Berlin (dpa) – The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) warns of the health risks of taking vitamin D preparations independently.
A current statement from the institute stated, “High doses should only be given under medical supervision and taking into account individual vitamin D status.” If you want to take vitamin D without authorization, you should only resort to preparations with a daily dose of 20 micrograms (800 international units). “With this amount, health loss cannot be expected.”
According to the BFR, regular daily intake of vitamin D through high-dose preparations, which is not medically appropriate, increases the risk of damaging health, such as kidney stones or renal calcification. There are also cases of acute renal failure as a result of uncontrolled intake of vitamin D preparations on its own initiative.
Recommendations for vitamin D preparations have been circulating on the Internet for a long time, even currently based on the knowledge that it can prevent coronavirus infection or the severe course of Covid 19 disease.
According to the BFR, there are indications that an inadequate vitamin D serum level is associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory infection. In the case of Kovid-19, the state of the data is still uncertain. In particular, it has not yet been possible to show that people who have a good supply of vitamin D benefit from additional vitamin D administration. “A general recommendation to take vitamin D supplements to prevent an acute course of SARS-COV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease is therefore not currently appropriate.”
The institute has been advised that a good supply of vitamin D can be obtained through self-synthesis of the skin. “Exercise and outdoor activity also strengthen muscles and bones.” In addition, it is advisable to eat fatty sea fish like herring or salmon once or twice a week.
In the opinion of the BFR, normal vitamin D intake of up to 20 micrograms per day should only be considered for nursing home residents. “Because vitamin D is formed in the skin under the influence of sunlight. However, many older people barely pass out.” In addition, vitamin D production decreases significantly with age. Therefore risk groups of inadequate vitamin D supply also include those who are rarely outside or – for cultural or religious reasons – always go out with their bodies completely covered.
Vitamin D is the generic term for a group of fat-soluble vitamins, calciferol. Unlike other vitamins, the body itself can produce vitamin D – through sunlight, more precisely UV-B radiation of certain wavelengths. These UV-B components cannot penetrate the window panes. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), due to geographical location, the manufacture of vitamin D in Central Europe is possible only in the summer months (March to October). However, the body is capable of building up vitamin D stores in fat and muscle tissue. This storage capacity also causes dangers associated with careless intake of vitamin D supplements.
In general, according to the BFR, adequate supply of vitamins and minerals is important for people’s immune function. “In times of increased activity of viral colds and respiratory diseases, a varied diet with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals is particularly important.” This country usually does not require additional supplies through supplements.
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