Everyone knows how important vitamins are for the body and health. Each vitamin has its role, strengthens the immune system and promotes health. Some vitamins are more important to humans than others, but they all have one thing in common: they have a positive effect on our well-being. However, vitamin D has an added superpower, as it could prevent over 10,000 cancer deaths.
The importance of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that belongs to the secosteroid family. Secosteroids are chemical compounds derived from steroids, that is, natural substances insoluble in water. Vitamin D plays an elementary role in regulating the level of calcium in the blood and building bones. The substance is ingested through food or produced by the body itself when exposed to the sun or UV rays. However, the intake from food only covers 10-20 percent of the requirement and the rest is generated by the sun. The skin absorbs UV-B rays and converts them into vitamin D.
This vitamin performs the following functions in the body, which are scientifically proven:
- promotes the formation and maturation of bone stem cells
- regulates the absorption of calcium in the intestine
- Promotes the incorporation of calcium and phosphate into the bones, strengthening bones and teeth
Other functions that are not clearly scientifically proven are:
Recent studies have also shown that fortifying foods with vitamin D could even prevent the spread of cancer cells.
Vitamin D to fight cancer
Researchers from the German Center for Cancer Research found that adding vitamin D could prevent more than 10,000 cancer deaths. During a study, they examined a possible effect of targeted vitamin D fortifying foods on cancer mortality in Europe. It was found that 13 percent of cancer deaths have already been prevented in countries that have fortified food. It is therefore recommended that the elderly population, in particular, receive an increase in vitamin D in middle age. If you move this 13 percent to Germany, you get about 30,000 people whose lives lengthen accordingly. In general, vitamin D is important for the body, because a deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults in the medium term. The body still needs this vitamin for a healthy lifestyle.
The recommended dose
The Austrian Society for Nutrition recommends a daily dose of 20 micrograms (µg) for children from 1 year and adults. However, many people do not reach this dose and need doctor-prescribed supplements. However, the consumption of fish, egg yolks, various types of mushrooms such as porcini, but also veal and cream cheese has a preventive effect against a deficiency, as these have a high content of vitamin D. However, these foods cannot replace the absorption of sunlight, which is why, according to a study, people should spend at least 12 minutes a day outdoors.
Research on vitamin D isn’t over yet and we may remain curious about what else this vitamin can do.