Sports doctor, neurosurgeon, creator of the smart personalized health monitoring system bioniq health-tech solutions (BHS)
We have known since childhood that vitamins are vital for the body and have a great responsibility. But not everyone still understands how they work and what they are for. Perhaps that is why, when it comes to nutritional supplements, there are many myths and stereotypes around, invented by pharmacologists or simply by those who have not figured out the correct dosages, and therefore did not see any result. Vitamins are really irreplaceable in the process of life. These micronutrients ensure the efficient functioning of metabolic processes, affect the immune system and appearance.
How vitamins work
In the course of evolution, nature has deprived humans of the ability to synthesize vitamins inside the body. Although some animals still have this skill. For example, goats can produce vitamin C on their own. But we cannot, so people need to get it from their food. A balanced diet is the foundation of health. Neglecting them, many of our ancestors hundreds of years ago suffered from serious diseases associated with vitamin deficiency. One of these was scurvy - a deficiency of important micronutrients led to large-scale epidemics, as a result of which thousands of people died. It is believed that in the modern world this should not be, but, as recent studies show, there remains a significant number of people who are deficient in certain substances.
Vitamins and trace elements are an integral part of working enzymes. The very structure of the enzyme is made up of protein. When we consume amino acids, they first assemble into a chain, then fold and form a ternary structure, or, in other words, the same protein that is used in the body as a building material. It is during this process that vitamins come into play: they become the active center of the enzyme, without which the structure cannot work and is subsequently destroyed. Therefore, even such a microscopic part acts as an obligatory link in metabolic processes.
© Hoxton / Sam Edwards
When to start drinking vitamins
Earlier, in the Middle Ages, life expectancy was much lower. Cases have been recorded when people lived to old age, however, this was more likely due to their genetic characteristics than to real indicators of health. Now, when we live much longer, there is an urgent need to be more attentive to our body. From this point of view, it can be compared to a car: the more carefully the car is used, the longer it will serve its owner.
Eating right and getting micronutrients is one of the basic principles, and it is important to adhere to them. This is especially true for young people, since they, as a rule, do not lead a "regime" lifestyle: they have a snack on the go, go to bed late, do not always go in for sports, and even more so do not think about nutritional supplements. The paradox is that until about the age of 30 they will still feel healthy, but after that a radical fork will begin: depending on the "initial" data, the body will age either slowly or quickly. Then the issue of nutritional balance will again become relevant.
Signs of vitamin deficiency
Such vitamin deficiency, as it was before, is now practically not observed. Hypoavitaminosis is more often manifested - a pathological condition caused by a deficiency of a group of vitamins in the body. It is usually characterized by a decrease in immunity, appetite, and mood - signs that are difficult to distinguish from other diseases or simple ailments. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the deficit without a special laboratory test. Although when patients come to us, we already know in advance that, according to average estimates, they will be deficient in vitamin D and some B vitamins - they are often lacking in those who do not take additional micronutrients.
But vitamins E, A and C are less likely to be in deficit. We consume them more actively from food, so sometimes we don't even need to artificially fill in the gaps. It is the peculiarities of human nutrition that often limit the intake of vitamins into the body. In addition, any digestive problems get in the way of the absorption of beneficial trace elements into the blood, which also creates another artificial barrier. So, any deficiency of substances poses a more serious question for us: how many of them does a particular person need in order for his body to function correctly? Just looking at your face cannot tell. Only laboratory examinations help here.
Role of the sun and technology
Vitamin D is most often in deficit. This is due to the peculiarities of its consumption. Nature has come up with a complex mechanism: in order to develop this trace element, a person must not only be under the sun with unprotected skin, but also actively move in this state for several hours. When a vitamin is formed in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, it needs to go into the bloodstream - this is provided only by physical activity. If we just lie on the beach, vitamin D is also produced, but then it is instantly destroyed, without any benefit.
Everyone knows that being under the sun with unprotected skin for a long time is at least unsafe for health and, of course, not so easy - it is tiring. It is interesting that as a biological species we cannot exist in Russia at all. Here we are allowed to live by the civilization and the technologies that we have invented. According to the original idea, people should have settled only in the southern regions - there we could generate the necessary amount of vitamin D. From an evolutionary point of view, five thousand years is not enough to change this process. Therefore, we have to adapt to it.
© Jamie Grill
What is vitamin D for?
