"Should I start taking vitamin D supplements? Is the sun I take enough? Should I start stuffing myself with salmon?"
If you want to find an answer to your questions, keep reading, because in this article I want to talk about this.
- 1 RECOMMENDED DOSE OF VITAMIN D
- 2 HOW TO TAKE SUFFICIENT VITAMIN D?
- 3 BUT THE GAME IS THE CANDLE?
RECOMMENDED DOSE OF VITAMIN D
How much vitamin D are we advised to take every day?
I remind you that vitamin D is taken both with the diet and thanks to exposure to the sun.
The Italian Ministry of Health recommends a daily intake of at least 5 micrograms per day.
HOW IS THE VITAMIN D NEEDS CALCULATED?
This quantity was decided because it represents the quantity minima of vitamin D necessary to avoid diseases of the skeletal system1.
Under this value an adult is likely to suffer from osteomalacia, or softening of the bones.
In the child this disease is called rickets.
So the recommended dose of vitamin D is the minimum to stay healthy, and not the one needed to stay healthy!
In fact, the D3 vitamin not only has benefits at the bone level. I already told you about his incredible anticancer activity, antidepressant and stimulating the immune system.
These benefits were not taken into account when the recommended vitamin D reference value was calculated.
Personally I think it would have been better to take into account his other activities, and gods natural blood levels in the populations that live a more rural life and more similar to its intrinsic origin.
Also according to some10 studies you get a better effect on the health of our bones with a level of 30 ng / ml, which at this time corresponds with the values considered normal when doing blood tests for the vitamin D3.
According to the same studies, however, for a anticancer effect it would be desirable to reach a value from 36 to 48 ng / ml, which according to the reference data is a fairly high value.
A SMALL CLARIFICATION
You may have noticed that I spoke of the recommended dose and blood values with two different units of measurement.
This is because the recommended daily dose is in the microgram range, but a certain amount of vitamin D taken does not correspond uniquely to a certain concentration in the blood.
That is, if you take 5 micrograms of vitamin D a day it is not automatic that you have a blood concentration of 30 ng / ml: the metabolism of vitamin D is different in each of us, and is influenced by many factors.
Two people can take the same dose of vitamin D but have completely different blood concentrations.
But I will tell you this better in the next paragraphs.
THE NATURAL LEVELS OF VITAMIN D
A scientific study comes to us to understand what are the values of vitamin D in populations that live in a more traditional and faithful way to our origins.
In fact, our habits in terms of clothing and indoor life have drastically reduced the amount of vitamin D available in our body.
A systematic review2 it was conducted on Tanzanian shepherds and hunters, who live their lives with a modest amount of clothing, most of the time outdoors, but who avoid sun exposure as much as possible during peak hours.
In short, regardless of gender and age, their blood vitamin D concentration is around 46 ng / ml.
If you notice, 46 ng / ml falls within the range of values I was talking about before to have an anticancer effect.
This is considered a fairly high value if we consider that the toxic concentration is slightly more than double (100 ng / ml).
Let's do some calculations:
- In theory with 250 micrograms a day of vitamin D reaches a blood concentration of 100 ng / ml (considered toxic)
- For a concentration of 46 ng / ml it would therefore be necessary to take a little more 100 micrograms
But the recommended doses are from 5 micrograms, not 100!
But be careful, this does NOT mean that we should take 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This value is subjective and changes from population to population, if not for each individual, as I will explain better in the next paragraphs.
But the study is an alarm bell that tells us that 5 micrograms a day are not enough to achieve natural vitamin D levels.
HOW TO TAKE SUFFICIENT VITAMIN D?
So at this point I probably convinced you to escape to Tanzania and live like a shepherd to be able to reach your natural levels of vitamin D D
However, the solution may not be so simple.
Vitamin D3 can be obtained through sun exposure or with the food we eat.
- D3 vitamin-rich foods however, they are mainly of animal origin, and the negative impact these foods have on our health has already been widely discussed.
Even the international health protection bodies advise against excessive consumption.
But taking too much sun is also a big risk. Now I want to talk to you about its side effects.
SUN AND MELANOMA
You will already know that the sun is the first cause of skin melanoma: this type of skin cancer is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in younger people3. This may be due to the less attention paid when tanning, or the use of tanning lamps.
Tanning lamps, like those found in sun beds, are even more harmful than the sun at midday in August.
This is because they emit mainly GRAPE, which are mistakenly considered less harmful. In fact it has been studied that constant exposure to UVA is as carcinogenic as UVB4,5 because UVAs cause strong damage to the DNA of our cells.
