Almost all the essential nutrients and vitamins you need for living healthy are contained in our food. In order to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, you just need to eat the right foods that are essential for a healthy diet.
But there is one vitamin that we cannot supply sufficiently only by eating food: VITAMIN D
You need to either sunbath regularly or take vitamin D supplements to ensure an optimal vitamin D supply. Actually, there is a worldwide lack of vitamin D and 88% of people worldwide have an insufficient vitamin D status.
“There is a worldwide lack of vitamin D”
Why do you need vitamin D?
Vitamin D has essential functions in your body, for example the regulation of calcium homeostasis, which controls bone density. Furthermore, vitamin D is regulating more than 100 genes directly and this plays a role in various diseases.
An optimal vitamin D blood level can be life-prolonging. Epidemiologic studies have shown that there is a statistically significant prolongation of lifetime (in up to 90% of cases!). It is also known that a sufficient vitamin D blood level lowers both cancer risk and cancer mortality.
“An optimal vitamin D supply can prolong your life”
Read more about vitamin D here
The sunshine vitamin D
Vitamin D is also known as “sunshine vitamin”, because it is mainly produced in the skin of your own body. You cannot cover your daily requirement of vitamin D solely via food. In order to cover the daily requirement of vitamin D you would need to eat about 150g herring, 200g salmon, or 750g tuna. Every day!
“You cannot get enough vitamin D only from food”
Vitamin D is only produced if a large part of your body surface is exposed to the sun, mainly whilst sunbathing. In order to produce enough vitamin D for the whole year, you need about 30 sunbathing sessions in the summer, which lead to a slight redness of the skin the day after.
“You need about 30 sunbathing sessions per summer to produce
enough vitamin D for the whole year”
By the way, you hardly produce any vitamin D in the solarium. In order to produce vitamin D, the UVB rays of the natural sun are needed.
“You do NOT produce sufficient amounts
of vitamin D in the solarium”
Because there is a worldwide lack of vitamin D, chances are high you are also lacking vitamin D. That´s why you need to either sunbath regularly or take vitamin D supplements to ensure an optimal vitamin D supply.
Read more about supply with vitamin D here
You should test your vitamin D level
If you want to know if you have sufficient vitamin D in your body or not, you need to get your blood tested. A vitamin D blood test can be done by a qualified healthcare professional, e.g. your doctor, and costs between 20 to 60 euros.
Before, during, and after vitamin D supplementation blood levels of vitamin D should be tested, to make sure your value is in the right range.
“Before, during, and after vitamin D supplementation
your vitamin D blood levels should be tested”
If your vitamin D is NOT sufficient you should supplement vitamin D. Actually, compensating a low vitamin D blood value with is pretty straight forward and supplements will not cost you more than about 30 euros, in most cases it´s cheaper than the blood test.
To understand how vitamin D blood testing works and how to interpret your test results, click on the link below.
Read more about Vitamin D blood tests here
Vitamin D Supplementation
It is very clear that in order to achieve an optimal vitamin D supply you either need to sunbath regularly (at least 30 times per year in the summer month) or take vitamin D supplements.
“To ensure an optimal vitamin D supply, you must
sunbath regularly or take vitamin D supplements”
Because there is a worldwide lack of vitamin D, chances are high you are also lacking vitamin D. People are no longer staying outdoors long enough to be able to produce sufficient vitamin D via the skin. That´s why international experts in the field recommend an additional supplementation of vitamin D.
“Experts recommend vitamin D supplementation”
How much vitamin D supplement you should take daily strongly depends on your actual vitamin D blood level.
“How much daily vitamin D supplement you should take
depends on your vitamin D blood level”
For example, when you have a severe deficiency of vitamin D you should daily take pills that contain 5,000 to 20,000 IU (International units) vitamin D. However, if your vitamin D level is in the optimal range you might not need to supplement vitamin D at all or only take a maintenance dose of about 1,500-2,000 IU of vitamin daily.