How to fill up with vitamin D?

Three quarters of French people have a vitamin D deficiency. Food, sun and supplementation, our advice for increasing your intake.

By Johanna Amselem

Vitamin D comes for 30% from food and for 70% from exposure to the sun.
© MORITZ FRANKENBERG / DPA / dpa Picture-Alliance via AFP

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Lhe days are getting shorter and the sun is getting rarer. With the drop in UVB intensity, vitamin D becomes scarce. Thus, 75% of adults do not have enough. This liposoluble vitamin – soluble in fats – is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. Specifically, vitamin D helps to increase the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. In a broadcast of PuMS – For better health – broadcast on YouTube, the Pr Boris Hansel – professor of medicine and hospital practitioner at the University of Paris-Bichat hospital (AP-HP) – details the different sources of vitamin D.

On a daily basis, it fulfills many missions since it ensures optimal mineralization of bones, cartilage and teeth. Vitamin D is involved in nerve transmission, hormonal regulation, immune system cell activity, etc. But it has a main engine: the sun. And when the latter is more discreet during the winter months, it is not easy to arrive at the recommended levels. Indeed, sunlight helps the body to produce vitamin D naturally. Exposure for 15 to 20 minutes at the end of the morning or in the afternoon ensures a sufficient supply of vitamin D. forearm, for example).

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Dark chocolate, offal and margarine

Generally, 30% of vitamin D comes from food and 70% from exposure to the sun. As this is not always easy during the winter months, food is then the most interesting solution. You still need to know which foods to eat. Certain foods rich in vitamin D should be included on the menu, as detailed by ANSES: “In France, fish and dairy products (yoghurts, cottage cheese, cheese, milk) contribute respectively to 19% and 25% of intakes in adults. But other foods should be consumed regularly: fatty fish (such as sardines, salmon and mackerel fillets), dairy products enriched with vitamin D, egg yolks and dark chocolate. That’s not all, chanterelles and morels also contain vitamin D, as do butter, margarines, organ meats and cereals fortified with vitamin D.

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As part of a varied and balanced diet, it is recommended to consume two portions of fish per week, including one portion of oily fish. Also consider certain fatty fruits, such as avocado. Although it doesn’t always have a good reputation, cod liver oil is packed with vitamin D.

A sufficient intake of vitamin D is essential. A deficiency promotes the appearance of muscle disorders (such as a drop in tone) or bone disorders, such as a decrease in bone mass, a bone condition that compromises its strength, etc. In cases requiring supplementation, ANSES recommends giving priority to taking medication rather than food supplements. Indeed, medicines guarantee clear information in terms of doses, precautions for use, risk of adverse effects and overdose.

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