Vitamin D, which is also called the sun vitamin, can be produced by the human body itself with the help of sunlight. The skin plays an essential role in this. Especially in the winter days, many people suffer from a lack of vitamin D. With a deficit of the sun vitamin not only the body but also the skin suffers from it.
In this article, we will discuss the biggest ambiguities, uncover doubts and answer the most important questions. Among other things, we will answer the question of how important vitamin D is for our skin and what happens to the skin in case of deficiency.
In addition, we will clear up the doubt of whether a deficiency of vitamin D promotes acne. After reading this neutral and informative post, you will be free from ambiguity about a deficiency of vitamin D and you will get a lot more information.
The most important facts in brief
- Vitamin D deficiency can be combated with a vitamin-rich diet as well as by sunbathing. Vitamin D enters the body most quickly through the skin. Through food intake, the vitamin must first be converted in an additional step until it reaches the bloodstream.
- A vitamin D deficiency is characterized on the skin by acne. This can be treated by taking vitamin D.
- Foods that contain high levels of vitamin D are salmon, mushrooms, cheese, avocado, and eggs. These foods should be included in the diet in case of deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency of the skin: what you should know
For skin health, vitamin D is a fundamental component. Sunlight, or UV rays, plays a significant role in this. Vitamin D is produced naturally in the body itself. The effect of vitamin D is positive in the renewal of cell formation as well as in their defense function.
In case of an insufficient component of vitamin D in our body, the skin suffers from it. What this looks like and to what extent the deficiency occurs, we will clarify in the following. We will now go into the most important questions.
How does a vitamin D deficiency of the skin occur?
Vitamin D is absorbed by the sun through the skin or orally in the body. In case of insufficient absorption, deficiency symptoms occur.
Particularly affected by vitamin D deficiency are:
- dark skin types
- people who spend little time in nature.
- older people, because with increasing age less vitamin D can be absorbed.
It should be emphasized that not only these groups are affected by vitamin D deficiency. Deficiency can occur in all age groups and skin colors.
How can vitamin D deficiency of the skin be corrected?
Sunlight is the most natural source of vitamin D.
Two options form to counteract a vitamin D deficiency. Just 5 to 15 minutes a day in the sun is enough to boost vitamin D production. The UV rays from sunlight convert the cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D.
Vitamin D can also be absorbed through the skin. However, it must first be activated through a series of steps before vitamin D can take effect. The liver converts dietary vitamin D into the storage form of vitamin D after vitamin-rich food intake.
The storage form of vitamin D is measured during blood tests. In a later step, the kidney converts the storage form into the active form of vitamin D. This active form is used by the body.
The absorption of vitamin D through food takes longer.
There are therefore two ways in which a vitamin D deficiency of the skin can be remedied. On the one hand, there is the possibility to absorb the vitamin D via the sun’s rays or to consume the vitamin D and then in the next step convert it into one’s own body.
How can I tell that I have a vitamin D deficiency in the skin?
In a study, it was investigated whether vitamin D has an effect on acne. It was discovered that people who suffer from acne have a lower vitamin D level. From this, it can be concluded that a deficiency of vitamin D causes the skin to suffer from acne.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in psoriasis. Psoriasis can be translated as psoriasis. It has been found that patients with psoriasis have significantly low levels of vitamin D. The same is true in atopic dermatitis.
In summary, evidence of vitamin D deficiency is:
- Dry patches of skin.
If any of these clues apply to you, it may be a good idea to get blood work done or get out in the fresh air and soak up some sun rays.
How does a vitamin D deficiency affect the rest of my body?
Not only does the skin show effects of a vitamin D deficiency, but the rest of the body shows signs as well. Vitamin D plays a critical role in maintaining proper mineralization of the bones. When there is a vitamin D deficiency, the bones take damage and become more brittle easily. The risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures is increased.
If there is too little vitamin D in the body, depression is favored. Vitamin D supplementation may be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in patients with clinically significant depression. However, in one study, no overall effect was noted with vitamin D treatment for depressive symptoms.
Other side effects include:
- hypertension and heart disease;
- diabetes mellitus;
- serious infections such as tuberculosis, chronic kidney disease;
- hair loss.
In order to avoid these side effects, it is important to get enough sunlight and to have a balanced and healthy diet.
What foods contain vitamin D?