Cook in the sun or buy a sunbed so they don't seem to be valid solutions.
SUN AND CATARACT
The sun is not only harmful for your skin, but also for your eyes!
It has been studied6 that individuals most exposed to UV rays are more likely to suffer from cataract.
Moreover, often those who receive too many UV rays face one age-related degeneration of the macula.
This disease is the leading cause of blindness in industrialized countries, and usually appears around the 75 years, but in the case of excessive UV radiation this age can fall.
SUN AND AGING
The last side effect of the sun I tell you about is perhaps the least serious, but it sure can be very annoying.
In fact, the sun does to age the pelle7. And just because the face and the skin are the tools we use every day to interface with the world, having ruined skin makes us look older.
Every individual from the moment of birth undergoes an intrinsic aging process that cannot be avoided.
The production of collagen decreases, the skin cells are returned less quickly, and so on. This type of aging cannot be stopped.
But there is also a extrinsic aging, or caused by external factors.
Of all the external insults we suffer every day on our skin, for sure the sun remains the worst. Its effect is defined photoaging.
I'm not going to dwell too much on the subject because I'm sure you have already heard of photoaging, but there is one image in particular8 that struck me a lot and that I want to share with you.
The gentleman in the image below shows a clear aging of the left side of his face.
Do you know what happened to him?
He simply made the truck driver for 28 years.
The UVA rays that pass through the window to his left caused great damage in the DNA of his cells, and this is the result.
Its pathology is called unilateral dermatoeliosis, and helps us understand how the sun can hurt us. Unbelievable, isn't it?
BUT THE GAME IS THE CANDLE?
Our sun is therefore essential for many processes that allow life, and it is also an inexhaustible source of D3 vitamin.
But is it worth risking suffering all this collateral damage?
If for a moment you thought you were willing to demonstrate ten years less to reach your daily dose of vitamin D, I could have bad news for you.
Forget for a moment vitamin D and imagine yourself in Honolulu, the world-famous city of the Hawaiian Islands.
Try to imagine how long the people who live there spend in the sun. After all, in the colder months the average temperature is 20 degrees, which means that probably those who live there have the opportunity to go and get a tan on the beach every day.
Surely their D3 vitamin levels will be very high, right?
Well, a study9 a few years ago it showed that half of the inhabitants of Honolulu had a low blood vitamin D level.
What does this data tell us?
It helps us understand that everyone's response to UV radiation changes immensely. Two people who live in the same place and have the same lifestyle can have completely different levels of vitamin D.
Each individual produces a different amount of D3 vitamin when exposed to a certain amount of UV rays, which is why sometimes not even a large dose of sun can help us against the low vitamin D.
VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS
After all these considerations, I can tell you that probably the best solution is to hire a good one vitamin D supplement.
In this way, in fact, you can be sure of the amount of vitamin D you take each day, and adjust to your D3 vitamin levels which you can discover with a simple withdrawal.
What I advise you to do is to dose your vitamin D levels, and in case of deficiency ask your doctor for a supplement. After some time you can redress your levels and adjust the dose you take based on the results obtained.
There are so many types of supplements on the market, and in the coming days I'm going to publish an article to better explain their differences.
TOXICITY OF VITAMIN D
You may be dubious about taking supplements, especially for long periods.
Any substance in fact has a dosage beyond which it results in toxic and harmful symptoms.
For vitamin D, we have already said that a blood concentration above 100 ng / ml is considered toxic.
Although it is better not to exceed this value, I still want to reassure you that serious toxic symptoms have been found only in patients with a level of vitamin D3 of more than 200 ng / ml, or double.
These patients had reached such a high level by taking very high doses of vitamin D, higher than the 1000 micrograms, every day for a long period of time.
In Italy, vitamin D supplements available without a prescription have a recommended daily dosage ranging from 25 to 50 micrograms per day, therefore infinitely less.
If your doctor recommends a vitamin D supplement, you can rest assured that you will not have any unwanted symptoms, as long as you take a quantity that complies with its indications.
As my professors remind me every day, "it is the dose that makes poison", Which is a bit like saying that the"too much is good ”🙂
And you, are you already using some vitamin D supplement? Would you like to know which ones are the best on the market?
Let me know with a comment what you think of the article, I will be very happy to answer you!
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MEDICAL AND LEGAL DISCLAIMER:
The information provided by the manuelcasadei.com website is not intended to diagnose, treat and prevent any discomfort or disease. The user of this website is always responsible for his health and Manuel Casadei encourages you to follow these advice with the approval and supervision of a trusted doctor and disclaims any responsibility for actions taken following what is written in these pages.
Images: Google Images.