The “sunshine” vitamin
Vitamin D (calciferol) is also known as the sunshine vitamin, or D3 (D3 is vitamin D in its active form). The difference between this and other vitamins is that the body can produce vitamin D itself. Vitamins are formed in the skin when affected by the sun's UV rays. This is also the reason why people who live in northern countries must take vitamin D as a supplement, because, in the winter, we are not exposed to the sun in sufficient quantities.
The vitamin strengthens, among other things:
- Your immune system
- Your bones and teeth (generally through a normal calcium content in the blood)
- Your muscle function
- Cell division in the body
Vitamin D is also important to a healthy body and strong development in growing children, as well as elderly people who are not able to get outside enough. This is, among other things, because the body’s blood calcium concentration is regulated by the vitamin.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble and is stored in the fat deposits in your body. You may experience increased risk of vitamin D deficiency if you:
- Have kidney or liver failure
- Follow a diet with no egg or fatty fish
- Wear blush or other foundation products daily
- Are postmenopausal
- Do not have a varied diet
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can include: muscle cramps (and general weakening of the muscles), osteoporosis, teeth damage, fatigue and mood swings. Young children, pregnant women and the elderly are at particular risk of vitamin D deficiency. People at risk of malnutrition, for example, the elderly or people with kidney or liver disease, will generally be asked to have their vitamin levels measured. Contact your doctor if you are in this group.
Get enough vitamin D through your diet:
You get vitamin D primarily through the sun's rays, but the active vitamin D3 is found in, among other things:
- Fish (particularly liver oil, pollock, cod, salmon and herring)
- Egg yolks
- Milk products
Recommended daily dosage:
Adults: 10 ug
Check if your needs are being met for vitamin D and other important supplements with our vitamin test, and get a personalised package that will cover your needs. Take our test here.