What do you think about vitamin D pills, doc?

What do you think about vitamin D pills, doc?

Reader Question: “What do you think about the Vitamin D pills, Doctor?” During the dark season, there is hardly enough sunlight in our latitudes to produce enough vitamin D. Should we irradiate ourselves with a UV lamp or take vitamin D in drops or tablets? what do you recommend?”

Vitamin D plays a central role in calcium metabolism, but it also has many other important biological functions that are important to our health – vitamin D should actually belong to the group of hormones.

It is actually released from a precursor in our skin by UVB and converted to its active form in the liver and kidneys. For this, a small amount of radiation is sufficient, which we receive almost automatically in the warm season. Fatty fish such as herring, smoked eel, salmon or sardines usually contain insufficient amounts of vitamin D in the diet. By far the most vitamin D is found in cod liver oil. It was used to treat children to protect them from rickets, but you have to like its distinctive flavor.

Older people in particular, such as those in need of care who rarely leave their four walls, therefore often need supplementation with drops or tablets, which are easy to obtain at the pharmacy. It’s certainly better than irradiating yourself with UVB and subsequently increasing your risk of skin cancer. In general, when it comes to supplements a number of factors come into play that may be necessary. First, there’s skin color: In our part of the world, people with darker skin find it more difficult to produce enough vitamin D from their skin, which is much more protected from UV rays. Age is also a factor – older people are often only 30 percent productive as opposed to younger people. For this reason, I recommend that you consult your GP about this. If in doubt, he’ll determine your vitamin D levels and then decide whether you really should be taking vitamin D supplements.

Do you have questions about health? OÖN write to Dr. Johannes Neuhofer (dermatologist), who oversees this column with a team of doctors: Clemens Steinwender (cardiologist), Reinhold Fugger (surgeon), Rainer Schöpfle (gastroenterologist), Josef Hochreiter (orthopedist) , Werner Schoen (psychiatrist). E-mail: [email protected]

What do you think about Vitamin D pills?

Image: Andreas Balon

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