What are we talking about ?
The respiratory system refers to all the airways and organs responsible for breathing.
By organs associated with respiration, we mean those whose mission is gas exchange between the body and the environment. The absorption of oxygen (O2) and the release of carbon dioxide (CO2):
- The diaphragm
With regard to the respiratory tract, they are called like this because they function as channels for the passage of air, from the environment to the lungs, and vice versa:
- nose and mouth
- The Pharynx
- The Larynx
How does this breathing set work?
The mechanism of respiration is separated into three main stages.
It all starts with the diaphragm. Located below the lungs, it acts like a piston, like the one that could be found in a syringe, for example. On inspiration, the diaphragm will contract and lower, thus creating a call for air towards the lungs. The air will then enter through the nose and/or the mouth and travel through the respiratory tract to the alveoli in the lungs. This is internal ventilation.
2/ Gas exchange
Once the air has reached the alveoli, gas exchange with the blood can take place. Blood capillaries discharge carbon dioxide (CO2) and extract oxygen (O2).
After carrying out this gas exchange, the diaphragm, still like a piston, will relax and rise to expel the air present in the lungs. As a result, the air loaded with carbon dioxide will follow the opposite path via the respiratory tract and exit through the nose and/or mouth. This is external ventilation.
What are the signs characterizing a weakening of the respiratory system?
The main sign of a weakened respiratory system is difficulty in breathing. On exertion or at rest, there is abnormal shortness of breath.
Breathing difficulty can also cause chest pain, as well as a cough with or without expectoration.
In extreme cases, the skin can turn blue due to a low quantity of oxygen available in the blood and therefore the body.
Vitamin D for a healthy respiratory system
Vitamin D is one of the so-called fat-soluble vitamins, that is to say soluble in fat. It is brought to the body in three ways: food, production through the skin following exposure to the sun, and supplementation.
It is found in two forms:
- Vitamin D2: found in plants
- Vitamin D3: found in animals and plants
It is the latter, vitamin D3 , which is the most common in dietary supplements because it is considerably better metabolized by the body.
Roles of vitamin D in the respiratory system
The role of vitamin D, with a view to the health of the respiratory system, has been widely studied in recent years.
Especially recently following the COVID19 epidemic which affects the respiratory system. It has been studied in the context of the prevention of acute pulmonary infections.
Taking into account its D3 form, it appears that supplementing daily, or weekly at the widest, with this vitamin will reduce the risk of developing a respiratory tract infection.
What makes this vitamin D3, your ally to have absolutely by your side during this context of health crisis linked to COVID19.
Sources of vitamin D
The body has three sources of vitamin D: sunlight, food, and supplementation.
With the sun, a daily exposure of 15 minutes of the face and forearms should be enough to replenish this vitamin. On the other hand, be careful in winter, the quantity and quality of the sun's rays decrease sharply.
As for food, here are the best food sources of vitamin D:
- Baked or steamed salmon
- Mackerel and sardines
- Fresh or canned tuna
- cooked eel
- Caviar and fish eggs in general
- Fish liver oils
- The egg yolk
- calf's liver
- Foie gras
- The mushrooms
- Cheese and plain yogurts
- milk and butter
As for supplementation, as we have seen previously, favor the D3 form for better metabolism in the body.
Vitamin D deficiencies
Having an insufficient level of vitamin D firstly causes certain bone risks such as rickets, osteomalacia or even osteoporosis.
The immune system itself would be impacted in the quality of its functioning.
According to a survey conducted by INSERM, a vitamin D deficiency could also lead to a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
And recently, in April 2020, a study by American researchers, then confirmed by a Spanish study, found a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and a doubling of the risk of developing a severe form of COVID19.
Tips for taking deep breaths
The combination of vitamin D3 , selenium and zinc gives very interesting effects. Zinc , as we saw in a previous article , allows white blood cells deployed during an immune response to have a high level of performance. Selenium , for its part, participates in the body's anti-inflammatory reactions. As a result, all three will work in synergy to help you in your objective of preventing respiratory disorders.