Vitamin D is one of the widely discussed vitamins which frequently attracts media attention. Every so often we hear about deficiencies affecting the entire population followed by not infrequent opinions about its toxicity. Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption, promotes the balance of immune system, indirectly influencing our physical and mental well-being.


Things you should know about vitamin D to stop fearing it


Inconsistent media communication varying from reports on successful studies of the Polish research institutions on the significance of vitamin D for human body, to incomplete information on its properties, can easily cause concerns related to its supplementation. We should be aware that vitamin D is a specific chemical compound that we cannot get enough from our diets and its production through skin in response to UV rays is insufficient, especially in northern latitude countries such as Poland. That is why manufacture of dietary supplements must take into account preparations with vitamin D.

Vitamin D is synthesized in skin layers but requires a compound present in our diet (cholesterol derivative) which, in response to sunlight, is converted into pro-vitamin and then into vitamin. That's what theory says. But what does reality look like? In fact, it is impossible to get from our diet adequate levels of vitamin D that would ensure healthy body functions. One of few foods high in vitamin D is eel. It's also present in other fatty fish but these are reluctantly eaten due to their high calorific value. Other foods known as a good source of vitamin D include eggs, milk, cheese and plant oils, but all of them contain only small amounts of vitamin D. Even extended exposure to sunlight will not help in the synthesis of vitamin D, if our body receives inadequate level of the building substance.

The prevailing sedentary lifestyle with irregular physical activity significantly reduces natural synthesis of vitamin D. We spend most of our lives working or resting within the four walls of our offices, homes and flats. This is true for the entire population, not only working age population. Especially affected are babies and school children who need vitamin D as an important bone-building substance because of the growth processes in their bodies. Not long ago, an average child spent enough time outdoors in spring and summer to synthesize the vitamin. Today, things have changed. Sunscreens with sun protection factor recommended by dermatologists, block UV rays preventing not only sunburns but also the synthesis of pro-vitamin D. Elderly people are affected as a result of other factors: with age their lifestyle becomes even more sedentary due to limited mobility and their skin's ability to absorb UV rays declines so it can no longer be considered a sufficient source of vitamin D supply. Vitamin D deficiency in children during growth leads to rickets and in adults who do not supplement it, may lead to bone decalcification, and, as we know, skeletal demineralization results in increased bone fracture risk. That is why manufacturers of dietary supplements and brand owners are faced with a challenge of adjusting the right type of vitamin D preparation to the right population group affected by deficiency of this substantial component. 

Vitamin D is not toxic though such opinions are heard every now and then. However, as for any other chemical compound, excessive amounts of vitamin D in your body may have negative effects. That is why it is so important to dose dietary supplements as recommended in the included leaflet by manufacturers of softgel capsules, sachets or any other supplementation form. 


Vitamin D – balanced body and strong bones


It is worth paying attention to frequently deficient nutrients. Apart from easily identifiable magnesium deficiency, also vitamin D deficiency affects an increasing proportion of population. Given its properties promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D-eficient persons are more susceptible not only to fractures but also to falls because vitamin D deficiency weakens our muscles. This deficiency negatively affects also other body systems, not only skeletal system. Our immune system seems to be overloaded, thereby losing resistance to some autoimmune diseases. Studies on vitamin D significance for human body are of particular interest to pharmaceutical firms manufacturing dietary supplements as new results extend the range of potential supplementation. For it should be acknowledged that in today's world, without supplementation, it is impossible to satisfy all body needs from our diet or lifestyle alone. 

Conclusions from studies on significance of vitamin D may be surprising in terms of their global nature. Researchers linked common deficiency of this compound with cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, fertility problems and impaired functioning of the central nervous system. These numerous negative effects of persistent vitamin D deficiency are becoming a key driver for manufacturers of sachets and other supplementation forms to extend the variety of patient-friendly supplementation forms containing the vitamin. It should be stressed that vitamin D, as an important substance promoting calcium absorption, is absolutely vital for pregnant and breast-feeding women as well as newborns given the development of the child's bone structure. That is why supplementation is recommended to this and a number of other population groups. 

In Poland, supplementation of vitamin D is recommended to the entire population, however,   persons particularly susceptible to deficiency should take the supplementation seriously. Among them are premature babies, obese persons, those working at nights and persons with dark skin pigmentation.

Given the variety of consumer groups with recommendation of vitamin D supplementation, manufacturers of dietary supplements containing the vitamin should ensure variety of forms in which they may come. Elderly people require different supplementation forms than newborns or toddlers. Pregnant and breast-feeding women prefer vitamin and mineral complexes to avoid taking several different dietary supplements. Physical properties of vitamin D allow to meet all those needs. Fat-soluble vitamin may come in a variety of forms, from softgel capsules, sachets to hard capsules or tablets. As tablets contain no fat, it is recommended to take vitamin D with fatty meal.

IOC is a manufacturer of supplements under its clients' own brands, it meets market expectations by creating complex preparations containing, apart from vitamin D, also vitamin A, K, calcium and other minerals that come in all available forms of supplementation.



Based on article by J. Łukaszewicz (The Polish Council for Supplements and Nutritional Foods - KRSiO): "Witamina D: mity i fakty"