Recently, testing for vitamin D has become widely spread to the point where it actually became a trending matter! Lately, some testing labs even started making price offers on vitamin D tests since the test is known for how costly it is. We've also noticed a lot of posts on Social media that point out how taking vitamin D can totally change your life and health. Some people even claimed how this vitamin magically prevents you from cancer or how it quickly burns calories, cures influenza, treats depression or even increases fertility!

What's more strange about the whole thing is that it actually popped out all of a sudden. Thus, we spoke with Dr. Yasmine Darwish, who's a double master's degree holder (master's degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology and master's degree in micro-injection and piping from the University of Valencia, Spain) and the director of the Integrated Fertility Center in Egypt, and she told us all about what we need to know about vitamin D.

1. What is vitamin D, and what is its importance to the human body?

It is one of the most important vitamins in the human body. It absorbs calcium and magnesium from the intestine which accordingly, helps in the building of the body. 

2. What age groups need to pay attention towards their vitamin D percentage the most?

Children and old people are the ones who should check their vitamin D percentages. Lack of the vitamin may lead to warp and curvature in the legs of little children and may increase old people's exposure to bone fracture (Osteoporosis).

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3. What is the vitamin D percentage that might be dangerous?

There is no agreement yet on the ideal vitamin D percentage in the body. However, 20% is what many doctors  agree on worldwide. But let me say, not every body responds similarly to the same percentages. Nevertheless, it is agreed that any increase/decrease beyond this percentage is an indication to a case that needs to be examined by a professional.

4. What are the disadvantages of excess/lack of vitamin D in the body?

If the percentage is less than 20%, that means there is a high probability of Osteoporosis (fragile bones). On the other hand, excess vitamin D percentages cause an increase in the body's absorption of Calcium and Magnesium. Excess Calcium in the blood means Hypercalcemia which causes a general feeling of fatigue, weakness and backlash. This is an emergency case in which a person should be immediately taken to the hospital.

5. Do general fatigue and exhaustion automatically mean there is a lack of vitamin D?

Fatigue is never a tangible indication of the lack of vitamin D. It's extremely dangerous to take vitamin D compliments without a medical prescription. Thing is, even if vitamin D percentage is below the average in someone's body, that doesn't mean they should be taking it to increase its amount. Bodies differ and some people are born with a little amount of vitamin D which is the best for them. 

6. Does lack of vitamin D account for hair fall, skin problems and lack of concentration?

Research that states things like this are neither reliable nor credible. It's not scientifically or officially proven yet that Vitamin D accounts for any of the mentioned symptoms that's why I highly advise any person who experiences hair fall to visit a specialist to find out if there's any hormonal disorder. Hair fall or any skin related problem may be related to lack of elements in the body but not vitamin D.

7. Is vitamin D related to depression in any way? and does it accelerate burning calories?

Vitamin D has nothing to do with any of these two issues. The speed of burning calories (also known as metabolism) is actually hormone-related. As for depression, I advise any person who might experience any of its symptoms to visit a specialist. That will be more professional and effective. 

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8. What food/beverages contain vitamin D?

Fish and eggs are the richest in vitamin D. The fats they contain can provide the body with the enough vitamin D quantity the body needs. Then, there is the sun! Yes, the sun in the sky is the main source of vitamin D. That's why we, doctors, always advise any mother to make sure she takes her kids out in the morning in order to expose their bodies to the sunlight needed to provide their bodies with vitamin D.

9. What is the main reason that lead to the sudden vitamin D propaganda? 

Studies that overly magnify the importance of vitamin D are usually not credible. Therefore, I would like to clarify that it is necessary to know the sources of any medical information we read and check the credibility of the doctor. Before we spread the word, we should know what certificates are obtained by this doctor and in which university/site he/she published their study. I would also like to point out that there are many studies that show that vitamin D only has a small role in human health; that's why it does not exist in a large proportion in many foods, especially because its benefits are limited to specific age groups, unless you already have health problems associated with this vitamin.

Main image credits: Instagram @maria_hrodrigues