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Truth About Vitamin D and D3

Vitamin D is one of the vitamins needed by the human body for the regulation of the minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. It also helps in maintaining proper bone structure.

Vitamin D3 is a type of vitamin D known as cholecalciferol, it is the most widely known in the vitamin D series. Cholecalciferol is a fat soluble vitamin that is deposited to some point in the body. It is mostly used as treatment of vitamin D deficiency, or to prevent the occurrence of a deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency is a popular health condition usually experienced by people who do not get enough sun. According to some studies, people living in Canada and the northern half of the US, are at risk of this health condition owing to their inability to get enough of the sun all year round. Nevertheless, even people living in sunny typical weather might be at risk if they stay indoor more, cover up all the time while outside, or use sunscreens all the time to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Exposure to the sun is the fastest, easiest and most reliable way for the human body to get vitamin D. When the hands, face, arms, and legs are exposed two to three times a week to sunlight for about one-quarter of the time it would take the skin to develop a mild sunburn, this is sufficient for an adequate production of vitamin D on the skin.

The recommended time for exposure is dependent on age, skin type, season, time of day, and location. Naturally, when the skin is exposed to six days of casual sunlight without sunscreen, this can make up for about forty-nine days of no exposure. Just like capacitors in some electrical gadgets, the fats in the human body acts like a storage battery for vitamin D. The vitamin is usually stored in the body fats during sunlight and released for the appropriate use when sunlight is gone.

Elderly people are mostly at risk of having vitamin D deficiency because they are less likely to spend time in the sun, may not get vitamin D in their diet, may have concerns absorbing vitamin D even if it is in their diet, and may also have challenges converting nutritional vitamin D to a useful form due to kidney diseases. Actually, scientists advocate that there is a considerably increment in the risk for vitamin D deficiency in people over sixty-five years of age.

Vitamin D is in constant demand by older people, people living in northern latitudes, and for dark-skinned people who need extra time in the sun. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU/day of vitamin D to be taken during the fall and winter for adults in Canada. People with higher risk of having low vitamin D status, this dose should be taken year-round until the deficiency is corrected. People in consideration are those who have dark skin, usually putting on cloths that cover most of their skin, and older people or those who do not go outside often.

Experts suggest that vitamin D supplements containing cholecalciferol should be used daily in order to meet the recommended intake levels of vitamin D in the body. Cholecalciferol seems to be more potent than other forms of vitamin D.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D3

A detailed research has it that vitamin D intake by mouth and along with a phosphate supplement was effective in curing health challenges such as small level of phosphate in the blood due to a genetic disorder known as hypophosphatemia, little quantity of phosphate in the blood owing to a disease called fanconi syndrome.

The supplement has also been known to be effective for increasing the blood calcium levels in people with parathyroid hormone, treating softening of the bones owing to liver diseases. Smearing vitamin D together with a corticosteroid containing drug helps to treat psoriasis in people. It also prevents bone loss in people with kidney failure but never reduces the risk of death or bone pain in such patients. Vitamin D also cures rickets and vitamin D deficiency.

Recommended oral intake of vitamin D with calcium are likely effective for the prevention of bone loss and improvement of bone density in people taking corticosteroids. Detailed study revealed that higher doses of vitamin D reduced the risk of falling by twenty-two percent; also people without vitamin D tend to fall more that people who do. It further revealed that the said combination of vitamin D3 and calcium prevented falls greatly in women than men in older people living in residential care facilities than those in living in communities.

There is a possibility that vitamin D3 supplement is effective in the treatment of cavities, heart failures, multiple sclerosis, respiratory infections, and tooth loss. It is however not effective to the treatment of breast cancer, cancer, heart diseases, fractures, high blood pressures and tuberculosis.

