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Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin by the effect of UV radiation (UVB 290-315nm). Its production in the skin accounts for about 80% of total daily production, with the remaining 20% derived from foods.
Vitamin D production in the skin is influenced by many factors:
• Exposure to the sun
• The use of sunscreens (sunscreen with a protection index> 8 reduces vitamin D synthesis by up to 90%)
• Clothing (covered body edges)
• The amount of melanin (the black breed has lower levels of vitamin D)
• At the time of the year (significant reduction in prices in the winter months)
• Latitude (increasing latitude, ie from equator to poles, limits the ability to synthesize vitamin D)
• Age (the elderly have a reduced production capacity)
• Obesity (vitamin D absorbed by adipose tissue)
• Atmospheric pollution (mainly in urban areas, reduced UV radiation)
What Causes Lack of Vitamin D
Reduced intake of vitamin D results in decreased absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine resulting in their decreased concentration in the body. In children it leads to rickets, while in adults it leads to muscle weakness, increased phosphorus elimination, tetanus, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. In pregnant and newborns it leads to injuries to the uterine lining during delivery, deformity of the fetus, as well as weakness of the fetal teeth.
Rickets is a bone disease that leads to poor bone growth, delayed growth and immune deficiency.
Osteomalacia is an adult disease caused by a long period of vitamin D deficiency. It is characterized by an increase in tumor volume and a decrease in bone mineralization. Osteomalacia results in significant bone loss in cortical tissue with increased risk of falls and fractures. Clinical symptoms include muscle weakness, difficulty walking and osteopenia.
About 6% of men and over 20% of women over 50 suffer from osteoporosis, while 1 in 5 men and 1 in 3 women will suffer an osteoporotic fracture after the age of 50. Also, 75% of women who have osteoporosis do not know it. Vitamin D deficiency can lead newborns and young children for the rest of their lives to the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, and Intestinal Inflammation due to immune system dysfunction.
Still, people with low levels of vitamin D can develop pancreatic, skin, endometrial, breast, prostate, rectal and bowel cancer, or even lymphoma. In addition, low levels of vitamin D have been linked to risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestion, heart failure, and diabetes mellitus.
Other Vitamin D actions:
• Regulates the normal function of the immune system
• Adjusts blood pressure (renin reduction)
• Helps improve muscle function
• Effects on CNS function - positive effect in patients with multiple sclerosis
• Works on intermediate metabolism - increase insulin secretion
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