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How Vitamin D And Calcium Work And Why They Are Better To Pair Them
How Vitamin D And Calcium Work And Why They Are Better To Pair Them

Video: How Vitamin D And Calcium Work And Why They Are Better To Pair Them

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Video: Vitamin D and Calcium Absorption - Biochemistry Lesson 2023, January
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Advertising encourages us to buy and drink vitamin D and calcium supplements and assures us that this will solve many health problems. Is this so, or is the general obsession with these elements just the result of successful pharmaceutical marketing? An endocrinologist and nutritionist, geneticist of the Atlas Medical Center Larisa Gennadievna Bavykina answers the controversial question.

What is Vitamin D

In the 19th century in England, children of poor families ate poorly and lived in almost constant darkness due to dense toxic smoke from industrial enterprises, which led to an increase in the incidence of rickets. In the early 20th century, pediatricians began to recommend spending at least 15 minutes a day in the sun and consuming cod liver oil regularly.

At the beginning of the XXI century, numerous studies were carried out that contributed to the popularization of vitamin D. Scientists have found that it has a structure unusual for vitamins, and affects many processes in the body. In addition, vitamin D is similar to a hormone in that it has receptors in various organs and tissues. For example, in osteoblasts (young bone cells). And vitamin D receptors in the intestines help to absorb calcium.

The basis of vitamin D is cholesterol, so this vitamin can penetrate into all cells of the body.

Methods of obtaining

  • Direct sunlight. Hands should be bare to mid-shoulder, face and neck exposed. If these conditions are observed for 5-15 minutes 2-3 times a week in the morning or evening hours, you will provide the body with vitamin D in the summer. But the abuse of the sun's rays - tanning - is already unhealthy and increases the risk of skin cancer.
  • Vitamin D-fortified milk or fish oil. The milk is irradiated on a conveyor using an ultraviolet lamp, and the precursor of vitamin D is formed from cholesterol. Fish oil is obtained from cod liver, which is naturally rich in this vitamin.
  • Preparations. Water and oil solutions of vitamin D. This is a priority method of obtaining this vitamin in the autumn, winter and spring periods nowadays.

Vitamin deficiency

You should not prescribe this vitamin to yourself, especially since the symptoms of its lack are nonspecific and may indicate other pathologies.

Apply for the appointment of the drug in late summer - early autumn to an endocrinologist or therapist, if possible, take an analysis for the level of vitamin D. The doctor will determine which dose of this vitamin to prescribe - prophylactic or saturating.

In addition, according to recent studies, certain genes influence the assimilation of vitamin D, more precisely, genes "supervise" the work of various enzymes involved in the assimilation of vitamin D. Thus, the DHCR7 gene regulates the work of the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase, which is necessary for the synthesis of the vitamin precursor D. The CYP2R1 gene is responsible for the liver enzymes involved in the metabolism of vitamin D. The GC gene regulates the activity of a protein that binds and moves this vitamin and its metabolites in the liver. Because of this complex system, it turns out that people under the same living conditions have different levels of vitamin D, which depends on genetic characteristics.

Vitamin D has a positive effect on the immune system, contributes to the maintenance of bone density and the prevention of osteoporosis.

Why is calcium useful?

Calcium is involved in a wide variety of body processes:

  • important for bone metabolism;
  • maintains bone strength;
  • helps the formation of melatonin;
  • provides muscle contraction and conduction of nerve impulses.

For the prevention of calcium deficiency, fermented milk products should be consumed; products marked "fortified with calcium" are also acceptable. With a lack of calcium, the body "takes

Where to find calcium

Calcium and vitamin D are interconnected: milk and dairy products contain bioavailable calcium, but it is well absorbed only if there is a sufficient amount of vitamin D in the body. Only in commonwealth do these two elements reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium is found not only in dairy products, but also in nuts, nut milk, green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, etc.). The problem is that 100 g of hard cheese contains the same amount of calcium as 1 kg of broccoli and 15 kg of spinach. Therefore, it is easier to get the necessary element from fermented milk products or preparations as prescribed by a doctor.

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