Vitamin D is a somewhat special, fat-soluble vitamin, in the sense that it is the only vitamin that the body itself can make. Vitamin D is produced inside body via the skin when ultraviolet rays from sunlight trigger its synthesis. However, for people residing in high latitudes, having a dark skin color, older age, being inside a lot, living in smoggy environments the diet is important to get enough vitamin D. Sources of food which are high in vitamin d are scarce. >1 billion people in the world have low vitamin D levels. This is found in all ethnicities and age groups.
Sources of food high in vitamin D (per 100 gram):
Salmon 9 µg
Shrimp 3,8 µg
Sardines 12,5 µg
Egg 0,5 µg
Mushrooms 15 µg
Functions of vitamin D
The active form of vitamin D, calcitriol, has a broad effect on many body processes. This is also apparent from the multitude of tissues in the body in which the vitamin D receptor occurs. It is estimated that vitamin D regulates directly or indirectly, via activation of the vitamin D receptor, between 100 and 1200 genes.
- Stronger bones efsa health claim
- Supports immune system efsa health claim
- Strong muscles efsa health claim
- Support mental health ongoing research
Examples why people don’t get enough vitamin D through sun light:
Seasonality: In winter time the sun stands further away and is less intensive. Also there are less sun hours available.
Geographic location: The further away from the equator, the angle of the sun changes and is less Intense.
Smog:When air pollution and smog are present, less UV radiation reaches the earth.
Clouds: do usually block UV rays, particularly the UV-B. On a really overcast day, they can stop 70 to 90% of the UV-B from reaching the surface.
Cities: high buildings are prevent sun shine reaching our skin.
Living inside: People are working and living more inside.
Age and pigment: elderly people and people with a darker skin need more uvb light to be effective
Clothing: covered clothing prevents uvb light to be effective.
Skin protection: prevents uvb light tot be effective.
Other factors causing vitamin D shortage:
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