The importance of vitamin D for the Health it goes beyond what we can imagine. To be as concise as possible, we will say that consuming vitamin D saves lives. That is, to have optimal levels of this micronutrient in the body will help prevent different diseases or health conditions.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that we can incorporate into the body through different foods and we can also find it as a vitamin supplement. However, the main source of obtaining this vitamin is the ultraviolet rays of the sun in direct contact with the skin.
It should be noted that 90% of the vitamin D that we have in the body is thanks to the exposure of the skin to the sun’s rays. Although, the remaining 10% comes from food. These are two very striking percentages in this context, provided that it is a person who does not use vitamin supplements.
How vitamin D works in the body
The process of metabolizing vitamin D in the human body is widely complex and goes through two hydroxylation processes for its correct activation. On the one hand, the first hydroxylation occurs in the liver and transforms vitamin D into 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D], also known as “calcidiol.”
Thus, the second hydroxylation takes place in the kidney, forming 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25 (OH) 2D] physiologically active, also called “calcitriol.”
In this way, once this micronutrient has been correctly activated in the body, it performs different fundamental functions for health. It promotes the absorption of calcium in the intestine, in addition to maintaining optimal serum concentrations of calcium and phosphate to promote good bone mineralization.
Furthermore, vitamin D is essential for bone growth and bone remodeling caused by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. In this sense, a person with a deficiency of this micronutrient is more prone to have thin and fragile bones.
Therefore, having optimal levels of this micronutrient helps prevent bone diseases, such as rickets in children or osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults.
Other functions of vitamin D in the body
But vitamin D is much more of an essential micronutrient for bones. Its health implications are multiple and scientific studies are increasingly discovering more evidence about the importance of this micronutrient.
Along these lines, this micronutrient reduces inflammation and modulates vital processes such as cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism.
Experts in the field further explain that “many genes that encode proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D. Many tissues have receptors for this vitamin and some convert 25 (OH) D into 1 , 25 (OH) 2D “.
Finally, it should be noted that randomized controlled trials Recent RCTs have found that vitamin D supplementation can significantly reduce deaths from different types of cancer.
Furthermore, a 2016 study in Germany found that if all Germans over the age of 50 took vitamin D supplements, up to 30,000 cancer deaths a year could probably have been prevented.
A future with vitamin supplements?
In this sense, there are many experts who claim that taking vitamin D supplements could save thousands of lives around the world. Especially due to the important functions of this micronutrient in the body.
Thus, society is becoming more and more aware of the importance of this micronutrient for the body. Something that has become more apparent than ever with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, the annual cost of vitamin D3 supplementation is estimated at approximately $ 40, (33 euros per year). This could lower the cost of health care and reduce the risk of death among the population in the coming years.