There are a number of foods that contain vitamin D naturally. When consumed through food, only enough vitamin D can be absorbed to meet long-term vitamin D needs.
There are also foods that do not contain vitamin D.
Above all, foods that are of animal origin contain particularly high levels of vitamin D. These include fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon or herring are good vitamin D suppliers. The intake of vitamin D from the liver, offal, and eggs is described as more difficult. However, these foods also contain vitamin D.
No vitamin D is contained in tea, coffee, cereals, potatoes as well as legumes, and whole-grain products. However, these foods should not be eliminated from the diet for this reason. Cereals and legumes contain a lot of fiber, which also has a very important function in the human body.
In the list below we have listed some foods with their vitamin D content to give you a good overview:
- Salmon: 16 micrograms per 100g
- Avocado: 6 micrograms per 100g
- Eggs: 2.9 micrograms per 100g
- Mushrooms: 1.9 micrograms per 100g
Of course, there are still a wide number of foods such as margarine or cheese, which also contain vitamin D.
To give you an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the intake of vitamin D in food, we have decided to list this for you.
- easy integration into everyday life;
- natural, no additional supplementation.
- dosage difficult;
- no intuitive eating, as sufficient vitamin D must be in the diet.
Now you can decide for yourself how you want to take your vitamin D and whether taking foods that are fortified with vitamin D is right for you.
For whom is it useful to take supplements to fight vitamin D deficiency?
Taking vitamin D supplements combats vitamin D deficiency. Depending on the age, a different amount of vitamin D can be absorbed by the body.
In the following table, we have tabulated for you the daily dose of vitamin D based on age.
- 0-1 years – 2000 IU/d vitamin D.
- 1-18 years – 2000 IU/d vitamin D.
- older than 18 years – 6000 IU/d vitamin D.
For a healthy person, 400 – 800 IU/d vitamin D is sufficient. Converted this is 10-20 micrograms of vitamin D.
Again, we have decided to provide an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of supplements to combat vitamin D deficiency.
- a meal plan does not have to be prepared, which saves time;
- accurate dosage.
- increase in supplements;
- taking supplements can be easily forgotten.
Depending on how easy it is for you to switch to a diet plan that is rich in vitamin D, you may find it easier to switch to taking supplements. Whether or not you decide to take supplements to combat vitamin D deficiency is up to you.
How is vitamin D absorbed through the skin?
Vitamin D is absorbed with food or synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol by ultraviolet irradiation.
The vitamin D produced by 7-dehydrocholesterol depends on the intensity of ultraviolet irradiation, which varies depending on the season and latitude. During summer days, your body has more vitamin D because you are likely to be outdoors more often.
A sunscreen or clothing will prevent the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D. However, you should still protect yourself from too much sun exposure.
Vitamin D is converted to its active form in the body.
The conversion takes place so that the vitamin can influence mineral metabolism and exert its effects on many other diverse physiological functions.
Vitamin D is transported in the blood to the liver by the vitamin D binding protein. In the liver, vitamin D is hydroxylated at C-25 by one or more cytochrome P450 vitamin D 25-hydroxylases. This leads to the formation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.
How important is vitamin D during pregnancy?
Vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy. For this reason, it is advisable to take a supplement of vitamin D during gestation.
In addition, during pregnancy, care can be taken to eat enough foods that are high in vitamin D. During the summer months, sunbathing is an excellent way to absorb vitamin D.
In one study, it was observed that pregnant women taking supplemental vitamin D had significantly higher 25(OH)D levels than those not taking supplements. In addition, it was found that taking vitamin D resulted in a lower risk of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a medical term for pregnancy toxicity.
For the following reasons, it is recommended to have a blood count done during pregnancy. This provides information about whether the body is supplied with sufficient vitamin D.
In addition, a blood count provides information about iron levels, magnesium levels, and the number of other vitamins in the body. In addition to vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency is also very common during pregnancy. This can be well counteracted with a suitable diet.
The skin reproduces a vitamin D deficiency. Acne, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are side effects of a too low level. These show up on the skin as clogged pores, redness, and infections. To prevent deficiency, you can make sure that you spend enough time in the sun. This way you will absorb the sun vitamin.
Another intake of vitamin D can come from your diet. Foods, such as avocado, salmon, cheese, and eggs are important sources of vitamin D. However, absorption through food takes longer because the body must first develop the vitamin D in the body. A diet with vitamin D supplements is also conceivable.