What diseases does vitamin D help with?

In February 1928, the German physicist Adolf Windaus and his colleagues first obtained a substance that later turned out to be the precursor of vitamin D. Windaus was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in the field of vitamin research.

Most people associate the “sun” vitamin mainly with rickets – mothers discuss whether it is mandatory and whether they can give it to their child, are walks in the sun enough? But this substance is necessary for all systems of the human body at any age.

And in our latitudes, especially during the winter months, it is difficult for a person to obtain a sufficient amount of this vitamin by exposure to the sun.

Calciferol /vitamin D/ is not like ordinary vitamins. Today, doctors claim that it is correct to consider this substance to be a steroid hormone, it is synthesized, processed and affects the body similarly to sex hormones and corticosteroids.

Vitamin D is actually a whole group of substances. Among them, cholecalciferol – vitamin D3 and ergocalciferol D2 are the most familiar. The first is synthesized in the human skin under the influence of direct sunlight and enters through nutrition.

And ergocalciferol can be obtained from food. Currently, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 15 micrograms or 600 international units of cholecalciferol.

Clarifying these facts, we move on to research – for what diseases, apart from rickets, do doctors prescribe vitamin D intake to their patients.

1. Depression

Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase – the enzyme that is necessary for the synthesis of dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. And the normal level of these hormones is an important condition for a good mood and excellent self-esteem, which is why the “sunshine vitamin” protects against depression.

For example, psychologists and nutritionists from New Zealand in October 2014 published in the journal Nutrients the results of a study based on which they established the relationship between depression and vitamin D deficiency in students, their average age was 19.5 years.

Teenagers and girls who were deficient in this vitamin were more likely to report symptoms of depression than those with calcifirol levels closest to the lower reference limit.

The effect of vitamin D on the mood of the elderly is also of interest to scientists. In October 2014 The Journals of Gerontology (Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences) published the results of a study led by gerontologist Julie Williams . The authors used data on the health status of 2,600 men and women aged 70-79 years. They were participants in a long-term American study. Scientists have found that mentally healthy elderly participants are at risk of developing depression if their body does not have enough vitamin D.

2. Thrush and any other infection

Study by scientists from Singapore published in December 2014 in the Journal of I nfectious Diseases, showed the effect of vitamin D in the body on the treatment of candidiasis – an infection caused by the yeast-like fungus Candida. Candidiasis or thrush occurs in the vagina or mouth of babies, the elderly and those with weak immunity, but it is possible to progress and become generalized, affecting the skin, mucous membranes, nails and internal organs.

One of the most important functions of vitamin D is that it stimulates the formation of cathelicidin. An antibacterial peptide that helps the body deal with inflammation more easily and is therefore necessary to fight infections.

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