Vitamin D: Strong Bones From Sunlight And Fish

Vitamin D is extremely important for healthy bones and the immune system. It is the only vitamin that can be produced by the body itself. But how much vitamin D does the body need and which foods contain it?

What is vitamin D?

Fat-soluble vitamin D is the only vitamin that the body can produce itself. Some foods also contain vitamin D, but the body’s production supplies much higher amounts.

Vitamin D maintains bone health and stability by helping to absorb and incorporate calcium and phosphate from food into the bones. It is also important for the immune system and involved in the production of proteins that control many processes in the genome.

What is the daily requirement for vitamin D?

Under the influence of sunlight, the body normally produces 80 to 90 percent of the daily vitamin D requirement. A daily stay of 15 minutes outdoors is sufficient for this. Diet accounts for only a small part of vitamin D intake. Depending on the group of people, a certain additional vitamin D intake should be made per day.

Does vitamin D help with pregnancy and illness?

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone formation and the formation of the nervous and immune systems of the unborn child.

However, the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) does not consider dietary supplements with vitamin D to be sensible for pregnant women. On the contrary: an additional intake of vitamin D may increase the risk of food allergies in the child.

In people with low vitamin D levels, vitamin D can stimulate the immune system during colds and thus fight pathogens. In addition, low levels of vitamin D in the body may increase the risk of breast cancer, for example. Conversely, there is no evidence that daily intake of vitamin D supplements prevents the risk of cancer.

How should vitamin D be dosed?

The recommended intake for vitamin D is 20 micrograms per day in all age groups after the first year of life. However, those who hardly ever or very rarely stay outdoors belong to the risk group for undersupply.

The doctor can use a blood test to determine whether there is a vitamin D deficiency. A vitamin D excess of more than 100 micrograms daily can lead to kidney problems.

To avoid deformed bones (rickets) in children, all babies are given a so-called vitamin D prophylaxis in the form of drops or tablets from the first week of life until the end of the first year of life.

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