What is vitamin D important for?

The fat-soluble vitamin D is produced by the human body through sunlight. Among other things, it is important for maintaining strong muscles and for healthy bones and teeth. According to recent research, vitamin D also appears to play an important role in the cardiovascular system. It is also thought that vitamin D reduces the risk of diabetes and helps prevent some types of cancer. However, since no definitive studies are available in this regard, these positive effects of the vitamin are only of a speculative nature at the present time. However, it is undisputed that vitamin D is involved in very many regulatory processes in a person's body cells and is therefore indispensable for health.

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How does vitamin D enter the body?

While other vitamins are primarily supplied to the human body through food, vitamin D is mainly formed from sunlight. In this respect, a supply is basically always ensured, provided that a sufficiently long stay outdoors is guaranteed. Basically, it is sufficient to irradiate the face and hands - sunbathing for hours is just as unnecessary as visiting a solarium. In addition, the body is also supplied with vitamin D through the consumption of certain foods. In particular, certain types of fish such as herring or salmon contain a lot of vitamin D. There is no general answer to the question of the extent to which a dietary intake is necessary to cover a person's daily requirements. Individual living conditions play a role here, since - as already mentioned - the length of time spent outdoors is primarily responsible for the vitamin D level.

How does a vitamin D deficiency manifest itself?

In many cases of severe vitamin D deficiency, adults develop
a softening of the bones (osteomalacia). Distinctive symptoms are bone pain and muscle weakness. If the disease is not treated quickly, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. In young children, the lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets and deformities of the bones and skull.

People who spend most of their time indoors or cover their bodies completely when outdoors have an increased risk of deficiency, as do dark-skinned people. For this group of people, the intake of a vitamin D preparation can make sense after consulting a doctor.

Does an overdose of vitamin D have consequences?

Overdosage from natural sources of vitamin D such as sunlight and normal food is extremely unlikely. At most, overdose symptoms are conceivable as a result of an excessive intake of strong vitamin preparations. The first symptoms of an overdose can be hypercalcemia with nausea, vomiting and an increase in blood pressure due to the increased calcium content. If these symptoms remain untreated, further side effects occur, such as a constant feeling of thirst, frequent urination, nervousness, weakness and severe itching. In the worst case, this can lead to total kidney failure. In this respect, vitamin D preparations should only be administered to the body on the instructions of a physician and only in the prescribed dosage.