what are the causes and how do you prevent it?

Now that winter is in full swing, suspicions of a vitamin D deficiency may arise more often. Curious about the exact causes and symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency? And above all: how do you prevent it? JAN got to the bottom of it. Oh, and good news: this study showed that chocolate contains a lot of vitamin D.

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All about a vitamin D deficiency

First of all: why is vitamin D important for your body? Vitamin D is crucial for strong bones and teeth, for children and adults, and ensures that the muscles and kidneys work properly, GP Wieger van de Kolk explains to Thuisarts.nl. It is also good for your resistance – and therefore to create a strong body that is resistant to bacteria and viruses. Your body produces vitamin D in the skin thanks to sunlight: this is the largest source of vitamin D. This also explains a possibly greater chance of a vitamin D deficiency in autumn and winter, when you are much less often and for a longer time with your face and hands are in the sun. The first, and at the same time most important, tip from GP Wieger is therefore: go outside for half an hour every day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – even if it is cloudy.

Which foods contain a lot of vitamin D?

In addition to your daily round outside, it is also good to adjust your ‘diet’ accordingly. For example, vitamin D is found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel), beef, cheese (which turns out to be very good for you anyway), eggs, margarine and sometimes also in oils or fats. But: with this you can get about one-tenth of the required vitamin D, says GP Wieger. So the sunlight remains your best friend at all times.

Read more:  Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Symptoms and consequences of vitamin D deficiency

How do you know you have a vitamin D deficiency? Symptoms are mainly expressed in a reduced resistance and weaker muscles. This can possibly cause a less energetic feeling, but according to GP Wieger, low vitamin D does not necessarily lead to tiredness or dizziness. There are also regular links between a vitamin D deficiency and problems with the eyes (dry eyes or poorer vision), psychological complaints and problems with the skin, such as acne, states Runner’s world. Sidenote: more scientific research is needed to determine whether a vitamin D deficiency really has anything to do with the last complaints mentioned above. Did you know that you should ideally use your vitamin C serum in this way?

The (long-term) consequences of a vitamin D deficiency? Bones can grow differently in children, and in adults the bones can become ‘softer’ (increasing the risk of breaking) and a vitamin D deficiency can cause bone pain and osteoporosis.

When to take a vitamin D supplement?

Certain groups of people, in addition to daily exposure to sunlight and getting enough ‘correct’ food, still need a supplement with 10 micrograms of vitamin D as an extra. This concerns:

  • People with tinted skin – their skin produces less (rapidly) vitamin D
  • Pregnant women
  • Women aged 50 and over
  • Children up to four years
  • Anyone who doesn’t get out much

    Finally, both women and men aged 70 or older should take a supplement containing 20 micrograms of vitamin D every day. These are for sale at almost every drugstore or pharmacy, and according to GP Wieger it does not matter which brand you choose. Oh, and always check the packaging carefully to see how much you can take.

    Do you doubt whether you have a deficiency or whether you need supplements? Always consult your doctor first.

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