Vitamin D3 is also known as Cholecalciferol and is the only vitamin that the body can produce on its own only if it has received sufficient exposure to the sun. Doctors feel one hour a week is enough for the body to be able to produce the vitamin and strengthen the body. All other kinds of vitamins have to be picked up from the food that is consumed. Eat a balanced diet to incorporate all the vitamins in the right proportions in your body and spend some quality time in the sun so that the body can be totally healthy and immune from diseases.
Soak in the sun in limited amounts
This fat soluble mineral can be produced naturally once the body comes in touch with sunlight. Hence it is not necessary to consume foods that have Vitamin D3 in them, as such there are not many that do have the nutrient present in it. Many health supplements have Vitamin D3 in them but if it is consumed in large proportions it can have a toxic effect on the body. However, there is no harm in taking them in a moderate amount so that the body can remain healthy. There is recommended amount for the vitamin, but the quantity is limited by the adequate intake amount per person depending on age. For people under the age of 50 years, the recommended dosage is about 400 and for the age group between 51 and 70 it is 600 and those even older should take about 800 International Units.
Who needs Vitamin D supplements and why?
Vitamins are necessary for everyone irrespective of age and sex. Weak and ailing people need it more than healthy regular people. Since the sun is the source of all life you must spend some time under it every day. But those who have limited access to the sun really need Vitamin D3 supplements.
People living indoors or in the northern latitudes or those who wear clothes than never expose them to the sun simply cannot do without the Vitamin D3 supplements.Infants need to be taken out in the sun for some time every day since they are breastfed which has very little Vitamin D in it. They can also be given cholecalciferol supplements so that the bones get stronger.
Vitamin D3 is essential to treat conditions which are caused by the malabsorption of fat. It includes diseases like liver diseases, pancreatic enzyme diseases, sprue, cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease. The body is typically less able to produce Vitamin D during winter because of the lack of proper sunlight. A supplement in those seasons can help the body to continue functioning normally.
People with dark skin are unable to produce Vitamin D3 naturally irrespective of the time they spend under the sun. In such cases, doctors suggest a supplement of about 5000 International Units. Men and women who spend a lot of time indoors, shut in their houses or offices do not get enough sunlight on them. Also, those applying a lot of sunscreens to stay away from the sun rays are unable to produce cholecalciferol.
Sources of Vitamin D
Food, as well as medicinal supplements, are available that can fortify the body with various forms of the vitamin. Milk is an excellent source of Vitamin D3 which can never be undermined. It not just contains Vitamin D but is also a source of calcium. Fish oil and cod liver oil which has a lot of Omega 3 in it alone with salmon and tuna should be consumed regularly. Other than these dairy products that have full fat, egg yolks, organ meat, butter, cereal and orange juice are good sources of Vitamin D. Some species of mushrooms, shitake, portabella, alfalfa shoots contain D2 which is contained in Vitamin D3 primarily because they are grown in the sun and absorb the ultraviolet rays a lot.
Side-effects of consuming Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is consumed in high doses can be harmful to the body. It can cause weakness, weight loss, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, and also confusion, calcinosis, and heart problems. The main reason for the overdose can be from consuming supplements because if you are consuming cod liver oil for treating some other disease you will have to consume a dosage that may be more than what is necessary to have sufficient amount of Vitamin D in the body. Some of vitamin D3 tablets that have starch, sugar or silica are particularly harmful to the body.
Any product that has artificial flavor and color should also be avoided. Ideally the ones that are GMP compliant can be used safely to boost the cholecalciferol requirements of the body. It is, however, best to stick to the food supplements and exposure to sunlight. However if supplements are necessary then they should be taken after a thorough consultation with the doctor involving the medical history and what medicines are being consumed at the moment.
Vitamin D3 and illness
The lack of Vitamin D3 can affect the human body in a number of ways and is responsible for many of the bodily functions.
In aged people, it is responsible for neurological and psychiatric disorders. They usually suffer from low mood and degenerating cognitive performance. Vitamin D3 is related with bone health and various musculoskeletal disorders. In case of women and aged people, it triggers severe back pain which lasts for more than three months. However, those with sufficient level of Vitamin D3 tend to suffer from lesser problems.
Regular consumption of cholecalciferol helps in fighting osteomalacia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness and similar traits. The insufficiency may also affect the parathyroid hormone which causes secondary hyperparathyroidism. It raises the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Vitamin D3 is also responsible for improved cognitive skills and sharpness. Various tests have proved time and again that those who had the necessary level of VitaminD3 in their bodies performed better in tests than those without it.
No wonder Vitamin D3 is an important component that the human body must have in appropriate quantities or risk falling behind in the rat race.