Vitamin D’s main function is to improve the absorption of calcium and phosphorus that occurs in the intestine and bones. In addition, studies show its involvement with other vital processes, such as cell reproduction, hormone secretion and performance in the immune system.
Doctors and researchers have shown a lot of interest in studies on the action of vitamin D. There are no conclusive results on all interdependencies of the pre-hormone and other diseases.
However, several pathologies and conditions can be directly or indirectly associated with vitamin levels, especially with regard to lack of vitamin D. In general, research has identified the prevalence of hypovitaminosis (low vitamin concentration) D, which can lead to or worsen pathological conditions.
There is also evidence that these diseases are prevented or improved in treatment when vitamin supplementation is combined.
Know the conditions and associated diseases:
Recent studies point to the correlation between lack of vitamin D and vulnerability to depression . Patients with a history of psychological illness showed even more risk of relapse.
The UT Southwestern Medical Center (Texas medical school), in the USA, followed about 12 thousand patients between 2006 and 2010, and found that there was a higher incidence of depression in those who had lower levels of vitamin D.
Therefore, maintaining vitamin sufficiency can reduce the risks of depression, in addition to assisting in better responses to therapies and medications.
Muscle fatigue or weakness
There is evidence that low levels of vitamin D can cause tiredness and chronic fatigue . Researches show that the symptoms are more present in those who ingest less vitamin, even if there is no deficiency of the substance.
Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women may be associated with deviations in the baby’s brain development, leading to autism spectrum syndrome.
Studies show that the majority of those diagnosed with autism have hypovitaminosis D. In 75% of the cases studied, there were improvements in the learning and development of the autistic person by regulating vitamin levels through supplementation and greater sun exposure.
Due to the stimulation of peptide and antimicrobial synthesis, low levels of vitamin D favor infections and inflammations due to low immunity.
In a study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences ( scientific journal of the New York Academy of Sciences ), it is suggested that the vitamin may still act as an anti-infective agent, reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections, influenza , dengue , hepatitis B and C and diseases in the respiratory tract. It can also reduce the use of antibiotics .
Researchers from the British Medical Journal (UK periodical) evaluated patients of all age groups who were taking vitamin supplementation. The results indicate that there were immunological improvements, decreasing the cases of acute respiratory tract infections.
For those who start treatment with antibiotics, the body’s response is generally faster, avoiding adaptation or resistance to the medication.
Bone weakness and osteoporosis
In the absence of the nutrient, there may be a 30% drop in the absorption of the ingested calcium. This leads to bone weakening and increases the chances of osteoporosis .
In this case, falls or fractures can be aggravated by the lack of vitamin D, as recovery is slower. In addition, hypovitaminosis may be associated with high bone pain rates, especially in the lower back.
This is because the lack of vitamin D causes the inadequate mining of substances by the bone. Meaning that there is an imbalance in the absorption and release of calcium by the tissue.
To reestablish the values, the organism increases the bone reabsorption of substances, with the purpose of releasing more calcium into the blood.
With the calcium reduction in the bones, the fracture, crumbling or weakening of bone mass indices are increased.
Type 2 diabetes
Some research shows that vitamin D can affect the insulin response to glucose. The active form of the vitamin acts directly on the insulin action. Vitamin D, by acting on calcium regulation, stimulates the expression of the hormone insulin.
When calcium levels are reduced, they impair the binding of insulin receptors, causing glucose levels to be affected.
Therefore, there is evidence that the greater the vitamin D deficiency, the greater the risk of the patient developing type 2 diabetes .
As vitamin D acts on calcium absorption, all organs and tissues that interact with the mineral are affected.
Although hair loss is a condition caused by numerous deregulations or diseases, there are indications that the lack of vitamin D is related to some of them.
The alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where there is severe bone weakening and loss of hair, which has low synthesis of nutrients.
In addition, calcium promotes the synthesis of keratin, a substance that impacts the health of hair and nails. Thus, indirectly, adequate levels of vitamin D reduce hair loss, strengthen nails and improve the appearance of tissues.
Although it is not conclusive, there may be a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent). It is also possible that the development of diabetes 1 is prevented with the normalization of vitamin levels.
Although vitamin D supplementation is not a substitute for primary treatment, nor is it a consensus among the medical community, maintaining adequate levels of the nutrient can assist in the control and prevention of autoimmune diseases in general.
Some cases point out that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with the development of cancer . Among the types most related to vitamin deficiency, breast, colorectal, ovarian, prostate and melanoma are quite frequent in studies already carried out.
This can occur because hypovitaminosis affects cell dysregulation, causing cells to proliferate uncontrollably.
Research shows that, when cancer is diagnosed, vitamin D metabolism may be directly related to the prevention of angiogenesis (when new blood vessels are created, spreading the disease). Therefore, adequate intake of the nutrient can slow the progression of the disease, even preventing the progression to malignant cancer.
Many studies suggest the relationship between obesity and low levels of vitamin D. When there is a reduction in body fat, levels of vitamin synthesis tend to improve, even without changes in diet or exposure to the sun. That is, weight loss would bring direct improvements to the synthesis of the pre-hormone.
Risks during pregnancy and lactation
As vitamin D improves immunological conditions, deficiency can favor embryonic rejection, causing abortion, which has a greater incidence in the first trimester.
The pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and gestational diabetes may be related to vitamin D levels, as there is a substance interacting with the production of renin (which interacts with the cardiac function) and insulin action (which regulates blood glucose).
The risks of infections and poor baby development are reduced. The low vitamin D synthesis of the pregnant woman may favor autism and respiratory problems in the child.
In addition, for those who are still planning to become pregnant, maintaining adequate vitamin levels favors fertility, acting on ovulation.