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Living in Spain is apparently no guarantee of sufficient vitamin D …

What most know about vitamin D is that its main source is obtained from sunlight through the skin. The body can produce vitamin D itself through the skin under the influence of sunlight. But throughout history we have evolved from outdoors to indoors. Moreover, we now also know that long exposure to the sun can be a danger for skin cancer.

Strictly speaking, vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a fat-soluble hormone and is mainly found in fatty (from animal) products such as whole milk, cheese, fatty fish, ...

Vitamin D is required to absorb dietary calcium into the body.

Due to our contemporary lifestyle, the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, our intestines are less able to store minerals and vitamins.

A problem with the gut, kidney, or liver disease can cause production to be insufficient despite adequate sun exposure.

How can you determine a deficiency?

You can determine possible deficiencies by a blood test.

What are possible symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency?

  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the joints without overload
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy legs
  • Impaired immunity
  • Sensitive or weak teeth

What are the long-term consequences of a vitamin D deficiency?

A lack of vitamin D accelerates the decrease in bone mass. In adults this can lead to bone loss, osteoporosis and muscle weakening.

In young children it can cause rickets (English disease). This disease causes skeletal abnormalities.

X-Ray Rickets / raquitísmo / Rachitis

How can you contribute to maintain your vitamin D levels?

  • Daily contact with the sun, without coloring the skin. With fair skin, an exposure to the sun of 15 – 30 minutes (between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) is already sufficient.
  • Adjust your “diet” / lifestyle. Provide a healthy diet with fatty fish, vegetables, nuts, … The Mediterranean diet is an ideal example here.
  • Get exercise and avoid stress
  • Discuss with the doctor whether a supplement of D3 is indicated.
I myself have been living in southern Spain for 17 years … “enough sunlight” you might think? Well, it turns out not …
A recent blood test showed my Vitamin D 25-OH level to be 18.43 ng / mL where the minimum appears to be 30 ng / mL. I was given extra supplements on a prescription, spread over four months.Afterwards, a new blood test will have to show whether my body has absorbed the supplements properly.

Be careful to experiment with supplements yourself, especially with vitamin D. This is one of the few vitamins where you can get intoxicated with too much. So always get advice from the doctor.

 

 

Sources:

www.gezondheid.be

Voeding bij gezondheid en ziekte – Nelleke Stegeman

 

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by Patricia

I am Patricia, energetic 40'er, architect, business manager and food blogger. Living in Andalusia but from Flanders - Belgium. Mother of 2 active and creative kids who, together with my husband Geert, form the tasting team of the first order!
Cooking has become a passion. Everything starts with devising an original recipe and that’s when my love for food photography & styling comes across… In my blog you will get to know my healthy Mediterranean fusion cuisine!

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