Vitamin D is essential for women’s health at different stages of their lives. It is important to know the usual levels of vitamin D for women to take specific measures in case of deficiency.
In this article, we explain how to ensure a natural intake of vitamin D, its biological importance and the expected values of vitamin D in women.
What is vitamin D, and why is it important?
When we talk about this vitamin, we are referring to a series of fat-soluble compounds that are essential for life and have a clear mission: to synthesise calcium and phosphorus. In addition, vitamin D is also involved in metabolic and immunological functions.
Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, are stored in the liver, fatty tissue and muscles. They have the particularity that the body more readily absorbs them in the presence of dietary fat.
Vitamin D is not synthesised endogenously in the body, i.e. it needs to be activated by complex enzyme systems and depends mainly on exposure to sunlight or incorporation into the diet.
Foods that provide vitamin D include eggs, shellfish, oily fish, butter and organ meats. There are not many of them. As they are of animal origin, people who follow vegan or vegetarian diets may have more problems when it comes to ingesting vitamin D foods.
It is common to find people with vitamin D deficiency in our environment. Firstly, their diet does not provide enough of this vitamin; secondly, exposure to the sun is reduced in the winter months because of the use of sunscreens.
Vitamin D is essential for good health. However, in the case of women, this vitamin is necessary for three critical situations: fertility, pregnancy and post-menopause.
What are the average values for vitamin D in women?
Generally, 30 ng/ml 25OHD is accepted as an optimal value, although in some contexts, it is recommended to raise it above 36 and up to 40 ng/ml 25OHD.
Therefore, we speak of insufficient levels if it does not reach 30 ng/ml of 25OHD, and it is considered a severe deficiency when it does not get ten ng/ml of 25OHD.
There are three key moments in a woman’s life when special attention should be paid to average vitamin D values in women: when they are of childbearing age and seeking pregnancy, pregnant and lactating women, and postmenopausal women. Vitamin D deficiency can have severe consequences in these cases, which will be discussed below.
The test to check average vitamin D values in women is 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD).
It is essential to consult a specialist doctor before starting a vitamin D supplement. First, the patient should be checked for average values – using the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test – in women and then it should be determined whether supplementation is necessary.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is:
- 400 international units (IU) for children up to 12 months;
- 600 IU for people aged 1 to 70 years, and
- 800 for people over 70.
What are the consequences of vitamin D deficiency in women?
Vitamin D is important at every stage of a woman’s life. In each of them, a deficiency of this vitamin has specific consequences. Let us take a look at them:
What are the implications of vitamin D deficiency in women?
Vitamin D is important at every stage of a woman’s life. In each of these stages, a vitamin D deficiency has specific consequences. Let us take a look at them:
- During childhood, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets and osteomalacia.
- In adolescence, vitamin D deficiency can compromise the correct distribution of body fat and maintain proper ferritin levels. Women begin to menstruate at this stage, so it is necessary to monitor the presence of vitamin D and iron in the body to avoid pathologies such as anaemia.
- Women of childbearing age. Normal levels of vitamin D in women are known to improve fertility. In contrast, deficiency can lead to metabolic disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Women in pregnancy and lactation. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is associated with gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and anaemia. It can also have negative consequences for babies, such as low birth weight and height, slower neck support or learning to crawl. For this reason, vitamin D supplementation is often recommended to meet all the nutritional requirements of mother and baby during this period.
- Postmenopausal women at risk of osteoporosis. Deficiency can also lead to balance disorders and diabetes. Therefore, care should be taken to avoid falls.
How to increase vitamin D levels
There are different ways to obtain vitamin D naturally:
- Through diet. Those who do not eat animal foods can obtain vitamin D from mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms or brewer’s yeast. The foods that naturally contain the most vitamin D are egg yolks, dairy products, and oily fish such as salmon…
- Sun exposure, but avoid the middle of the day.
- Natural supplements. Such as Orgono Articomplex, which contains vitamin D3 and helps to strengthen bones and joints thanks to organic silica. This multivitamin complex improves muscle function and helps reduce tiredness and fatigue. It is an antioxidant and boosts the immune system—an extra dose of vitamins and minerals that impact well-being.
As you know, don’t neglect your vitamin D intake. To do this, eat healthily, take advantage of the sun in moderation and supplement your diet to ensure you have normal vitamin D levels in women.