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Vitamin D profile

Vitamin D - fact sheet, daily requirement, food & more

Want to know more about vitamin D? Then you've come to the right place. I would like to provide you with everything you need to know about this important sun vitamin. From a clear profile, type, function, daily requirement, overdose and deficiency, to foods and food supplements. You will also find out what vegans and vegetarians need to bear in mind.

Here is in advance a short Overview for you:

  1. Profile
  2. Recording
  3. Daily requirement
  4. Meaning
  5. Overdose
  6. Deficiency
  7. Foods
  8. Vegan
  9. Food supplement
  10. Frequently asked questions

Notice: This article is not a substitute for medical advice, but merely provides general information about vitamin D. Please consult your doctor if you feel unwell or want to prevent health problems with medical care.

Vitamin D PROFILE at a glance

Assignment: Group of fat-soluble vitamins that belong to the secosteroids
Synonyms: Sun vitamin, vitamin D3, calcitriol
Important for: Calcium absorption, bone structure, immune system
Daily requirement: 20 micrograms a day from the first year of life₁
Recording: through food intake and sun exposure
Overdose: Possible by taking high-dose vitamin D supplements
Deficiency symptoms: including fatigue, hair loss, mood swings
Food: Mushrooms, chanterelles and as an additive in margarine.
Food supplement: As drops, powder, capsule or tablet

How can you absorb vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a very special vitamin because it is produced both by the Nutrition recorded, but also by the Influence of sun exposure on the skin can be produced by our own body. We cover around 10-20 percent of our daily vitamin D requirement through our diet. 80-90 percent with the help of sunlight. Being outdoors in nature and leave your face, hands, legs and arms uncovered as far as possible.

What is the daily requirement of vitamin D?

In principle, the daily requirement of vitamin D covered by regular exposure to the sun be guaranteed. If this is not guaranteed, the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) taking a vitamin D preparation.

According to the DGE, the daily requirement is 20 micrograms from the first year of life. A daily dose of 10 micrograms is recommended for infants under 12 months of age.₃ The desirable blood concentration of the marker 25-hydroxyvitamin D is 50 nanomoles per liter.₄

What is the importance and function of vitamin D in the body?

Sun promotes vitamin D production

Vitamin D is very important for our health. It supports the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestine and transports these nutrients to the bones. The sun vitamin is also important for the Protein formation, the Control of many genes and the Promotion of metabolic processes in the body.₅ Studies have also established links between vitamin D supply and high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular and cancer diseases. 

The functions of vitamin D briefly summarized:

  • Promotes the calcium and phosphate balance
  • Supports bone formation
  • May prevent cancer
  • Important for a healthy immune system
  • May prevent high blood pressure or type 1 diabetes

Is an overdose of vitamin D possible?

Exposure of the skin to sunlight cannot lead to an oversupply of vitamin D in the body. This is also not to be expected from the diet, apart from excessive consumption of foods with added vitamin D. However, acute vitamin D intoxication can occur if large amounts of high-dose vitamin D supplements are taken in a short period of time. This is because our body cannot excrete excess amounts of the fat-soluble vitamin. Chronic vitamin D intoxication can occur if you supply your body with more vitamin D than it needs over a longer period of time. Symptoms include kidney damage, increased urination and a feeling of weakness.₆

When does a deficiency occur?

The valuable vitamin is especially lacking when, when we spend too little time in the sun. Diseases, such as chronic inflammatory bowel disease, can also inhibit the absorption and utilization of the vitamin and cause a deficiency.₇

A typical consequence is the disruption of bone metabolism and the associated demineralization of the bones. However, the likelihood of a deficiency also depends primarily on factors such as Residence, Season, Time of day, Body weight and Age ab.₈

Deficiency more common with: housebound people, seniors, vegans, people with dark skin.

What foods contain vitamin D?

Vitamin D is in many mushrooms

Even though our body produces the sun vitamin primarily through sunlight, there are some plant-based foods₉ that contain the valuable vitamin. Here is an overview:

  • Mushrooms (1.90 μg per 100 grams)
  • Chanterelles (2.10 μg per 100 grams)
  • Porcini mushrooms (3.1 μg per 100 grams)
  • Shitaki (2 μg per 100 grams)
  • Margarine (as an additive, 2.5 - 7.5 μg per 100 grams)

Notice: Herring, salmon and chicken egg yolks are particularly rich in vitamin D. This is mainly due to the fact that chickens, for example, produce the vitamin via sunlight.₁₀ However, as I would prefer to live without Cruelty to animals prefer and get sufficient amounts of vitamin D even without them, I avoid these foods.

What do vegans and vegetarians need to know about vitamin D?

The DGE considers vitamin D to be a critical nutrient not only for vegans, but also for the general population. However, as the sources of vitamin D in a plant-based diet are only available to a very limited extent, vegans are not recommended to take vitamin D in their diet. taking dietary supplements is particularly advisable in the winter months when there is little sunshine.₁₁ Also a Regular blood test with your family doctor is generally highly recommended in order to get to know your own body better.

How does supplementation with the sun vitamin work?

When you Vitamin D supplements if you want to take the Coordinate nutritional supplements with your family doctorto avoid an overdose. If supplementation is advisable, the following preparations in drop or capsule form are recommended.

FAQ: The most frequently asked questions about vitamin D

What foods are rich in vitamin D?

There are hardly any amounts of vitamin D in the diet that meet your needs, which is why it makes sense to take a dietary supplement. Small amounts can be found in mushrooms and processed foods with added vitamin D (e.g. margarine).

Is it possible to absorb vitamin D in the shade?

No, you need direct sunlight to produce vitamin D. However, to check whether the sun is shining at the right angle, you can look at your shadow: It should be shorter than you are actually tall.

Is vitamin D good for the skin?

Yes, vitamin D helps to renew the skin and is also said to help with skin diseases such as psoriasis or neurodermatitis.

Is vitamin D a hormone?

Yes, vitamin D is basically a hormone. Strictly speaking, it is a prohormone that is converted by the body into the steroid hormone calcitriol.

Is vitamin D water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Vitamin D, also known as the sun vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamins A, E and K are also fat-soluble vitamins.

Ensure a supply of vitamin D

Whether you are vegan or not: spend time outdoors regularly and dress regularly so that the sun's rays reach your skin. Eat a balanced diet and have regular blood tests at your GP. If necessary, we recommend supplementing your diet with vitamin supplements. This way you can specifically prevent a vitamin D deficiency.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this article on the sun vitamin? Then please write me a comment.

Stay healthy,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You want to know, why i live vegan? I give you my reasons in the linked article.

₁,₃ German Nutrition Society: Vitamin D (calciferols), [05.05.2021].

₂ S. Kelm: Vitamin D (as of: 24.07.2018), [05.05.2021].

₄,₈,₉ German Nutrition Society: Selected questions and answers on vitamin D, [05.05.2021].

₅ Robert Koch Institute: What is vitamin D and what functions does it have in the body? (as of 25.01.2019),

₆ M. Feichter: Vitamin D - Overdosage (as of: 03.10.2019), [05.05.2021].

₇ C. Felchner; M. Feichter: Vitamin D deficiency (as at: 03.10.2019), [05.05.2021].

₁₀ Federal Ministry of Education and Research: Easter eggs - More vitamin D thanks to sunlight (as of 27.03.2018), [05.05.2021].

₁₁ German Nutrition Society (DGE, 2016): DGE position "Vegan nutrition",, p.95.

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Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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