Vitamina D: beneficios, riesgos y fuentes

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Hasta hace poco, se pensaba que la única función de la vitamina D era facilitar la absorción del calcio en el cuerpo, así como regular los niveles de este mineral en la sangre. Pero la funcionalidad de esta sustancia va mucho más allá.

Para los atletas, esta vitamina es uno de los mejores aliados en la búsqueda de mantener y aumentar el rendimiento . Del mismo modo, ayuda en la recuperación de los músculos y en la prevención de lesiones.

El 80% de la cantidad diaria de vitamina D requerida por el cuerpo se obtiene de forma natural mediante una exposición moderada a la luz solar . El 20% restante lo podemos obtener a través de algunos alimentos que deberían formar parte de nuestra nutrición diaria.

Vitamina D y sistema óseo

Una de las tareas principales del calciferol en el cuerpo es proporcionar la densidad ideal al sistema óseo . Por lo tanto, previene la aparición de enfermedades como el raquitismo en los niños y la osteomalacia en los adultos.

Las deficiencias aumentan drásticamente el riesgo de fracturas y grietas. Por esta razón, los mejores atletas siempre mantienen los niveles de este nutriente bajo estricta observación. De lo contrario, sería imposible practicar ciertos deportes de alto impacto para los huesos y las articulaciones.

Músculos, fuerza y testosterona

No sólo son los huesos que dependen de la vitamina D para su desarrollo y funcionamiento adecuado, sino que los músculos también se ven afectados por este ingrediente activo.

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El mantenimiento de niveles adecuados de vitamina D afecta positivamente la producción de testosterona. Esta hormona está directamente relacionada con la fuerza y el tamaño que todos los tejidos del cuerpo pueden alcanzar.

En casos de déficit, hay un aumento sustancial de la grasa corporal . Es por eso que las personas que se inscriben en un gimnasio para crecer, definir y tonificar sus músculos, no llegarán a ninguna parte si no cuidan las tasas de este elemento en el cuerpo.

Beneficios varios

Para los atletas, la vitamina D es un elemento esencial contra la fatiga crónica y el agotamiento . De la misma manera, su presencia en la sangre a niveles adecuados facilita la regeneración y recuperación de los músculos después de un esfuerzo físico arduo.

Parte de los estudios que aún están en desarrollo evalúan también la acción positiva de esta vitamina en la reducción de los riesgos de padecer diabetes tipo 2 y sobrepeso.

También se está estudiando la relación entre los bajos niveles vitamínicos y los episodios de demencia, como la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Por otro lado, su capacidad para prevenir enfermedades crónicas, como el cáncer de mama, ovario y próstata, ya ha sido probada.

Riesgos relacionados con los desequilibrios de vitamina D

La lista de pérdidas provocadas por los bajos niveles de esta sustancia liposoluble en el cuerpo es bastante amplia: disminución de la función cognitiva, aparición de enfermedades cardíacas y debilitamiento del sistema inmunitario, osteoporosis, psoriasis, artritis reumatoide y tuberculosis.

Además, la falta de esta vitamina también está relacionada con los trastornos afectivos estacionales y la depresión. Se cree que este nutriente puede tener el mismo efecto que la serotonina en el cerebro, la llamada «hormona de la felicidad».

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El extremo opuesto, de la misma manera, también es muy peligroso. Cuando los niveles de ingesta de vitamina D son demasiado altos, los depósitos comienzan a acumularse en los tejidos blandos del corazón, los tendones y los pulmones.

Otros riesgos de consumir esta vitamina en exceso son las posibilidades de sufrir cálculos renales y daños irreversibles en los riñones . Aparece la hipercalcemia (exceso de calcio en la sangre), que a su vez puede provocar episodios de confusión, desorientación y arritmias.

La toxicidad de la vitamina D no es causada por la exposición a la luz solar durante mucho tiempo. La única causa es el abuso de suplementos vitamínicos. Los primeros síntomas incluyen náuseas, vómitos y estreñimiento, acompañados de falta de apetito, debilidad, apatía y pérdida repentina de peso.

¿Dónde se encuentra?

Pocos alimentos son ricos en calciferol. La lista pasa por algunos peces, como el salmón y el atún. Así como hígado de res, champús y huevos. Es común encontrarla en algunos alimentos fortificados, como los cereales para el desayuno, los productos lácteos y las bebidas a base de soja.

De hecho, las personas que practican deportes al aire libre bajo el sol tienen buenos niveles de esta vitamina garantizada. En todos los casos, cuando se expone a la acción de los rayos UV, se deben tomar las precauciones necesarias, como usar un buen protector y mantener una buena hidratación. 

Algunos consejos para recetas veganas ricas en proteínas En una dieta vegana es esencial reemplazar el consumo de proteínas, originalmente ofrecidas por la carne con fuentes vegetales. Vea a los veganos ricos en proteínas! Leer más «

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