Vitamin D for Vegans

Taking vitamin D is becoming more popular, not only because of its health effects, but also due to common deficiencies, which happens also among non-vegans.



It's no secret that we get the most vitamin D from sunshine and fish. For example, a portion of salmon is about 540IU / 100g, mackerel is 152IU / 100g, herring is 480IU / 100g. However, to get a recommended daily dose of 600IU vitamin D. You would need to eat a lot of fish, e.g. 115g salmon or 400g mackerel every day! Vitamin D can also be found in eggs and dairy products, but its content is not too high, so we would have to eat about 15 eggs, a kilogram of cheese or drink over ten of litres of milk to ensure a daily dose of vitamin D. That's the why even meat eaters are struggling with the sufficient amount of vitamin D

 

WHY DO WE NEED VITAMIN D ?

We all know that vitamin D3 is essential for bone health. However, it has wider properties and participates in many processes in the body, especially with immune system reactions. Thanks to many studies on the role of vitamin D, we know that its deficiency affects: Autoimmune diseases - Lack of vitamin D can cause asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, mucositis, multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D plays an important role in the functioning of our immune barrier. Calcitriol - the active form of vitamin D - reduces inflammation and protects cells. It slow downs the production of pro-inflammatory factors (cytokines) and helps to produce antibacterial peptides.

Infections - With a lower level of vitamin D our ability to defend against bacteria and viruses is decreased Pregnancy - is a very important element of the child's proper development in the prenatal period, which is why supplementation is recommended. Skin problems - With a healthy intake of vitamin D, the skin dries less, regenerates better and is generally in better condition. In addition, vitamin D normalises the processes occurring in the skin, reduces allergic reactions and the damage caused by oxidative stress. That is why the proper level of vitamin D in the blood is so important in patients with eczema. In addition, vitamin D protects against harmful environmental factors, especially against solar radiation, and against its negative effects, such as photodamage of the skin or skin cancer. Cognitive impairment - deficiency increases the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Menstrual cramps - Ladies if you are suffering from painful menstrual cramps try supplementation of vitamin D


How much of vitamin D do we need ?

Here’s the recommended daily intake of vitamin D based on age:

  • Babies (0–12 months): 400 IU

  • Children (1–13): 600 IU

  • Teenagers: 600 IU

  • Adults 70 and under: 600 IU

  • Adults over 70: 800 IU.

Vitamin D is fat soluble and accumulates in our body fat, therefore there is a risk of overdose. Vitamin D becomes toxic when we exceed 40,000 IE per day.


What can I do to increase absorption of vitamin D?

Vitamin A is necessary for the action of vitamin D receptors in cells. In practice, this means that in the absence of vitamin A, even an adequate level of vitamin D cannot be used. Don't forget then about your carrots, broccoli, mango or papaya.

Magnesium is needed in the body to activate vitamin D. Only with assistance of magnesium, vitamin D can be converted into its active form. Therefore, if you lack magnesium, despite taking even high doses of vitamin D, you may still be deficient.

Remember also that the consumption of coffee or alcohol can decrease your absorpti