The role of vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and the metabolism of calcium by an organism. Without enough vitamin D the body cannot produce enough of the hormone Calcitriol which leads to insufficient Calcium absorption.

Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, however many people limit their exposure to the sun and about 75% of the Belgian population is vitamin D deficient.

For the body to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D, one’s limbs (both arms and legs) should be exposed to sunlight every day for at least thirty minutes. Obviously, this is not always possible in colder climates, in which case vitamin D supplementation is recommended.

Recommended Daily Allowance in vitamin D :

10 – 50 200 to 400 IU*
51 – 69 400 to 600 IU*
Over 70 600 to 800 IU*

*International Unit

Foods rich in vitamin D are: fish oil, fatty fish, eggs, liver, beef (but usually consumed in quantities too low to satisfy daily needs).