People can produce vitamin D themselves with the help of sunlight. It is involved in various processes in the body. Among other things, it is essential for healthy bones.
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What Does The Body Need Vitamin D For?
The fat-soluble vitamin D takes on many tasks in our organism. For example, it strengthens bones and affects muscle strength.
Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may be necessary for cardiovascular health and lower diabetes and some cancers. However, these effects could not be proven in other studies.
How Does Vitamin D Get Into The Body?
Vitamin D has a particular position among vitamins. The body can make it with the help of sunlight. In people who are regularly outside, under the typical living conditions in this country, the skin produces 80 to 90 per cent of the vitamin D requirement itself. You don’t have to stay in the sun for long every day, and all you need to do is have your hands, face and parts of your arms and legs irradiated. Extensive sunbathing is therefore not necessary; you should avoid sunburn because of the risk of skin cancer.
The remaining 10 to 20 percent of the vitamin D requirement is met through diet. However, vitamin D is only found to a limited extent in food. The concentration is highest in fatty types of fish, such as salmon, herring or mackerel. Liver, egg yolks and some edible mushrooms also contain vitamin D.
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Daily Vitamin D Requirement And How To Meet It
The vitamin D requirement is met on the one hand by the body’s production and on the other hand by food.
How large the daily vitamin D requirement is that has to be met through food cannot be generally stated. Because how much vitamin D the body can produce itself depends on numerous factors – for example, where you live and where the sun is, your age, your lifestyle and, last but not least, your skin type.
The majority of the population does not have a vitamin D deficiency. However, almost 60 percent of citizens could increase their vitamin D level a little to optimally use the preventive effect of the vitamin. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, it is sufficient in the summer months for an adult to soak up the sun for 5 to 25 minutes a day (depending on skin type, month and time of day) so that the body can produce enough vitamin D through exposure to the sun. A quarter of the body surface – for example, the face, hands and parts of arms and legs – should get sun. Beware of sunburn, however!
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Vitamin D Deficiency?
Older people are more at risk of developing a deficiency, as vitamin D production decreases over the years. In addition, people who are rarely outside or who completely cover or veil their bodies. The same goes for black people. Those affected may need to take vitamin D in tablet form. For infants, paediatricians usually recommend a preventive dietary supplement to protect against softening of the bones . Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate dosage.
What Happens If There Is A Lack Of Vitamin D?
Adults who have severe vitamin D deficiency suffer from osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Typical symptoms include muscle weakness and bone pain—the risk of osteoporosis increases. There is a risk of rickets in children and deformation of the bones, including the skull.
What Happens If I Overdose On Vitamin D?
An overdose due to excessive exposure to the sun or increased consumption of natural vitamin D suppliers is unlikely. An overdose is conceivable, especially if you take excessive vitamin D supplements. The consequences of such a vitamin D overdose can be the formation of kidney stones or calcification of the kidneys. Therefore, adults should not consume more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D per day in total with food and food supplements. Children up to 10 years should ingest a maximum of 50 micrograms per day.