Detailansicht für den Begriff

Name des Begriffes: Vitamin D

Short introduction

  • Vitamin D includes two major forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) found in e.g. plants and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), also called the sunshine vitamin.
  • Synthesised (produced) in the skin by action of ultraviolet light on a derivative of cholesterol. This synthesis in the skin is dependent on sun exposure.

Main natural sources

  • Found in a few foods: e.g. fish oils, fish (herring, salmon, sardines), eggs (yolk) and fortified dairy products.
  • Vitamin D2: mushrooms.

Main function

  • Role in maintaining muscle strength.
  • Involved in proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Important for regulation of the calcium balance. Essential for efficient calcium utilisation in the body – for bone mineralisation (skeletal integrity) and teeth function.

Deficiency disease

  • Insufficient intake and inadequate sun exposure leads to deficiency in different life stage groups. Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread health problem and supplementation is generally recommended.
  • Effects: impaired bone mineralisation and bone damage, leading to bone-softening diseases.
  • In children: rickets. Characterized by deformed bones (bow legs). Human milk is low in vitamin D and social customs and/or climatic conditions may avoid adequate sun exposure.
  • In adults: osteomalacia. Increased risk for bone fractures.

Recommended daily intake

Latest Dietary Reference Intakes  (DRIs)
Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Age categoryPer day
Pregnancy
Lactation
15 µg (RDA)
15 µg (RDA)
Infants 6 – 12 months10 µg (AI)
Children
 1 – 3 years
 4 – 8 years
15 µg (RDA)
15 µg (RDA)
Males
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
15 μg (RDA)
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
20 μg (RDA)
Females
 9 – 13 years
14 – 18 years
19 – 30 years
31 – 50 years
50 – 70 years
> 70 years
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
15 μg (RDA) 
20 μg (RDA)

 

As cholecalciferol. 1 μg cholecalciferol = 40 IU vitamin D.
Under assumption of minimal sunlight.
AI = Adequate Intake.
RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance.

Synonyme: Cholecalciferol

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