An adequate supply of vitamin D is particularly important for bone health and also supports the immune system. Vitamin D can be produced by the human body itself if there is sufficient sunlight.
Vitamin D is one of the most frequently discussed nutrients in the context of the vegan diet. Actually, wrongly, because the need for vitamin D can be covered easily and naturally even with a vegan lifestyle.
The “active” form of vitamin D, we typically refer to as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), can be used by the human body.
Vitamin D is partly responsible for a multitude of functions in the body. It is necessary for bone formation for the immune system and can inhibit tumor cells’ proliferation and type 1 diabetes .
Vitamin D for strong bones
By definition, Vitamin D is not a vitamin since the body can produce it and is not essential. Instead, vitamin D belongs to the steroid hormones. As a messenger substance, it is jointly responsible for regulating the calcium-phosphate balance in the body and ensures that the blood’s calcium level is balanced. Vitamin D ensures that excess calcium is stored in the bones or mobilized when necessary with other hormones. Together with calcium, a sufficient supply of vitamin D is therefore essential for healthy, strong bone
But the body also depends on an adequate supply of vitamin D for many other functions. Studies suggest that vitamin D, for example, can significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Is Vitamin D vegan?
Vitamin D2 is vegan; vitamin D3 comes from lanolin, an animal fat – now there is also vegan vitamin D3 made from lichen a kind of algae
The body itself can produce vitamin D
Vitamin D3 is often not vegan! Products such as oily fish contain a relatively large amount of vitamin D.
However, the supply of vitamin D through food plays a minor role anyway, because the body can produce vitamin D through the skin. The prerequisite for this is sufficient exposure to the sun with UV-B rays.
A stay of around 5 minutes to several hours in the sun can be enough to supply the body with sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Those who work in the office rarely come into the sunlight and sometimes find it challenging to meet their vitamin D requirements themselves. In northern latitudes, solar radiation is not always sufficient to cover vitamin D’s need through the skin.
Vitamin D supply
A severe deficiency in vitamin D can lead to softening of the bones (osteomalacia) in adults and rickets (deformed bones) in children. Especially in winter in northern latitudes, it is essential to pay particular attention to an adequate vitamin D supply.
Where do vegans get enough vitamin D?
Adequate amounts of vitamin D are in Avocados Dates Sunflower seeds Sweet potatoes Mushrooms like button mushrooms and chanterelles, Maitake, Shiitake, Oyster mushrooms
However, regardless of diet, food intake is often insufficient to meet the body’s vitamin D needs
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