The sun produces a high amount of energy among which, ultraviolet radiation. This radiation makes sure our body can produce vitamin D. To produce vitamin D the solar power must have a certain strength. In the Netherlands (and other European countries) we often see a shortage of vitamin D levels due to too little solar power. This can cause all kinds of problems…
Food is not the answer
When we produce too little vitamin D out of sunlight, we can rapidly develop serious physical problems. First of all vitamin D is a vitamin that we can’t easily take in through food. Only fatty fish and the oil derived from this fish (such as cod liver oil) contains high amounts of vitamin D. Secondly vitamin D has made itself important for many functions within your body throughout the years. Vitamin D is not only a vitamin, it also functions as a hormone in your body. A shortage can therefore cause serious problems.
Why you have to get fat during summertime
Odd headline isn’t it? Getting fat during summertime whereas we all try to lose weight during this time of year. But in order to produce enough vitamin D, losing weight isn’t in your advantage. This is due to the fact that vitamin D can be stored in your fatty tissue. And the more fatty tissue you have, the more room for storage! Now, I don’t suggest to become overweight, but maintaining your current weight or developing a slight increase of fatty tissue can certainly help. Make sure you lose the weight again during wintertime otherwise vitamin D can’t be released in your system. Our ancestors did exactly this!
The sun needs cholesterol to produce vitam D in your body. The older we get, the less cholesterol we have in our system. Over 95% of our vitamin D requirement is made “on” the skin, the remainder comes from food.
What does vitamin D do?
The main function of vitamin D is helping built strong teeth and bones because it helps with the absorption of the minerals calcium and magnesium. It helps prevent osteoporosis, stimulates the immune system, plays a role in the functioning of your nervous system and makes sure we feel positive and happy. During summertime we produce and store the most vitamin D. For this reason many of us feel more happy during Summer.
Vitamin D shortage, calcium shortage
The mineral calcium also helps maintain a strong set of teeth and bones. But without enough vitamin D in your body, calcium cannot do its job properly. Our body should absorb calcium out of our gut and send it to our bloodsteam. This is a gradual process to substain a normal amount of vitamin D in your body. But, if there’s a shortage of this vitamin, our body doesn’t absorb calcium from our gut, but from other parts of our body: our teeth and bones. Demineralization of your teeth, periodontitis and osteoporosis are signals of a calcium shortage and thus a shortage of vitamin D.
Symptoms shortage vitamin D
A shortage of vitamin D can cause many problems. Most known problems consist of: weak bones, urinating frequently, depression/ feeling down, diarrhea, feeling sick, periodontitis, loss of appetite, high amounts of phosphor in your kidneys and increased inflammation levels in your body.
A shortage, now what?
Do you suspect a vitamin D shortage? Don’t worry, there are several ways to give those levels a boost. I always advice taking a good vitamin D supplement during wintertime. Besides a good supplement try and eat more fatty fish. Be aware that the fish you choose is organic and wild to avoid toxines and antibiotics.
Sunbath without protection
During summertime I advise you to sit in the sun for about 20 minutes each day. But remember: don’t wear any protection. No sunglasses, hats or a t-shirt. We absorb vitamin D the best through our eyelids. After these 20 minutes you can protect your skin from the sun with a natural sunblock.
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