For as long as we know each other, we have heard about the importance of vitamins in our health. Certainly, they are essential and perform indispensable functions for our body. There are a lot of truths out there about them, but unfortunately, a lot of myths too. With the pandemic, this misinformation about vitamins and their performance in immunity increased even more. Therefore, in today’s text, we are going to demystify, in a direct and concise way, some statements about them, confirming their veracity or denying anything that is distorted.
Can insufficient vitamin D worsen the health of someone with the flu or cold? TRUE!
In the same way that other vitamins play an important role in the body, vitamin D plays a role in strengthening and maintaining our immune system. Some cells in this system, called lymphocytes, have vitamin D receptors. When there are sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body, lymphocytes can perform better in combating possible infections – such as the flu or the cold. For this reason, the body ends up responding more quickly in the recovery process. So it’s true: insufficient vitamin D can worsen health when someone has the flu or a cold.
Can taking too much vitamin D pose health risks? TRUE!
We talked above about the benefit of vitamin D for the immune system, but it is also a great ally of the body in absorbing phosphorus and calcium – two nutrients that are extremely necessary for bone health.
Now, why can overdosing on vitamin D pose health risks? The following happens: vitamin D can be obtained through food (such as fish and dairy products), through sun exposure or through supplementation. When there is an exaggeration or an over dosage of vitamin D in the body, it can cause a problem called hypercalcemia.
Hypercalcemia is excess calcium in the blood and can cause problems such as kidney stones and loss of kidney function. Furthermore, overdosing on vitamin D can also compromise bone health because it can cause an imbalance in bone tissue renewal.
And that’s not all. A study carried out by Unesp showed that high doses of vitamin D can also trigger hypertension and changes in the aorta, in addition to the increase in heart muscle and worsening of cardiac function.
Are people with diabetes more likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency? TRUE!
Before we explain why this is true, let’s understand what this nutrient is.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells in the blood and also for the nerves and brain to function properly. When there are insufficient levels of vitamin B12, problems such as dementia, neuropathy and anemia can arise.
And it turns out that people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are more likely to suffer from a deficiency in this nutrient. Although both groups are affected by this, the causes are different:
– Type 1 diabetes: People with type 1 diabetes are five times more likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency. This happens because the immune system itself is able to destroy the stomach cells which, in turn, have the function of enveloping the protein, binding it to the nutrient and later enabling its absorption. And, without this protein, the vitamin cannot be used properly by the body.
It is worth mentioning that people with type 1 diabetes are also more likely to develop celiac disease, an inflammation that becomes more serious due to gluten intake. And this disease, together with diabetes, ends up making vitamin B12 deficiency more prone.
– Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes alone does not cause vitamin B12 deficiency. The real problem is Metformin, a medication used to control blood glucose levels and to treat insulin resistance. As it is linked to the reduction in the absorption of vitamin B12 by the intestine, it ends up causing this deficiency.
But not everything is lost! This can be corrected with supplementation – as long as it is approved by a doctor – and with changes in diet.
Does Vitamin C stop you from getting sick? MYTH!
Although vitamin C helps reduce the severity of the common cold, stimulating the body’s autoimmune response, it is not capable of eliminating colds or flu. In other words, it helps reduce the risk of respiratory diseases, especially because it has antioxidant action, but it does not guarantee that you will not catch a cold or contract any illness.
Are there substances that affect the absorption of vitamins in the body? TRUE!
Foods such as soft drinks, black tea and coffee, for example, can affect the absorption of vitamins B and D.
The absorption of vitamin D is also impaired when we drink alcoholic beverages because they affect the body’s use of calcium. Tobacco is responsible for affecting the absorption of vitamin E.
Even when we consume a lot of fiber we can harm the “binding” of vitamins A, E and D.
Therefore, the consumption of these products that we have discussed should be avoided or moderated.
Should everyone take vitamin supplements? MYTH!
Many people believe that you just need to purchase a vitamin supplement and start consuming it, but this is not true. The vitamin supplement is only indicated for some people, depending on the circumstances, that is, if it is not guided by a specialist, such as a nutritionist or nutritionist.
It is best to avoid it. Taking excessive supplements, especially without medical advice, can cause problems such as kidney overload, liver toxicity and metabolic imbalance.
The more vitamins, the better? MYTH!
Everything in excess is bad, and of course vitamins would not be left out. A good example is an excess of vitamins A, D, E and K, which can be stored in fatty tissue, causing intoxication, in addition to impairing the absorption of other vitamins by the body.
In addition to knowing about the myths and truths mentioned above, it is important to consume credible information and remember that vitamins alone do not work miracles. To bring more health to your daily life, you also need to have a balanced diet and a healthy and active lifestyle.