Very few studies claim that there was evidence of vitamin D reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina, kidney diseases, colorectal cancer, mental function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia, diabetes, critical illness requiring intensive care in the hospital, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, low birth weight, breathing disorder, bronchitis, metabolic syndrome, muscle strength, myelodysplastic syndrome, gum disease, pain, parkinson’s disease, complications in pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, proximal myopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, wartlike growth on the skin that is noncancerous, vaginal atrophy, warts, and weight loss. There is however no sufficient evidence to support these claims.

EFFECTS AND ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS IN USING VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is very safe when ingested in an oral form or given as a shot into the muscles in doses recommended by the health care provider. No adverse side effects has been recorded when vitamin D was taken in its recommended dosage, however, when it was ingested in a higher dosage some side effects like sleepiness, vomiting, dry mouth, weakness, headache, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and metallic taste in the mouth were observed.

A prolonged intake of higher doses of vitamin D also proved unsafe and increased the level of calcium in the blood. In health conditions such as seen in vitamin D deficiencies, the intake of much higher doses of vitamin D is advised but under the monitoring eyes of a health care provider.

WHEN TO AVOID USING VITAMIN D

Studies have shown that using vitamin D daily in amount below four thousand units while pregnant or breastfeeding can be effective and safe, however, on higher amounts, unless instructed by the health care provider, it is very unsafe and may likely cause serious harm to the child.

There are other conditions where it is advised to avoid the use of vitamin D, cases such as hardening of the arteries, histoplasmosis, high level of calcium in the blood, overactive parathyroid gland, lymphoma, tuberculosis, sarcodosis. All these listed health conditions are seen when Vitamin D is taken in higher doses than recommended and thereby increasing the calcium levels in the human body, the increase in calcium promotes kidney stones and other kidney problems.
APPROPRIATE DOSAGE FOR VITAMIN D3

Studies have discovered the right dosage of vitamin D for the treatment of the aforementioned health conditions is very effective. For health conditions such as vitamin D deficiency, it is advised to take oral doses recommended by the health care provider for a period of six to twelve weeks. For prevention of osteoporosis and bone loss due to use of corticosteroids, vitamin D in form of calcitriol and as recommended is encouraged to be used for up to thirty-six months.

In the prevention of cancer about 1400-1500 mg/day of calcium combined with 1100 IU/day of vitamin D in form of cholecalciferol is advised to be used for up to seven years.

For heart failure and bone loss due to much parathyroid hormone, vitamin D3 was taken 800 IU/day along with 1000 mg/day of calcium for three years and three months respectively. About 400 IU/day of vitamin D was successfully used to prevent multiple sclerosis.

For the prevention of respiratory tract infections, about 300-4000 IU of vitamin D was used for seven weeks to thirteen months. Also for the prevention of tooth loss in older people, 700 IU/day of vitamin D is advised to be combined with calcium 500 mg/day for three years.

In health conditions like plaque psoriasis, vitamin D was applied to the skin alone for up to fifty-two weeks for maximum result. Explicit vitamin D products used in some clinical studies are Daivobet and Dovobet. These products contain 50 mcg/gram of calcipotriol and 0.5 mg/gram of betamethasone dipropionate.

When injecting vitamin D into the muscles, 600,000 IU of vitamin D of Arachitol, Solvay Pharma is highly recommended.

For the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children about 1200 IU/day of vitamin D in form of cholecalciferol is advised. Also, 500 IU/day of cholecalciferol has been reported to effectively prevent worsening of asthma symptoms caused by respiratory tract infections.

CONCLUSION

For prevention of vitamin D deficiency and an excellent lifestyle, the institute of Medicine recommended that the daily amount of vitamin D that meets the needs of most people varies from 400 IU to about 800 IU daily. This daily recommendation is dependent on the current age, gene and health condition of the human body.

For persons within the ages of one to seventy years, about 600 IU daily of vitamin D is recommended; from seventy-one years and older, 800 IU daily. For pregnant and breastfeeding women about 600 IU daily is advised and recommended. For children within the ages zero to twelve months, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D necessary for their body is about 400 IU. 

Davos