More than a bone hardener

Square skull, bow legs, sunken chest. Who survived as a child, rickets, life-scarred. Most common cause of this growth disturbance of the bone is a massive lack of Vitamin D, occurs in this Form, however, in Germany hardly.

It has Long been known that the Vitamin promotes the absorption of calcium from food, and the installation of the Minerals in the bone. The largest part of the important nutrient of the body is practical, even in the skin. In the short-wave UV-B radiation from sunlight is necessary. Babies and small children should not be in the direct sun, exposed to, therefore be pushed prophylactically small, white tablets into the mouth. And also old people are Vitamin D swallow, since it can prevent osteoporosis.

But apparently, the Vitamin does a lot more. Scientists now believe that it serves in the body as a kind of chemical the Central switch. Vitamin D is related to highly effective hormones such as testosterone or Estrogen. In more than 30 tissues receptors have been found, to which the Vitamin binds, to transmit chemical messages.

The Body’s Own Antibiotics

More than 1000 genes are known to be activated by Vitamin D, and then, in turn, countless proteins. So Vitamin D can affect, for example, immune cells of the immune system so that you can produce the body’s own antibiotics against bacteria. At the same time evidence that it can increase supply of the Vitamin the risk for serious illnesses are on the increase. Only a few weeks ago, two studies from Austria and the USA were published, which showed that low blood levels of Vitamin D the risk for cardiovascular disease.

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Other studies have demonstrated a link between too little Vitamin D in the blood and tumors in breast, prostate or bowel. Jörg Reichrath, Senior physician of the clinic for dermatology at the University hospital of the Saarland, is researching with his colleagues, the anti-cancer effect of the substance on cell cultures and in animal experiments: “The effect is most likely due to the fact that Vitamin D inhibits the un – controlled cell division and thus the development of cancer cells.” A further mechanism scientists from the German cancer research centre in Heidelberg think is plausible: it May be that the Vitamin is Estrogen an effective opponent of the hormone, the patients with many breast cancer-tumour growth increased.

But how much Vitamin D does a person need to protect themselves from tumors, or heart attacks? This question cannot be answered by science exactly. The German society for nutrition (DGE) therefore sees currently no reason for their current recommendation of five to ten millionths of a gram a day for adults – the equivalent of about 30 to 60 grams of salmon to increase. “The present study results are not clear enough to be able to say clearly how much you should eat, in order to have protection, for example against cancer,” says the spokesperson for the DGE, Antje Gahl.

In The Winter, Vitamin D Supplements

However, Even the DGE recommendations, which were calculated in the first line for the prevention of bone diseases, can not be achieved for years by a large part of the population. For one, there are not too many foods that contain significant amounts of Vitamin D – fatty fish such as herring, salmon or mackerel, the rich, smaller amounts put in milk or egg yolk. In addition, the UV-B values in Winter are so low that the skin can only make little or no Vitamin D.

So in the blazing sun or on the sunbed? A free letter for summer UV-excesses will be in the future, says dermatologist Jörg Reichrath: “prolonged sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer and increase only in the short term, the level of Vitamin D in the blood.” Better it is, from spring to autumn regularly for a short time in the sun to stop, a short walk in the lunch break.

Rüdiger Greinert, a biophysicist and a member of the German Association of Dermatological prevention (ADP), advises: “If you are skin type II fair skin, in summer the face and hands regularly 15 minutes in the sun. Probably cream noticed without the sun.” Reddened skin you should risk but never, and small children were still unprotected in the sun.

In the Winter or if you are sitting in the office, would you rather take a Vitamin D Supplement, “as in the Solarium for a radiation intensity more intense than at noon on the Equator to suspend”. Anyone who is uncertain, whether he needs such an agent, or a cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure suffers, you should first speak with his doctor. So far, experts feared that excessive consumption of over-the-counter tablets could lead to organ calcification. But nutritionists Armin Zittermann from the heart and diabetes center North Rhine-Westphalia gives the all-clear, and refers to recent studies from Canada. After that, an Overdose of Vitamin D is rather unlikely: “you’d have to swallow every day, ten tablets in a relatively high dosage.”