Do you feel listless or depressed during the dark season? There may be a lack of vitamin D in your body. How do you recognize this, and what helps
It’s cold and wet outside. Who wants to get out the door? Well, but that’s precisely what’s essential, especially in the dark season, to get your daily dose of UV rays, which boosts vitamin D production in your body. Here we explain why a vitamin D deficiency is dangerous and how to prevent it.
What Is Unique About Vitamin D?
As the only vital vitamin, the body can produce almost 90 percent of vitamin D through the absorption of sunlight (UVB light) in the skin. Unlike most other vitamins, only a small proportion can be obtained through diet.
It is a hormone and is the collective term for several fat-soluble compounds. Here, the one we are talking about is vitamin D3, which is converted to the hormone calcitriol in the liver and kidneys and can also be stored as calcifediol in muscle and adipose tissue. If you don’t get enough UVB light in winter to stimulate sufficient vitamin D production, the body can fall back on the stores – if you have replenished them well in sunnier times.
Since our vitamin D reserves can be depleted as winter progresses, we must additionally stimulate production. Otherwise, our immune system may weaken, and our psyche, muscles and well-being suffer. In addition, without the protective effects of vitamin D, we are more susceptible to diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
What Does Vitamin D Do In The Body?
These are the three main functions in the body:
- Bone Mineralization: One of the most important functions of vitamin D is maintaining calcium and phosphate levels in the blood. Calcium and phosphate are essential for bone mineralization; they ensure that our bones are and remain rigid and stable and prevent osteoporosis (bone loss). The better the body’s vitamin D supply, the lower the risk of tooth loss because the stability of our teeth also depends on the body’s calcium level.
- Strengthen Muscles: Vitamin D plays a vital role in muscle metabolism; it makes an essential contribution to maintaining muscle strength and muscle building. Sufficient vitamin D not only prevents muscle weakness but also balance problems. On the other hand, insufficient vitamin D in the body significantly increases the risk of muscle weakness.
- Strengthen The Immune System: Vitamin D supports the functionality of our immune system both to fight pathogens and to inhibit excessive immune reactions.
What Are The Consequences Of A Vitamin D Deficiency?
The immediate symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency are diffuse: exhaustion, tiredness or depressive moods are common and often typical. In addition to listlessness and listlessness, many affected also have to contend with headaches and increased essential nervousness. Many people feel reduced and inhibited in their performance due to vitamin D deficiency symptoms when it comes to sports. You may also experience back pain, weight gain, itching, hair loss, constipation, or pimples. More frequent respiratory tract infections are also among the possible consequences of too little vitamin D in the blood.
In the long term, adults with vitamin D deficiency risk decalcifying the skeletal bones and bone loss, so-called osteomalacia or osteoporosis. As it progresses, the risk of falls and fractures increases. Demineralization can also cause permanent damage to the teeth. Anyone prone to fractures can use a bone density measurement to determine whether they already have osteoporosis or its precursor, osteopenia. In this case, your doctor will recommend vitamin D therapy.
How Do I Meet My Daily Requirement?
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection recommends about 12 minutes of UV radiation on uncovered skin areas per day for our latitudes. Fish, eggs and dairy products are among the best sources of vitamin D.
However, for vegetarians and vegans, the supply of vitamin D is more complicated. Because the majority of vitamin D foods are animal products. If you do without it entirely, you have to search for vitamin D in food all the more. Because in plant products, it looks pretty meager in terms of vitamin D.
How Can I Compensate For A Deficiency?
As a first step, the lifestyle can be fundamentally changed. First of all, of course, attention should be paid to exercise, being outside and nutrition. As I said, roughly 80-90 percent of your daily vitamin D requirement can be covered by the body’s synthesis with the help of sunlight or UV rays. Depending on external and personal factors, 5 to 25 minutes of sunlight per day are sufficient.
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