Vitamin D is also called the vitamin of the sun: the main way to get it is synthesis under the action of ultraviolet rays. But what to do now that you spend much less time outdoors?
Why you need vitamin D
Vitamin D ensures the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food; Lack of this vitamin is the main cause of rickets in children.
In adults, a lack of vitamin D over time increases the likelihood of developing osteoporosis (this is a skeletal disease, a decrease in bone density); in addition, recent studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to a weakened immune system and a risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
When can vitamin D deficiency occur?
The human body can produce vitamin D on its own, but this requires exposure to sunlight on the skin. The amount of vitamin produced depends on the season, daylight hours, cloudiness, closed clothing, and whether you use sunscreen or not.
Vitamin D is fat soluble and can be stored in adipose tissue. If you ate a lot of vitamin D-rich foods during the summer and spent a lot of time in the sun, this supply may last you through the winter.
Now people are sitting at home and being in the sun much less than usual — this can be compared to the middle of winter, despite the fact that it is April. The UV light needed to produce vitamin D does not penetrate through glass.
How to get vitamin D in isolation
If you isolate yourself in a country house, sometimes go out into the sun. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin under the action of UVB rays; to do this, you need to spend at least 5 minutes a day in the sun, and in open clothes. Here in health care there is some contradiction: it is known that prolonged exposure to the sun, especially without sunscreen, is dangerous for the skin. If you do not have your own yard or garden, or you are afraid of direct sunlight, pay attention to other sources.
Should I take a vitamin as a supplement? It is better to get tested for vitamin D when the opportunity arises. Overdosing is possible and can be dangerous. The daily dose for children and adults is 15 mcg (600 IU) per day; the maximum dose is 100 mcg (4000 IU). Carefully read the information on the package and pay attention to your diet (you may already receive part of the required amount with food).
Food rich in vitamin D
When compared to the intuitive “just in case” intake of vitamin D, getting it from food is a safer way: the concentrations in foods are relatively small, which means there is less risk of overdose.
— Fatty fish: salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, eel, sardines, and caviar. 400 IU of vitamin D is found in 150 g of salmon or 850 g of cod. The record-breaking product is cod liver oil: 250 mcg per 100 g of product (this is a lot: the daily norm for an adult is 15 mcg).
— Fatty dairy products: butter, cheese. Vitamin D was discovered in the twenties of the last century; In 1923, American biochemist Harry Stenbock patented a method for increasing vitamin D in foods through ultraviolet irradiation. Vitamin D-fortified dairy products are available today, but not as often.
— Egg yolks (eggs can be chicken or quail).
— Forest mushrooms: chanterelles, porcini, mushrooms.
We wish you good health and strong immunity!