What you need to know about vitamin D, according to Europe’s top healthy aging doctor

This is what it is like to eat avocado or the spice, turmeric. relaunched to full stardom after the pandemic for his leading role in strengthen the immune systemVitamin D – or rather its lack – has become one of the obsessions of a society, longing to achieve well-being but, if possible, by taking a pill.

The final issue of this global concern about the lack of this essential nutrient was staged a few days ago with the publication of an investigation that revealed a ‘version’ of a transgenic tomato containing twice as much vitamin D as a couple. it happens. eggs or 28 g tuna

But, to better understand the importance of the matter, Vicente Mera, head of the unit of internal medicine and healthy aging at the SHA Wellness Clinic, explains what vitamin D is: “Vitamins are substances necessary for metabolism but they are not absorbed by the body. are not synthesized. D fulfills only the second part of this definition, as most of it arises due to Activation of precursors that are derived from food and ‘awakened’ in the skin by ultraviolet rays from the sun, Since then, the vitamin we use as a remedy is called 25(OH) vitamin D, which actually undergoes another hydroxylation process in the kidneys to become the active molecule 1,25(OH) vitamin D. Does matter.”

Awarded the 2021 European Medicine Prize for his contribution to an increasingly fashionable medical discipline that focuses on health rather than disease, Mera explains that “The Metabolism of Metabolism Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium They are the basic purpose of vitamins, regulating in conjunction with other hormones—PTH and calcitonin; plasma concentrations of calcium (and other electrolytes important for muscle contraction); bone mineral content; And this Nervous, inflammatory and immune processes,

“lasso fractures and changes in bone structure causes of rickets (in children), osteomalacia and osteoporosis The most important consequences of vitamin D deficiency are: Less obvious but sometimes more serious, “infections, especially respiratory and digestive” ones also occur.

On what does the weight of our deposits depend? “The dermal synthesis of vitamin D is closely related to The amount of solar radiation that reaches the skin cells. Therefore, all of the factors that alter these radiations would interfere with the dermal synthesis of vitamin D.”

And what are those factors? Dr Mera lists them:

less exposure to light In certain population groups who are at higher risk because of their condition, such as the elderly and infants. ,

Use photoprotective creamTo prevent melanoma. Sunscreens with a protection factor greater than or equal to 8 reduce the skin synthesis of vitamin D3 by up to 95%.

age, since, with its progression, the amount of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the dermis decreases and, in addition, there is less sun exposure (motor limitations, institutionalization, etc.). From the age of 50, the dermal synthesis of vitamin D is 50% lower in 20-year-old subjects than in 20-year-old subjects, decreasing to 25% in those over the age of 70. ,

pigmentation (Melanin content), because melanin competes with the precursor of vitamin D3, the deficiency is greater in Asian and African races.

latitude, Because, in regions closest to the equator, solar radiation is more intense, the synthesis of vitamin D is favored.

SeasonSince the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth in autumn and winter is less than in spring and summer, the synthesis of vitamin D is reduced.

time of day Because, the higher the Sun is (at noon), the more intense the UV radiation, because it falls more vertically on the Earth’s surface and has to cross less through the atmosphere.

Height, Because, as in the previous case, at higher altitudes, less atmosphere will have to undergo radiation.

weather condition. Very dense clouds reduce the amount of UV radiation, and thin clouds allow most of the UV radiation to pass through. ,

reflection, Because, when UV rays reach the surface of the earth, part is absorbed and part is reflected. Grass and sand reflect less than 10%; However, ice can reflect up to 80% of the radiation that reaches it.

environmental pollutionBecause the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere and stratosphere reduces the amount of solar radiation reaching the population, compromising endogenous synthesis.


Dr. Mera let us confirm that ” The main source of vitamin D is the sun“And that” only a small portion comes from diet, with relatively few foods naturally containing substantial amounts of vitamin D.” One of these foods is fish“Therefore a vegetarian diet or a diet low in fish will cause a reduction in vitamin D intake”.

Also, “cod liver oil, swordfish and salmon, tuna and orange juice.”

loss milk productsHe continued, they have “calcium, but artificially added (fortification). Instead, “tofu has a lot more vitamin D than milk (not fortified)”.

However, this expert warns us that “a balanced diet, avoiding additives and supplements that interfere with the absorption of vitamin D (fat-soluble) and a correct exposure to the sun, especially in areas devoid of UV rays, can’t be enoughThis is why we are seeing a real epidemic of hypovitaminosis D”.

pathology or conditions, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis or enteritis, “They inhibit the correct absorption of nutrients, leading to vitamin D deficiency”. Similarly, “Vitamin D transport protein deficiency in patients kidney disease may also be related to a deficiency of this vitamin”.

In this sense, he emphasized that “Indiscriminate supplementation is a solution that is not free from toxicity Because you can easily exceed therapeutic levels.

What do we do then? Of course, we ourselves already know the answer that we repeat many times in Zen: Put Yourself in the Hands of an Expert Which sets the steps we should follow.

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