Too many vitamin D pills have health risks
Nutritional supplementation with vitamin D hardly benefits
Although a study was published last year, which came to the conclusion that the vitamin D supply in Germany is deficient, but consumers should not simply resort to appropriate dietary supplements. Because vitamin D supplements are only recommended for certain groups of people. This is indicated by Stiftung Warentest.
Vitamin D pills are useful only for a few people
Vitamin D deficiency is common in both adults and children and adolescents. According to the Foundation for Child Health, the majority of girls and boys have "more or less depressed values". If there is actually a vitamin D deficiency, the intake of dietary supplements - after medical examination - in many cases recommended. But some people take such preparations without being examined before. However, it is not recommended, as the Stiftung Warentest now reports. Vitamin D pills are only useful for a few people, according to the experts.Especially in the cold season, many people take vitamin D supplements to compensate for the lack of sunlight. According to experts, such pills are only recommended for a few people. (Image: puhhha / fotolia.com)
No protection against chronic diseases
Some people take supplements because they think they are doing something good for their health and preventing illness. Stiftung Warentest points out on its website that this does not really make sense.
Because scientists have evaluated hundreds of studies in recent years to the question of whether vitamin D protects against other chronic diseases and found no convincing effect.
For example, in an earlier statement of the German Society of Endocrinology, it was said that vitamin D probably could not lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Sunlight in the cold months is not enough
Vitamin D is also referred to as "sun vitamin" because the human body makes it about 80 to 90 percent under the influence of sunlight. The high-energy UVB rays that also tan the skin are decisive.
However, not everyone makes the same amount of vitamin D - it depends on age, skin thickness and skin type.
According to Stiftung Warentest, the general rule is that the sunshine in Germany from October to March is not enough for people to produce enough vitamin D. But it's not like the skin does not produce vitamin D in the fall and winter.
"The body also makes some vitamin D, if you go for a while in the winter with your face and gloves for some time, about 20 to 30 minutes," said the spokesman for the German Society of Endocrinology, Professor Helmut Schatz.
But especially in the warm months, it is necessary to recharge enough sun. Because under the spring and summer sun, the vitamin D storage can easily be filled, as the body stores the fat-soluble vitamin D in the fat and muscle tissue and the liver.
This stock is usually sufficient to come without deficiencies over the dark season.
About the diet can cover only a small part of the need
As the Stiftung Warentest writes, only a small part of the vitamin D requirement can be met with food, for example ten to 20 percent. Accordingly, there are only a few foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin D..
By far the most of them are in fatty fish like salmon and herring. To a much lesser extent, liver, egg yolk and some mushrooms such as chanterelles and mushrooms provide vitamin D..
Those who have too low vitamin D levels due to lack of sunlight in the winter months may, according to health experts, resort to dietary supplements.
However, pills with vitamin D are not recommended for all people, as experts warned the Apothekerkammer Niedersachsen.
Basically, not too much of it may be taken. Because according to the drug commission of the German medical profession (AkdÄ), it can also lead to an overdose with vitamin D supplements.
Nutritional supplement for risk groups
"Healthy, active people hardly benefit from vitamin D supplements," writes Stiftung Warentest. "For certain risk groups, however, they can be useful."
This includes, but is not limited to, people over the age of 65, as many people of this age reduce their ability to produce vitamin D. In part, she then produces only half as much vitamin D as in previous years of life.
Even younger persons, who only rarely get into the fresh air due to illness, can resort to vitamin D supplements after consultation with a doctor.
Under these conditions, the Stiftung Warentest classifies vitamin D supplements as suitable for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Vitamin D pills can also be useful for certain other diseases: For example, small intestinal diseases can impair the absorption of vitamin D from the intestine.
Chronic liver disease, renal insufficiency, parathyroid failure or certain medications such as anti-epileptics can also interfere with vitamin D production.
Never take vitamin D supplements on suspicion
In addition, the Foundation recommends child health in accordance with scientific organizations of paediatricians:
All babies in Germany from the first week of life until the second experienced early summer, so depending on the date of birth for a period of one to one and a half years, in addition to breast milk or baby food tablets or drops with daily 400 to 500 units of vitamin D 3 get prescribed by a doctor.
Vitamin D supplementation should be best combined with fluoride prophylaxis against tooth decay. Preterm infants weighing less than 1,500 grams should receive a higher daily dose of 800 to 1,000 units of vitamin D during the first few months of life.
Basically: "Vitamin D supplements should not be taken on suspicion. They are recommended only if insufficient care has been proven by a doctor, "said Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
The physician then determines the current vitamin D status, if necessary. However, legally insured persons are only reimbursed for this blood test if there is a reasonable suspicion of a deficiency, such as osteoporosis.
The doctor and the patient have to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the test makes sense. Most patients pay the cost of the investigation of about 20 to 30 euros themselves. Also pay for the vitamin D supplements only in exceptional cases. (Ad)