Blogs on various topics
Vitamin D is such a cool vitamin since it can be synthesized in the body with a little help from sunlight. Today, is actually the perfect weather to go outside and soak up some vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, a group of fat-soluble pro-hormones, which encourage the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous. It is assumed that people who are exposed to normal amounts of sunlight don’t need vitamin D supplements. However, data collected in Miami, Florida where sun exposure is high showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Some common reasons include: sun block, clothing, skin colour and age.
How It’s Made
People obtain vitamin D from sun exposure, food and supplements. It is biologically inert and has to undergo two chemical reactions to become active in the body. The active form of vitamin D in the body is called Calcitriol (1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol).
Five forms of vitamin D have been discovered.
Vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. The two forms that are well-known to the public are vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).
- Vitamin D2, (ergocalcifero - made from ergosterol)
Vitamin D2 is produced by invertebrates (animals without a spine), fungus and plants in response to sunlight. Humans and other vertebrates do not produce vitamin D2. Ergosterol is a good absorber of ultraviolet radiation, which can damage DNA, RNA and protein; consequently many scientists believe it may serve as a sunscreen that protects organisms from sunlight damage.
- Vitamin D3, (cholecalciferol- made from 7-dehydrocholesterol)
Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with sunlight
People require 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure at least twice a week on the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen with a greater than 3 UV index for adequate amounts of vitamin D3. Longer exposure results in the extra vitamin supply being degraded as fast as it is generated.
Benefits of Vitamin D
The best-known role of vitamin D is a member of a large cast of nutrients and hormones that interact to regulate blood clacium and phosphorous levels
It is an immune system regulator
May help maintain a healthy body weight
Various studies have shown that poeple with adequate levels of vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer, compared to people with insufficient or deficient level
May help maintain blood pressure
Vitamin D & Nutrition
Not that many foods contain vitamin D. Some fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils are considered to be the best sources. Some vitamin D is also present in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Most of these are Vitamin D3. Some mushrooms provide variable amounts of vitamin D2.
Most of the food source vitamin D in the western diet comes from fortified foods - where vitamin D is artificially added.
Vitamin D & Supplementation
Over the last few hundred years human lifestyles have changed. The industrial revolution resulted in more indoor work and less exposure to sunlight. Many societies around the world wore more clothing over the centuries, further reducing skin exposure to sunlight. These changes have brought with them a significant reduction in the natural production of vitamin D and subsequent diseases.
There is so many vitamin D supplements on the market. To help you make the right choice, you should first find out what your blood level is and get your vitamin D measured either at NutriChem or your general physician. After understanding your results, pick up the recommended dosage to help you obtain optimal health. You can talk to our Nutritionistsat NutriChem to help you get the necessary amount of vitamin D for your body.
1. Grosvenor M. and Smolin, L.(2002)Nutrition From Science to Life, Harcout College Publications, pgs 241-245
2. Levis S, Gomez A. et al. (2005) Vitamin D Deficiency and Seasonal Variation in an Adult South Florida Population, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.
3. Vitamin D (Calcitriol) http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/otherendo/vitamind.html
When people talk about fats, they usually think fats are unhealthy and try to avoid them. However, fats provide most of the energy needed to perform much of the body’s work. Fat tissue (adipose tissue) secretes hormones that help regulate appetite and influence other body functions. It also serves to protect your organs and insulate your body from extreme temperature.
Now, everyone knows that coconut is high in saturated fat. Yet, recent studies have re-evaluated this botanical fruit (not nut) and studies have shown that coconut contains medium-chain fatty acid, also known as medium-chain triglycerides – MCT. MCT is unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health-giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
For a small vegetable, garlic sure has a big, and well-deserved reputation. Although garlic may not always ward off vampires, it is guaranteed to transform any meal into a bold, aromatic and healthy culinary experience.
Of the some twenty amino acids forming different proteins in our bodies, today I want to share the benefits of only three. They are glutamine, glycine and cysteine. These Three Aminos – pun intended – form the most important compound you need to stay healthy and the secret to prevent aging. This amazing tripeptide is called glutathione (GSH).