What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is absorbed by the body through fatty tissue. In these tissues or the liver, It is produced by the body in a complex process that starts when rays in the invisible ultraviolet B (UVB) part of the light spectrum are absorbed by the skin. The liver and then the kidneys are then involved in the activation of vitamin D into a bioavailable form of the vitamin that the body can use.
Why is vitamin D needed?
Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D functions more like a hormone with many functions in the body. It is needed for the following functions: improving and building bone strength, boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, improving insulin resistance, improving metabolism and energy levels, producing hormones, and improving some chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, depression, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.
What are the common symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency?
The most common symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency are:
· Recurrent illnesses
· Hormonal imbalances
· Mood swings or depression
· Bone, muscle, and joint pains
What are the factors that affect vitamin D production?
People in Dubai commonly think that if they are outside when there is sun, they are going to produce Vitamin D. This is not the case! There are many reasons why you won’t produce enough vitamin D even if you are exposed to the sun during the middle of the day-
1- How you’re exposed to the sun: UVB light doesn’t penetrate through glass or clothing. When you are in the car or behind a glass window or if you’re wearing clothes, your body cannot produce vitamin D. Clouds also block UVB rays, so when the weather is cloudy you won’t be producing enough vitamin D.
2- The use of sunscreen: your body makes vitamin D when your bare skin is exposed to the sun. Thus, using sunscreen prevents your body from making vitamin D
3- The latitude where you live: at higher latitudes, the amount of UVB light reaching the earth’s surface goes down.
4- The quality of air: UVB light are blocked by carbon particulates in the air, ozone, and pollution.
5- The color of your skin: melanin, the substance that makes the skin dark, competes for UVB with the substance that produces vitamin D in the skin. Thus, the darker your skin color is, the less vitamin D you generate.
6- The health of your liver and kidneys: some types of liver or kidney diseases can reduce the absorption and activation of vitamin D making it hard to benefit from vitamin D after sun exposure.
At Yutopia, we can test your vitamin D level and recommend the needed dose for supplementation to make sure that your vitamin D is at an optimal level.
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