Should you take vitamin D ampoules in winter?

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Whether in summer or winter, the body needs vitamin D. This molecule is produced endogenously by the body when exposed to sunlight. It strengthens your immune defences, helps your body absorb calcium and protects you from possible viral infections.

How do you know if you are vitamin D deficient?

You can take a blood test at a lab. A medical prescription is not compulsory. If the results show a low level, you will probably need a cure.

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In France, up to 9 out of 10 French people are deficient in vitamin D in winter. From October to March, the few rays of the sun that shine from time to time are not enough to provide the necessary dose.

To fill this gap, you can take vitamin D preventively, to treat a deficiency or in case of illness. These supplements are in the form of capsules, tablets or vials to buy in pharmacies.

Food can also provide vitamin D, but in small quantities.

Why is this fat-soluble vitamin so important?

According to recent studies, the body consumes about 5000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. This molecule seems to help improve health in several cases such as bone fractures, diabetes or even anxiety and depression.

Scientists also correlate vitamin D deficiency with other pathologies such as periodontitis, osteoporosis, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, senile cognitive disorders, asthma and many other diseases, including 17 different types of cancer.

In children an excessive vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets.

How much vitamin D?

The current recommended dietary intake is between 600 and 800 IU (international units) per day. In some cases, a larger quantity may be required. In people over 60, for example, it can go up to 1000 to 1500 IU per day.

What is the difference between vitamins D, D3 and D2?

There are two types of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D2 also called ergocalciferol, of vegetable origin
  • Vitamin D3 also called cholecalciferol, which is found in animal products.

Both of these forms are stored in body and muscle fat and then eliminated through bile, after being absorbed.

Vitamin D3 has a unique characteristic: it can be synthesized by our body after exposure to the sun. UVB rays penetrate the skin and allow the transformation of a molecule called 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D3.

To produce enough vitamin D3, an adult should, depending on the skin type, be exposed to the sun daily for 10 to 20 minutes.

Some foods rich in vitamin D?

From March to October, sunlight is enough to cover more than 80% of our daily vitamin D needs, while the remaining 20% ​​is covered by food. In winter, vitamin D intake should therefore be higher.

Salmon and mackerel are the foods highest in vitamin D, followed by dairy products, eggs, avocados and mushrooms. Consider including them in your diet!

For example, 100 grams of salmon is 265% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D and as our body stores it, 250 grams of salmon per week will provide you with all the vitamin D you need.

Be careful, it is impossible to fill a vitamin D deficiency with food. A healthy, varied and balanced diet is necessary, but still consult a doctor to find out what supplements to take, the daily dose, etc.

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bonus tip

Exposure to the sun for 10 minutes a day is enough to maintain a good level of vitamin D in your body. The best time to capture a maximum is at noon, when the sun has reached its zenith.

Be careful, sunscreen can block UVB rays and prevent vitamin D synthesis by up to 99%.

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