamin D. In the northern latitudes where we live, sunlight is insufficient to give the population access to the vitamin naturally year round. It summarizes in brief why the recommendations of added vitamin D have become increasingly advocated.
The need for D
The fat-soluble vitamin D are classified except as an essential nutrient also as a prohormone and adequate vitamin D status are therefore a crucial regulatory signal to a large number of important systems in the body.
It has long been known that vitamin D is involved in the metabolism of calcium and phosphate, among other things by increasing the reabsorption of these substances in the kidneys and small intestine. Vitamin D is also more directly involved in bone homeostasis by having a regulatory role in the mineralization of bone. But vitamin D is much more than a vitamin. As prohormone has the capacity to influence a large number of genes and thus affects the entire body on a systemic level, to the same extent as other naturally occurring steroid hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen.
As a sports supplement, there is some research that suggests that vitamin D supplements can improve performance and enhance testosterone levels in men with low levels, by extension, of course, could mean a lot of training results. In some studies, vitamin D supplementation also improved weight control and waist-hip ratio, that is to say, poor vitamin D status may be a factor that hinders weight loss.
When it comes to health and disease are fairly clear scientific evidence that vitamin D status is of great importance. When depressed and exhausted people with poor vitamin D status is returned to normal levels with the help of supplements, they feel better and happier.
On the purely physiological side, it is now clear that vitamin D has an active role as immune modulators, and poor vitamin D status is associated with greater susceptibility to infection and more autoimmunity, which colloquially means poorly functioning immune system and a weakened protection against most diseases.
Research and recommendations
We have everyone from childhood have learned to associate the calcium from dairy products with strong bones and skeletal health. So why osteoporosis is raging here, where people consume more dairy products than anywhere else in the world? Next nutrient on the list of suspects was vitamin D.
Vitamin D is involved in the metabolism of calcium and the mineralization of bone, in addition its synthesis in the body depends on sunlight, which would be a limiting factor in the dark winter. Therefore, vitamin D long incurred additional interest from the research establishment in the some countries. And research has backed up the suspicions that vitamin D status of northerners may be insufficient.
It has been since the late 1970s prescribed vitamin D supplements to infants, as well as dairy products enriched with vitamin D. But over the past ten years, more happened. Its recommended daily intake of vitamin D, double that for older people, and the National Food Administration initiated a review of Vitamin D fortification of foods. Some researchers in the field believe, however, that the recommendations are still too low, and that an increase to even higher doses would radically improve public health.
Dosage and status
Vitamin D is measured in micrograms but it international units (IU) also occurs. Then equivalent to 40 IU of about one microgram. The status in the blood are measured in nanograms per milliliter or nanomoles per liter (nm / l) of blood.
Recommended daily intake for healthy adults has recently been increased to 10 micrograms per day. This can be difficult to cover without supplements, it is equivalent to somewhere in the order of being outdoors without clothes in strong sun up to half an hour a day, or eating one to two servings of fatty fish a day. Some researchers also believe that the recommendation is inadequate even after the increase. In Sweden usually enter 75 and in some cases 50 nm / L as the optimal status while studies on populations who live outdoors in sunny climates found average levels of 115 nm / l.
When defining insufficiency – insufficient levels – as in 75 nm / l, the conclusion is that many Swedes, especially during winter months, have inadequate vitamin D status, and it is this area, more recent research by insufficient vitamin D status relates. Classic deficiency symptoms Rickets or rickets may begin to occur at levels below 25 nm / l, but there seem to be major health benefits of raising the vitamin D status (to a level of 75-220 nm / l), although there is no explicit deficiency symptoms. NFA warns that a daily intake of 100 micrograms per day can lead to overdose and toxicity.
The advantage of vitamin K
So there are plenty of new research that suggests that low levels of vitamin D is common and that this is associated with various diseases and health problems. High doses of vitamin D help prevent health problems of low levels are associated with. When you increase vitamin D intake drastically, there is a risk of leaching of vitamin K, which of course can lead to other problems. Therefore, it may be a good idea that while vitamin D supplementation take extra vitamin K. In this way, they guarded against the risk of vitamin K deficiency and can safely take vitamin D doses higher therapeutic effect.
Potential effects of the high vitamin D status
- Better performance in the gym. Better training results.
- Weight loss and improved waist / hip ratio.
- Improved mood. Elevated mood and improved tolerance to nuisance.
- Better health. Fewer sick days, and protection against certain chronic medical conditions.
Signs of vitamin D deficiency
- Muscle weakness and achiness from the bones and muscles.
- Poor immunity. Frequent infections, increased allergic and asthmatic symptoms. Autoimmunity.
- Difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability. Fatigue. Seasonal Depression.
Sources of vitamin D
Sunlight: 15-20 minutes exposure a day is enough. Sunlight is insufficient for vitamin D synthesis in the winter.
Oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. It takes 100-300 grams per day to meet the recommended daily intake.
Fortified milk. It takes over two liters of fortified milk per day to meet the recommended daily intake.
Supplements – already recommended for all children over four years, all children and adolescents under 18 years, but recent research suggests that it may be useful to many more. Do not exceed 100 micrograms per day.