Sunday , May 16 2021

Vitamin D deficiency: Artificial intake can be very harmful to health

  • Sophia Lother

    ofSophia Lother


Vitamin D is extremely important for the body. There are ways to prevent a deficiency. But beware: oversupply can hurt your health.

Frankfurt: Especially in dark weather, when the weather is humid, cold and uncomfortable, only a few people move outside. Home office in times of crown pandemic also means that fewer and fewer people are going outdoors. But 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, as it regulates the metabolism of phosphate and calcium and therefore contributes to the hardening of the bones. In addition, vitamin D promotes the functioning of the immune system and influences muscle strength.

Vitamin D deficiency can be detrimental to your health. As the “Ärztezeitung” sums up, the list of diseases that are possibly related to deficiency is getting longer and longer. It contains diseases such as susceptibility to infection, muscle weakness, heart attack, diabetes, rheumatism, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. But when is there a deficiency and what should be done about it?

Prevent vitamin D deficiency: Instead of pills and the like, what can really help

According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), there is a deficiency when the serum concentration of the 25-hydroxyvitamin-D marker is less than 30 nanomoles per liter of serum. This type of deficiency is not the case for most of the population in Germany. However, almost 60% of Germans do not achieve the best possible blood concentration of 50 nanomoles per liter of serum, emphasizes the specialized society. As a result, this means that more than half of the health potential of vitamin D is not fully exploited. However, according to experts, pills and dietary supplements are not necessarily recommended for healthy people. Because vitamin formation can be promoted through an adapted lifestyle and specific nutrition.

Sunlight on the skin may be enough for the body to produce the required amount of vitamin D. However, the amount of this important vitamin that is actually produced depends on factors such as the time of year, the weather. , clothing and skin type. Therefore, the advice of the DGE should only be understood as guiding values. Between March and May, in Germany there are enough ten or 25 minutes sunbathing, depending on the skin type. About a quarter of the surface of the body should be exposed to sunlight, for example, part of the arms and legs, as well as the hands and face. For skin types one and two, the skin type mentioned in the table refers to “light to very light skin color, light red or blond hair, and blue or green eyes.” Skin type three is “medium skin color, dark hair and brown eyes.”

Duration of sun exposure for skin type I / II Duration of exposure to sunlight for type III skin
From March to May: 10-20 minutes March to May: 15-25 minutes
From June to August: 5-10 minutes From June to August: 10-15 minutes
From September to October: 10-20 minutes From September to October: 15-25 minutes
Source: German Nutrition Society (DGE)

Vitamin D: In which foods is the highest concentration?

However, these guide values ​​only refer to the period between March and October. But what is the best way to behave in 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 significant production of vitamin, as reported by the “Ärztezeitung”. The best thing about vitamin D is that it can be stored in the body. Therefore, if you accumulate a supply of vitamin in the summer, you can feed on it during the colder and less sunny months.

But a proper diet can also help increase the level of vitamin D. The concentration of this important vitamin is higher in fatty fish such as herring and salmon. The eggs also have a remarkable 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 diet plays only a subordinate role. The focus is still on the body’s own production from sunlight.

Food Vitamin D (micrograms per 100 grams)
Hering 7.80-25.00
salmon 16.00
Chicken egg yolk 5.60
Verat 4.00
Or total chicken 2.90
Chanterelles 2.10
Mushrooms 1.90
Beef liver 1.70
Goudakäse, 45% F. i. Tr. 1.30
Butter 1.20
Source: BfR based on Souci / Fach / Kraut, 2008

Vitamin D Overdose: Too much vitamin can be harmful to health

Not only are there pills and preparations with vitamin D, but some foods are now fortified with vitamin D. However, taking these supplements is only expressly recommended if there is a proven vitamin D deficiency and an improvement in the level cannot produce. -se for food or sun exposure, stresses the BfR. And there is a simple reason for this.

The amount of sunlight plays an important role in the production of vitamin D in the body. (Symbol image)

© Friso Gentsch / dpa

Because an excess supply 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 is currently only possible through excessive intake of vitamin D preparations with normal eating habits, undesirable effects such as training of kidneys stones or kidney calcification may occur. For medical reasons, however, higher amounts of vitamin D may be medically indicated. “

Vitamin D deficiency: risk groups: when experts recommend pills and co

However, some groups of people belong to the risk groups for a vitamin D deficiency. This includes, for example, people who, for health reasons or other reasons, can only spend little time outdoors ( for example, due to an illness). Even people who, for cultural or religious reasons, only leave home with their bodies completely covered in clothes or people with a dark skin color, according to the BfR. 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, very young people also belong to the risk group. Because babies only provide a small amount of vitamin through breast milk and should be avoided as much as possible from direct sunlight.

A vitamin D supplement is recommended for these risk groups. However, only if a deficiency has been detected in these and the doctor recommends them to improve the level of vitamins. (Sophia Lother)

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