Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for growth

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Recent researches have suggested that vitamin D deficiency has association with higher risk of heart attack, heart failure, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis and even depression. We used to believe that vitamin D is a type of supplementary nutrients, while it has become more popular since a study in Britain showed that vitamin D plays a vital role to fight against flu. Due to the synergetic effect among vitamins, they work closely together to perform various chemical reactions and maximize their functions inside our bodies. Therefore, we need not only vitamin D, but also other nutrients like vitamin A, C, E as well as allicin to prevent from flu.

Calcium is a key mineral during the golden period of growth in early childhood; kids of 2-4 years old need calcium to build their skeleton and teeth, stimulate intestinal absorption, stabilize emotion and other significant functions. To absorb adequate calcium, we need vitamin D to act as a vehicle to deliver calcium to the parts of our bodies that need calcium to function. Therefore, vitamin D deficiency will lead to failure of calcium transportation, our body will then fail to absorb sufficient amount of calcium. Calcium deficiency may affect our health of teeth and bones; it may also lead to rickets. In long run, different diseases related to the circulatory system may occur, such as hypertension, angiosclerosis, heart attack or diabetes.

                                                                                                                   

Consuming fish and mushrooms can help absorb vitamin D. Much vitamin D can be found in fish like sardines, mackerel, savannah and salmon; each gram of fish contains 0.1-0.3 mg of active vitamin D3 that can be immediately absorbed, while each gram of mushrooms contains 0.2 mg of vitamin D2 that can be absorbed after being activated through liver and kidney. Though vitamin D2 cannot easily be absorbed like vitamin D3, cooking mushrooms with oil can make vitamin D2 easier to be absorbed.

Apart from absorption from diet, vitamin D can also be absorbed from sunlight exposure. This so-called “sunshine vitamin” is synthesized when our skin is exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet B), it then flows with blood into liver and kidney, enzymes in there will convert it into activated vitamin D3. Spending 15 minutes under sunlight can produce half of the amount of vitamin D we need everyday, you can get the rest of them from food or supplements. Besides, vitamin D is also responsible for extracting calcium from bones into blood when hypocalcemia occurs (the calcium level in blood is too low), in order to ease your depression and stabilize the nervous system.

 

 

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