Do you really need to take vitamin D?

Winter is coming, gray weather, days are getting longer, it’s time to stock up on vitamins! Today we’re looking at one of them: Vitamin D!

To You are awesome, experts enlighten you on daily topics. Today, Dr. Baptiste Jauneau talks to us about vitamin D so we can prepare well for the coming winter in great shape.

We should also talk about a hormone, not a vitamin, because it works in various metabolic processes in the body. Its main role: bone mineralization. For this, it intervenes at the level of several organs: it facilitates the absorption of calcium at the level of the intestine, activates its reabsorption at the level of the kidneys and allows good calcium to be fixed on the bones. Therefore, it plays a very important role in childhood growth and later throughout life to keep our skeleton healthy.

It also plays an important role in other metabolisms of the body: the proper functioning of the muscles, the nervous system and even the immune system.

Vitamin D is synthesized, produced directly by the body. Specifically, because of the skin thanks to UV rays. It is considered that 2/3 of the vitamin D we consume is synthesized by us, and the remaining 1/3 is obtained from food.

In what foods? The famous cod liver oil, formerly given to children for growth and rickets. In fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring. In egg yolks, dairy products or butter. Certain mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini mushrooms or morels. Finally, many food manufacturers fortify certain products, such as dairy products or oil, with vitamin D.

In Western countries: more than 40% of the population over 50 and 80% of the elderly have vitamin D deficiency. Dietary intake of vitamin D, as we have seen, is far from sufficient: foods rich in vitamin D are scarce, underutilized, or even sometimes excluded from certain diets.

And most importantly, the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin can be affected very quickly by many parameters:

  1. Latitude and Season: In some regions, the sun is not enough for good vitamin D synthesis. This is even more common in autumn and winter.
  2. Age: skin aging slows down and vitamin D production becomes less efficient.
  3. Skin color : highly pigmented skin is protected from UV rays, but also has a harder time producing vitamin D.
  4. Physical inactivity (less sunlight), obesity, pollution, clothing also play a role.

In absolute numbers, we could all use vitamin D bottles, especially in the winter to prevent deficiency.

In fact, the recommendations focus on certain categories of people for whom vitamin D deficiency may have serious or disease-causing consequences.

  1. Children: Vitamin D is recommended for growth and fighting rickets from 0 to 18 years of age!
  2. Old people : with aging, bones demineralize, become porous, more fragile. We are talking about osteoporosis with the risk of fractures.
  3. A pregnant woman : for proper fetal development and growth.
  4. Postmenopausal women: The resulting hormonal changes affect bone turnover and can be a source of osteoporosis.

Supplementation may also be important outside of these categories if multiple risk factors for vitamin D deficiency are combined.

So if he hasn’t already, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor, pediatrician, or gynecologist about it to decide if you need to change. Vitamin D is given as a drop to be taken every day or as an ampoule every month or quarter.

This is also a possibility! But beware, they are often very high in vitamin D, so there is a higher risk of overdose if consumed incorrectly. The best thing to do is to see your doctor, who will determine the right dose and frequency based on your needs and medical condition. In addition, prescription treatment is covered by social security funds.

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