The significance of vitamin D for the body
Vitamin D (calciferol) is a necessary factor, not only for an adequate balance of calcium and phosphorus, but also a numerous other processes in the body. Therefore, the provision of the optimal needs for this vitamin is highly important, both for children and adults and elderly people.
Vitamin D deficiency
The research has so far shown that almost a forth to the third of children, and almost a half od adults, have a vitamin D deficiency.
The lack of this vitamin, apart from the well known consequences for the skeleton and teeth, such as rickets in the childhood, and osteopenia, osteoporosis and osteomalaciain later life, has an important role in the formation of various malignities, primarily colon, prostate, breast and lung diseases, diabetes, arterial hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune and allergic deseases, etc.
From a biological perspective, the main source of vitamin D is sun exposure, whereas food, apart from some rare exceptions, lacks the vitamin to a great extent. However, modern lifestyle accompanied with the excessive residing indoors, as well as a justified fear of sun bathing as a cause of skin malignities, primarily melanoma, have greatly deprived people of their basic vitamin D source. In accordance with the situation, and based on many epidemiological studies that prove the increase in the abovementioned diseases whose root is related to vitamin D deficiency, it is advised that vitamin D, regardless of the age, should be taken additionally in a form of dietary supplements or medicines.
According to the modern attitudes, the recommended daily amount of vitamin D for the age of 0-18 years is 400 IJ, from 19-70 years 600 IJ and after the 70th year 800 IJ. The recommended amount of vitamin D for preterm infants is identical as for term infants (400 IJ daily). Moreover, pregnant women and women who breastfeed their child do not need more than 600 IJ of vitamin D daily.
Vitamin D for new born babies
Optimal diet for newborn babies and infants requires mother’s milk or, if not possible, an adapted formula of cow’s milk. Mother’s milk provides the baby with all the vitamins except vitamin D, whereas in the adapted milk forms, if the daily amount is 750 ml, there is a sufficient amount of all vitamins, including vitamin D. Therefore, an additional amount of 400 IJ (10 micrograms) of vitamin D should be given to the infant feeded only with mother’s milk, as well as to the one whose diet consists of regular cow’s milk. However, when it comes to the infant that is feeded in two ways, that is, both the mother’s milk and the adapted milk formula is used, the need for additional amount of vitamin D is relatively decreased.
By adding vitamin D to the diet of infants, rickets, weak muscles, late teething and their bleeding are almost eradicated.
Vitamin D overdose
Vitamin D is not harmless if it is taken in the amount larger that necessary. Since, as all other vitamins soluble in fats (D, A, E i K), in strong doses can harm proper developmentand health. An adult can daily take as much as 25 micrograms of vitamin D. In case of an overdose, there is a possibility for hypercalcemia and kidney stone formation, and when it comes to infants, delays in development and progress, as well as the infection compliance are possible.
Why only vitamin D without vitamin A
The earlier recommendations stated that, apart from vitamin D, there should also be an increase in the amount of vitamin A in infants, but nowadays only additional doses od vitamin D are recommended since mother’s milk is considered to contain a sufficient amount of vitamin A. Therefore, preparations that contain vitamin D combined with vitamin A, are not adequate dietary supplemets for infants.
Why oily and not water solution of vitamin D
Vitamin D is better used from an oily than a water solution. In contrast to the oily solution,the water one contains additives (preservatives and emulsifiers) that are not reccomended for children.
Moreover, it is highly important that an oily solution of vitamin D is not a synthetic mineral oil, but a herbal oil of high quality that is easily digestible and tolerable for baby’s stomach.
Additional amounts of vitamin D in adults
Bearing in mind that the natural source of vitamin D is the sunlight people are deprived of, since sun bathing is harmful due to the „ozone holes“, supplementation has become necessary.
In adults, vitamin D impacts the prevention from different malignities, especially melanoma, theni autoimmune diseases, allergies, hypertensions, reduces the possibilities of infection and enhances the regulation of blood sugar. With the additional vitamin D intake, the number of those who suffer from osteoporosis is reduced.When it comes to pregnant women, vitamin D enables the healthy development of an offspring, but also the maintenance of mother’s health.