Winter has come! Whether this is bad news or good news I will leave up to you. But did you know that perhaps you do not have enough vitamin D?
First of all, why is vitamin D so important? Its most crucial functions are storing of calcium and phosphor in bones and teeth, positively affecting our immune system and co-working at production of many hormones. Seemingly, nothing happens if you lack vitamin D for several decades. But your bones are slowly but steadily demineralizing… And then, out of sudden, they are prone to breaking.
Would you name two reasons why you are probably missing vitamin D? Here they are:
Reason 1: lack of the right sunlight
Vitamin D is produced in the skin by sunlight (actually, by the combination of the UV light and the subsequent warmth). But it is not just like that, there are rules (as always in life, I am so sorry). First, you must be under 60, as then the synthesis does not work anymore. The body must be exposed to the direct sun for a certain time (min. 20 minutes), the skin must be uncovered (at least 1/4 of the body surface), the light must shine under a certain angle and in a certain intensity. Well, here we go with the geographic issue in central Europe: we can enjoy such a sunlight from April to September between 10:00 am till 15:00 pm! And if you are lucky enough and you are not just sitting in front of your computer during that time, you also have to make sure not to use the sun cream with the UV factor above 8. To sum it up: the chances that you are getting enough vitamin D from the sun are very low.
Reason 2: not enough fatty fish in the diet
The second way of getting D is via nutrition. Significant sources are fatty fish and dried mushrooms. Well, only those mushrooms dried in a direct sunlight as also mushrooms need the UV light to produce D.
So what shall we do?
How is it with you and vitamin D? Do you travel every second winter weekend to the seaside, enjoy eating fish oil, eat regularly fatty fish or soups with dried mushrooms? Or do you already take a supplement? If none of the mentioned applies, I only have bad news: most probably you do not have enough D. The same as 90% of the population.
But there is good news as well: you can do something about that quite easily! Apart the above mentioned. Just go to the pharmacy and get yourself some supplements. And how much of it you should take? There are various opinions but the reference books recommend to supplement 20 µg per day (800 IU). You will see how grateful you will be when you are 70!
Reference: “Ernährungsmedizin”, 5. Auflage, “Taschenatlas Ernährung”, 6. Auflage