What are the benefits of taking vitamin D?

What are the benefits of taking vitamin D

What are the benefits of taking vitamin D ?

Vitamin D (calciferol) is now very popular. Almost everyone speaks about its beneficial properties. But can vitamin D be used to prevent upper respiratory infections? Before answering this question, let's consider how it is useful and how it is synthesized in the body.

How is vitamin D useful?

In the scientific community, it is believed that vitamin D has a large number of unexplored properties and is not just a vitamin, but a prohormone, which is converted into a hormone in the human body. In addition, the definition of "vitamin D" means a whole group of substances, two of which are most important for humans, namely:

  • ergocalciferol (vitamin D2); 
  • cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).

Vitamin D, which is also called the "vitamin of the sun", is synthesized in human skin under the influence of sunlight. This happens in the following way: a person goes outside in sunny weather and ultraviolet B-rays fall on the open areas of his skin. It contains cholesterol, and as a result of its reaction with ultraviolet radiation, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is formed. 

In cloudy winter weather, when the sun is low enough, people may become deficient in this substance. It can be replenished with the help of certain foods and dietary supplements.

The vitamin in question has a list of scientifically proven beneficial properties. He participates in such vital functions of the body as:

  • absorption of calcium and normalization of bone growth;
  • regulation of cell growth;
  • strengthening the functions of the immune system;
  • maintaining calcium balance;
  • increased muscle tone;
  • regulation of metabolism;

prevention of the occurrence of diseases of the cardiovascular system. 

It is also important to note that vitamin D can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and thus reduce the likelihood of colon and breast cancer. 

Only 10% of the "vitamin of the sun" enters the human body with food, the remaining 90% are synthesized in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Therefore, in winter, a person may have a shortage of this substance, which can be replenished with the help of food (fatty fish, eggs, butter, hard cheese) or special supplements with vitamin D. Such means include combined preparations and pure vitamin D in tablets, capsules, solutions.

The most effective dietary supplements containing the substance in question:

  • Vitamin D3 600 IU ;
  • Calcium magnesium with vitamin D3 ;
  • Ferment Yogurt vitamin D ;
  • Calcium D3 Nycomed ;
  • Ergocalciferol .

But does vitamin D help prevent colds, namely upper respiratory tract infections (URT)?

Vitamin D for the prevention of infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract

In order to understand whether calciferol, ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol can prevent URT diseases caused by infections, a significant amount of research has been done.

In 2017, a team of British scientists analyzed 25 scientific trials involving people ranging in age from a few months to 95 years. The subjects drank different amounts of vitamin D, and medical experts compared its effect on preventing respiratory tract infections. The results confirmed the effectiveness of this vitamin in preventing colds and were posted in the British Medical Journal.

It was noticed that with the constant intake of this substance, the risk of developing infectious diseases of the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea is significantly reduced. The subjects in whom the amount of vitamin D in their blood was equal to 25 nmol / l (10 ng / dl) were 70% less susceptible to infectious pathologies. In those who had less or more vitamin in their blood, the likelihood of URT diseases decreased by only 25%. 

Another study, also conducted in 2017, compared the effectiveness of high and low dose vitamin D intake in older adults. All study participants were divided into two groups: the first took 3,300 IU of the substance in question every day for a month, and the second, 400 IU. The study lasted 4 years, after which the scientists came to the conclusion that high dosages of vitamin D reduce the likelihood of upper respiratory tract infections in older people by 40%.

Later, the results of the 2019 experiment, which were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, came to similar conclusions. According to them, people who consume vitamin D at the recommended dosages and are not deficient have a lower chance of contracting infectious diseases than those who do not take it in supplements. 

Thus, we can conclude that taking vitamin D in the form of dietary supplements reduces the likelihood of infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract in people of different ages. However, it all depends on the dosage, if it is reduced or increased, this can not only reduce the effectiveness of the action, but also lead to negative consequences. And to prevent this from happening, the next paragraph will consider the recommended daily dosage of vitamin D for children and adults.

How to take vitamin D and how much can you drink per day?

Calciferol, ergocalciferol, and cholecalciferol should be drunk with or after meals. Taking vitamin D on an empty stomach is undesirable. The dosage in each individual case may be different, therefore, before buying and drinking this substance, you should consult with your doctor.

To accurately determine whether there is a vitamin D deficiency in the body, you need to pass a special blood test in the laboratory. If he shows that the amount of vitamin in the blood is less than 30 ng / mol, then this indicates a deficiency. In this case, it needs to be replenished with the help of certain foods and dietary supplements.

Recommended dosage of vitamin D per day:

  • adults (18-50 years old) - 600-800 IU;
  • people over the age of 50 - 800-1000 IU;
  • children (1-18 years old) - 600-800 IU;
  • infants under one year old - 400 IU.

The maximum daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 4000 IU. Exceeding it can cause side effects and is considered unsafe for health. 

Take the substance in question according to the doctor's instructions and the instructions for the preparations containing it and the risk of URT infections will be minimal.

Nowadays, the interest in vitamin D3 and its beneficial properties is so great that we simply could not ignore this topic. Therefore, read our new full-blown article on vitamin D3: what is it for, does it increase immunity, and what is the risk of its lack . 

How to choose the most effective drug in a pharmacy among the many products with vitamin D, D2 and D3 and not be mistaken? To do this, you can read our article with recommendations on which vitamin D to buy at the pharmacy to protect yourself from colds and viruses .