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How does vitamin D absorption work and what gets in the way?

Vitamin D is an essential prohormone for health, which is obtained from exposure to sunlight and through food . However, do you know what to do to improve the absorption of vitamin D in your body and what makes this process difficult?

Ensuring good levels of this nutrient is important, as it acts in various body functions and maintains the balance of various organs . In addition, vitamin D favors the absorption of calcium and phosphorus , strengthening bones , teeth and muscles .

Therefore, in this text you will discover what makes it difficult, how it is done and other questions about the absorption of vitamin D in the body.

How important is vitamin D for health?

Studies prove that vitamin D deficiency is related to various complications such as autoimmune diseases , inflammatory bowel disease , hypertension , diabetes , joint pain .

Vitamin D plays a role in several important functions in the body.
In addition, Alzheimer ‘s , multiple sclerosis and other degenerative diseases can also be influenced by the absence of the nutrient. Also, in children, lack of vitamin D can cause growth retardation and rickets .

Therefore, it is worth emphasizing that the elderly, children, pregnant and lactating women, people with dark skin and obese people are more deficient in vitamin D and need medical follow-up.

How does the body absorb vitamin D?

The intestine absorbs vitamin D, along with fats and with the help of bile . After this process, the conversion of the nutrient in the skin into an active hormone occurs through ultraviolet rays and, therefore, the importance of the sun.

Also, the liver is the organ responsible for capturing and storing the nutrient.

How to improve nutrient absorption?

Sun rays are   the best source for vitamin D absorption. For this, it is important that exposure to the sun is done as follows:

  • Fair-skinned people   should get between 15 and 20 minutes of sun, three times a week.
  • Darker-skinned people are recommended to take  3 to 5 times longer  to synthesize the same amount of vitamin D.

In addition, the best time for the body  to synthesize vitamin D is from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm , where the sun is not so strong.

Vitamin D absorption is enhanced with sunbathing or nutrient supplementation.

However, for cases where the person should avoid sunbathing, it is necessary to consult a doctor beforehand, as they should consume the nutrient through food or supplementation .

How is supplementation done?

The use of vitamin D supplements should be done with the guidance of a  doctor or nutritionist , after assessing the levels of deficiency. The amount and mode of taking varies according to the needs of each patient.

In this case, the use of supplements can be done along with  food sources of vitamin D. In this way, the absorption and use of supplements will be more efficient.

Here are some examples of foods rich in vitamin D:

  • Cod liver oil;
  • liver steak;
  • Egg yolk;
  • Atum;
  • Mushrooms;
  • Milk and derivatives.

What gets in the way of vitamin D absorption?

A diet rich in refined carbohydrates , such as bread, pasta and sweets, makes it difficult to absorb this vitamin. That is, it is necessary to maintain a balanced diet, with few refined carbohydrates.

The excessive use of sunscreen or exposing yourself to the sun with a lot of clothes hinders the absorption of the vitamin.

Another factor that can reduce the ability to synthesize vitamin D is excessive use of sunscreen . Therefore, it is recommended to expose yourself only during the indicated time and time and, after that period, protect yourself adequately.

In addition, some diseases can also make nutrient absorption difficult, such as celiac disease and chronic renal failure (CRF) . This is because they attack the two organs responsible for absorbing and synthesizing vitamin D: the liver and the intestine .

How to treat vitamin D deficiency

If the patient has any of the above complications, it is important to always measure vitamin D levels and start supplemental medication when necessary.

Therefore, medical follow-up is essential. Consult your trusted physician and nutritionist for a detailed assessment and better guidance.

As for the use of sunscreen, check with your dermatologist. Because as we mentioned earlier, exposure to the sun varies according to the skin and condition of each one.

As you can see, vitamin D is a fundamental element for our health. So make sure the nutrient amount is ideal to keep your body healthy.

Therefore, it is worth remembering that the content of the article is only informative and does not dispense with consultation with the doctor or other health professional.

Healthy Doctor