Vitamin D has more than 2,000 different types of receptors found in body tissues. It acts as a neurosteroid and enhances human cognitive abilities - improves the functioning of the nervous system. It also enhances immunity: data show that the incidence in children is reduced by 5-6 times with regular intake of sufficient amounts of vitamin D. This does not mean that a person forever forgets what the flu is and how to treat it. But the duration of the illness is clearly reduced: for example, instead of 15 days, you will have to spend at home only three. In addition, the vitamin is directly related to muscle strength and sex hormones, and it also affects the condition of the skin and calcium metabolism, strengthening bone tissue.
Is it possible to prescribe vitamins to yourself
Incorrect dosages can lead to an excess of substances in the body, although in the case of vitamin D this is less likely than with vitamins E or A. First of all, we are talking about the fact that a person incurs unnecessary costs, without which it would be dispense with knowing the exact amount of a trace element required by a particular patient. In addition, an overdose of vitamin D is dangerous for children - it leads to excessive calcium deposits. But even if there is no acute danger, a chronic overdose may appear, which, according to medical data, can lead to the formation of kidney stones and other diseases. But it is almost impossible to exceed the daily intake of vitamins through food. Most likely, the indicators will continue to remain low, even with very careful nutritional monitoring.
In order to avoid negative consequences, it is best to immediately contact a medical laboratory. It is necessary to conduct tests for both adults and children, and in dynamics - 1-2 times a year, it is necessary to update the results in order to track whether the amount of substance in the blood changes. You can take an analysis for vitamins in a complex, or you can sort it out in stages, researching one by one. Compared with conventional blood biochemistry, such tests are much higher: 1-3 thousand rubles. for the definition of one substance. This price is due to sophisticated high-tech research methods. But the longer it takes and the more expensive the test is, the more likely it is to show the more accurate result.
Is it true that in autumn we need more vitamins than in summer
In the modern world, the amount of vitamins in the blood does not depend at all on the season. If we lived in a confined space and ate only our own products grown in the garden, then this theory could have a right to exist. But since we use the same products in both summer and winter, apart from the seasonal fruit period, which lasts only a couple of months, there is no difference. Meat, fish, cereals, vegetables do not differ from each other, whatever the weather outside the window. The time of day also practically does not affect the intake of vitamins. With the exception of some substances, which, in fact, are not vitamins, but still stimulate many processes. For example, magnesium is best taken in the evening for a relaxation effect, and ginseng is best taken in the morning to invigorate. And for basic trace elements, there is no specific schedule.
Do pharmacy multivitamins work
There will be no bad consequences from the course of pharmacy multivitamins. But no matter how much you take them, there is a 99% probability that they will not affect the general condition of the body and individual indicators in the blood. The fact is that the average capsule consists of components, most of which are not needed by a particular patient. Therefore, if excess calcium enters the body in a small dosage, it has no effect on a person. The remaining 10–20% of the components of the capsule, which are in deficit in the patient, these small dosages also do not compensate in any way.
For example, the average complex contains 400 IU of vitamin D, but the daily allowance for an adult varies from 2 thousand to 10 thousand IU, so anything below is a waste of time. Dosages directly depend on height, weight, physical activity, and if the correct proportions are observed, the vitamin levels in the blood should be in the range of 50-100.
Vitamins foreign and domestic
Unfortunately, foreign vitamins are much more effective than Russian ones, since our legislation strongly regulates the dosage of the substance. And American and European vitamins are not limited to low levels. But due to the fact that the foreign market is oversaturated with competitors, it is worth paying close attention to the quality of the product and not falling for marketing tricks. These include, for example, the form of the drug: capsule, tablet or liquid substance. There is no difference between them, however, you should be careful with liquid vitamins: most often they do not combine with each other as well as granules in capsules.
Are there vitamins for beauty
Hair and skin are built from protein. In order for them to be healthy, it is necessary, first of all, to build your diet so that the amount of building material is acceptable. It is not difficult to calculate this: for 1 kg of body weight per day, you need to consume 1.5 grams of pure protein. In addition, we must not forget about vitamins D and C, since they provide the building of collagen, as well as monitor the level of iron in the blood. Collagen does not need to be consumed separately. In fact, it is a regular protein that is useless if the diet is followed.
Together, these components cover most of the problems that modern girls living in megacities face. However, such a vitamin complex may not be enough if a person has internal problems with the organs of life. So, yellowing skin often signals that you need to pay attention to the liver. Questions of this kind are resolved only on an individual examination by a doctor.>