Artificial intake can cause enormous harm to the body

Vitamin D is extremely important for the body.  (icon picture)

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Of: Sophie Lother


Vitamin D is extremely important for the body. (Iconic image) © Friso Gentsch/dpa

Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented with dietary supplements. But beware: it can also be harmful.

Frankfurt – Especially in the dark season, when the weather is cold and uncomfortable, only a few people are driven outside. The home office in times of the corona pandemic also means that fewer and fewer people go outside. This is particularly problematic for health. Because the human body needs sunlight, among other things, to produce an important vitamin: vitamin D.

It is extremely important for humans because it regulates phosphate and calcium metabolism and thus contributes to the hardening of bones. Vitamin D also supports the functioning of the immune system and has an impact on muscle strength.

Vitamin D deficiency can therefore be detrimental to health. As summarized in the Ärztezeitung, the list of diseases possibly linked to deficiency is getting longer and longer. It includes diseases such as susceptibility to infections, muscle weakness, heart attacks, diabetes, rheumatism, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. But when is there a deficiency and what should be done to remedy it?

Health: preventing vitamin D deficiency – this is how it works without pills and co.

According to the “German Nutrition Society” (DGE), there is a deficiency if the serum concentration of the marker 25-hydroxyvitamin D is less than 30 nanomoles per liter of serum. This type of deficiency is not the case for the majority of the population in Germany. However, nearly 60% of Germans do not reach the best possible blood concentration of 50 nanomoles per liter of serum, underlines the specialized company.

As a result, more than half are not fully utilizing the health potential of vitamin D. But according to experts, pills and dietary supplements are not necessarily recommended for healthy people. Because the formation of the vitamin can be favored by an adapted lifestyle and targeted nutrition.

In addition to numerous studies, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has now recognized the link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of severe progression of Covid-19.

Vitamin D: how much sun is needed?

Sunlight on the skin may be enough for the body to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D. However, the amount of the important vitamin produced depends on factors such as season, weather, clothing, and skin type. Therefore, the advice of the CEO should only be understood as guiding values. Between March and May in Germany, around ten to 25 minutes of tanning is enough, depending on the skin type. About a quarter of the surface of the body should be exposed to the sun, for example part of the arms and legs, hands and face.

March to May: 10-20 minutes March to May: 15-25 minutes
June to August: 5-10 minutes June to August: 10-15 minutes
September to October: 10-20 minutes September to October: 15-25 minutes
Source: German Nutrition Society (DGE)

The skin type mentioned in the table refers to “light to very light skin tone, light red or blond hair and blue or green eyes” for skin types one and two. Skin type three is “medium skin tone, dark hair and brown eyes”. The German Nutrition Society does not list any data for other skin types.

Prevent vitamin D deficiency: These foods have a high concentration of vitamin

However, these orientation values ​​only refer to the period between March and October. But what’s the best way to behave during the dark season? Of course, it also helps to sit in the sun in winter, but since the angle of incidence of the sun’s rays is very flat, there is not necessarily a large production of the vitamin, as “Ärztezeitung” reports. . The advantage of vitamin D is that it can be stored in the body. So if you build up a supply of vitamins in the summer, you can get some during the colder, less sunny months.

herring 7.80-25.00
Salmon 16.00
chicken yolk 5.60
mackerel 4.00
total chicken eggs 2.90
chanterelles 2.10
mushrooms 1.90
Liver of beef 1.70
Gouda cheese, 45% IG Tr. 1h30
Butter 1.20
Source: BfR according to Souci/Fachmann/Kraut, 2008

But a good diet can also help boost vitamin D levels. The concentration of this important vitamin is highest in fatty fish like herring and salmon. Eggs also have a significant concentration. Various mushrooms and liver are also recommended. However, the “Federal Institute for Risk Assessment” (BfR), for example, points out that vitamin D intake through food only plays a secondary role. The focus is always on the body’s own formation through sunlight.

Too much vitamin D: an overdose can be bad for your health

It’s not just pills and supplements containing vitamin D, some foods are now also fortified with vitamin D. However, the BfR points out that taking such supplements is only recommended if there is a deficiency vitamin D and that the level cannot be improved by diet or exposure to the sun. And it’s for a simple reason.

An overabundance of vitamin D can have a negative impact on health. The “Federal Institute for Risk Assessment” warns: “With a regular daily intake of more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D, which with normal dietary habits is currently only possible through excessive intake of preparations of vitamin D, adverse effects such as kidney stone formation or kidney calcifications may occur.For medical reasons, however, higher intake levels of vitamin D may be medically indicated.

Vitamin D deficiency in risk groups: when experts recommend pills and more

However, certain groups of people belong to the risk groups for vitamin D deficiency. This includes, for example, people who can only spend a short time outdoors for health or other reasons (e.g. due to ‘a sickness). According to the BfR, people who only leave the house with their bodies fully covered in clothing for cultural or religious reasons, or people with dark skin.

Older people also belong to the risk group, because the formation of vitamin D in the body decreases with age. In addition to the elderly, the risk group also includes the very young. Because babies only get a very small supply of the vitamin through breast milk and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

For these risk groups, taking a vitamin D supplement is recommended. However, only if a deficiency has been determined and the doctor recommends it to improve the level of vitamins. (Sophie Lother)

The information given in this article does not replace a visit to a doctor. Only experts can make the correct diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment. Taking medication or food supplements should be discussed with a doctor beforehand.

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