Vitamin D – the sun vitamin – Article overview

Vitamin D, or cholecalciferol, is a vitamin that is formed in the skin when exposed to sunlight and, in its hormone-active form, 1,25- (OH) 2-D, has a variety of biological effects. In the twenties, vitamin D was only known for ensuring stable bones and preventing rickets, but today we know that vitamin D also plays an important role in the immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and endocrine system. 

Vitamin D

The vitamin D deficiency that often occurs in Northern Europe due to the low intensity of the sun is a risk factor that favors the development of various diseases.

Too little UV radiation leads to a vitamin D deficiency

North of the 35th parallel, the sun is not high enough in the sky from October to March to provide us with the UV radiation that is necessary for vitamin D production. Because of this, many people are vitamin D deficient during the winter months.

But even in the summer months, too little exposure to the open air, clothing or sun protection preparations can lead to insufficient vitamin D levels in the blood. Then it makes sense to buy supplements with vitamin D and thus supplement the body’s own production.

The sun vitamin can only be absorbed to a limited extent through food: only fatty fish contain significant amounts of vitamin D – mushrooms, eggs and dairy products only contain very small doses of the vitamin.

The vitamin D level can be determined with a simple blood test at the family doctor. Ideally, it should be higher than 30 ng / ml in the blood serum. Vitamin D supplements are available from a wide variety of manufacturers – ask for advice in the pharmacy or look for the preparation that suits you best in the health food store. A combination preparation may also be suitable for you.

The vitamin can do more than regulate calcium metabolism

A lack of vitamin D can lead to reduced bone stability in adults and rickets in children. A vitamin D deficiency can also weaken muscles and cause muscle pain. Good reasons to ensure that the body is supplied with sufficient Vitmain D.

But that’s not all: A number of studies show that vitamin D can do more than just keep bones strong. Vitamin D is also important for the cardiovascular system. Adequate care can significantly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, or heart failure. The risk of developing old-age diabetes (type II) also seems to be reduced by having a sufficiently high vitamin D level.

Vitamin D and our immune system

The immune system also benefits from vitamin D, as numerous cells of the immune system have special receptors for vitamin D. For example, a positive effect of vitamin D on the susceptibility of the respiratory tract to infections has been demonstrated. 

Vitamin D also appears to play an important role in the prevention of tumor diseases – however, further studies must follow in order to confirm the results.

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