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Well-being

Should I keep taking vitamin D in the summer?

Written by: Cristina Rodríguez

Globally, millions of menopausal women are affected by vitamin D deficiencies, which are essential for their health. Discover how this vitamin plays a crucial role in preventing chronic diseases and maintaining bone and immune health. Read our article for practical tips and detailed information on the importance of vitamin D during menopause.
Vitamine D en été : faut-il arrêter d'en prendre ? complements alimentaires vitamine D

Globally, 985 million women are 50 years or older, according to a Maturitas study on menopause health. These numbers continue to rise, increasing concerns about diseases like osteoporosis, dementia, and cognitive decline.

 

In these chronic diseases, vitamin D plays a fundamental role. Yet, it is estimated that about one billion people worldwide suffer from vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, according to a study by the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, which states that "insufficient vitamin D levels are extremely common in the general population, especially among the elderly and those with osteoporosis." The study also confirms a high proportion of vitamin D insufficiency among healthy young people.

 

Vitamin D is crucial for our bodies throughout our lives. Along with sun exposure, diet is key to maintaining vitamin D levels and reducing the risk of chronic and cardiovascular diseases.

 The importance of vitamin D lies in its various functions in the body, from bone health to the immune system.

 

What are the signs of a vitamin D deficiency?

 

Vitamin D deficiencies can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness and pain, fatigue, and bone pain. However, it can also be asymptomatic while still having significant health impacts, especially in women and those approaching menopause.

 

What is the link between vitamin D and menopause?

 

A. Why is vitamin D essential for women's health?

 

Vitamin D is particularly important for women's health because it is crucial for calcium absorption and bone mineralization, which is essential for preventing osteoporosis and reducing fracture risk, a common concern for postmenopausal women.

Moreover, various studies, including one published in the Revista Española de Cardiología, have shown that vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating various body systems, including the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and immune systems. This aspect is especially relevant during menopause when hormonal changes can increase vulnerability to chronic diseases.

 

Vitamin D also helps maintain healthy vaginal mucosal cells, improves urinary tract problems, strengthens the immune system, influences the production of certain fat-related hormones, and helps prevent the growth of cancer cells. These benefits highlight its importance for women's health during menopause.

 

B. Vitamin D plays a fundamental role from age 50 onwards.

 

How long should you spend in the sun to get your dose of vitamin D?

 

We have all wondered about this at some point since vitamin D is known to be synthesized through sun exposure. However, even in sunny countries, the number of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency is high and increasing.

 

Which vitamins are necessary during menopause?

 

From age 50 onwards, vitamin D becomes more important because, as women age, their ability to synthesize vitamin D through sun exposure decreases, leading to lower levels of this nutrient in the body. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation becomes a crucial support to maintain the necessary levels of this vitamin and support overall health, particularly muscle function and cardiovascular health.

 

"Vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone mineralization and neuromuscular health, which is essential for postmenopausal women in preventing osteoporosis and other bone diseases," states a study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This scientific reference highlights how vitamin D is vital not only for bone health but also for maintaining muscle functionality and overall well-being, critical aspects during postmenopause.

 

C. How to increase or maintain vitamin D levels?

Several measures can help maintain vitamin D levels during particularly sensitive periods, ranging from natural methods to dietary supplements.

 

If you wonder, "Which vitamins should I take during menopause?" without a doubt, vitamin D should be monitored and, if necessary, supplemented.

 

  • Diet: Certain foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), egg yolk, liver, and dairy products. Including these foods in your daily diet can help maintain vitamin D levels.

 

  • Controlled sun exposure: Direct sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D for the human body. However, it is important not to overdo it to avoid the risk of burns and skin cancer.

 

  • Supplements: When sun exposure is limited or dietary intake is insufficient, vitamin D supplements are an effective and safe option to meet the body's vitamin D needs.

 

D. How to supplement vitamin D intake through diet, sun exposure, and dietary supplements?

Among the natural sources of vitamin D, we find the previously mentioned sun exposure and diet.

 

In the case of sun exposure, vitamin D synthesis in the skin is activated by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UVB) rays. Generally, 10 to 30 minutes of direct sun exposure on the face, arms, and legs, several times a week, is sufficient for most people. However, factors like latitude, season, sunscreen use, and skin pigmentation can influence the amount of vitamin D produced from sun exposure.

 

Through diet, we can include fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, cod, or sardines, which are rich in vitamin D, as well as seafood, certain types of mushrooms, vitamin D-fortified products like milk or cereals, and egg yolk.

 

When sun exposure and dietary intake are insufficient, vitamin D supplements are an effective option to ensure adequate levels. This is especially important for people at risk of deficiency, such as the elderly, people with dark skin, those living at high latitudes, and those who spend a lot of time indoors.

 

There are two different types of supplements:

 

  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) : derived from plant sources.

 

  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) : derived from animal sources and more effective at increasing vitamin D levels in the blood.

 

The dosage can vary based on age, health status, and current vitamin D levels in the body. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage.

To support your overall health, we recommend the Immunity Complex from Days of Confidence. Each dose of this complex (2 capsules) contains 16.67 µg of vitamin D3, which is 333% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), making it particularly effective at increasing and maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood.

 

In addition to vitamin D3, this complex also contains:


  • Chameleon plant extract: a powerful anti-inflammatory botanical active that regulates immunity.

 

  • Glutamine and arginine: which strengthen the intestinal immune barrier.

  • Vitamin K2: which, in synergy with vitamin D3, promotes bone health.

  • Zinc: essential for proper immune system function.

 

By incorporating this complex into your daily routine, you can better manage the challenges of menopause while strengthening your immune system and improving bone health.

 

In conclusion, to maintain adequate vitamin D levels during sensitive periods like menopause and postmenopause, it is important to monitor blood levels and combine sun exposure, a vitamin D-rich diet, and, if necessary, proper supplementation to ensure the body receives enough vitamin D for vital functioning.

 

 

References

 

  • The Mediterranean diet and menopausal health: An EMAS position statement, Maturitas

  • Prevalencia de concentraciones deficientes e insuficientes de vitamina D en una población joven y sana - Elsevier - Hospital 12 de Octubre de Madrid

  • El sistema endocrino de la vitamina D: fisiología e implicaciones clínicas - Revista Española de Cardiología.

  • Vitamin D and menopause—A narrative review, Maturitas

  • Vitamin D supplementation after the menopause - PMC, Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab

  • Vitamin D and the Immune System in Menopause: A Review, Journal of Menopausal Medicine.

  • Vitamina D en el adulto mayor - Sociedad Española de Geriatría y Gerontología

  • El sistema endocrino de la vitamina D: fisiología e implicaciones clínicas - Revista española de cardiología

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