New scientific findings demonstrate not only its important role in the functioning of the immune system, development of bones and teeth, but also the benefits of vitamin D in Covid-19 infection. Did you know that about 80% of the grown-up residents of Slovenia do not obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin D between November and April?
How to obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin D
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be biosynthesised sufficiently by the human body – in the skin by means of ultraviolet light (UVB). However, there is not always sufficient ultraviolet light and, therefore, adequate intake of this vitamin is recommended, with a balanced diet and products containing vitamin D sources. According to the Regulations concerning nutrition and health claims, the term “source of vitamin D” can only refer to foodstuffs containing at least 15% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D per 100 g product or 100 ml drink.
A new discovery by Irish scientists on the role of vitamin D in infection with COVID-19
Irish researchers (Lind and colleagues, 2020) were able to support evidence of the preventive action of vitamin D in the Covid-19 viral infection by a study recently published in the Irish Medical Journal. As has been known for a long time, vitamin D is the regulator of numerous metabolic processes, including the important regulation of calcium absorption and the effect on bone health. The function of immune system stimulation and, consequently, protection against infection is also very important. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, scientists have been working to find out what could mitigate the course of the disease. As Covid-19 is a new viral infection, there have been no results of interventional studies that would demonstrate the direct effect of adding vitamin D so far. The Irish study has shown that the majority of the northern European population has higher levels of vitamin D in their blood, while the population of southern Europe has lower levels of vitamin D and high levels of vitamin D deficiency despite increased sun exposure. The lack is related to age, obesity, gender, diabetes, hypertension, with a major deficiency seen in care institutions. The authors of the study emphasise the need to optimise vitamin D levels, and also highlight the possibility of reducing serious complications from infection. Vitamin D plays a role in regulating the inhibition of the inflammatory cytokine response, which causes serious consequences in the event of the Covid-19 infection. Summarised according to: E. Laird, J. Rhodes, R.A. Kenny. Vitamin D and Inflammation: Potential Implications for Severity of Covid-19. Irish Medical Journal, 2020; 113(5): P81.
When is vitamin D intake through diet required?
The synthesis of vitamin D in the skin is the main source of vitamin D in most people and is influenced by several factors, such as geographical location, time of day, length of clothes, time spent in the sun, skin type and use of sunscreen. Dietary requirements for vitamin D, therefore, vary with the season and exposure to sunlight. According to the latest recommendations in the total absence of biosynthesis, which often happens in autumn and winter, an adult human body needs 20 µg of vitamin D per day, which can also be obtained from the diet.
In 2019, a comprehensive Slovene investigation was carried out (National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), the Nutrition Institute at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana; the Prehrana.si portal, the National Food and Nutrition Portal, 4 December 2019). In addition to the nutritional survey, vitamin D supply was determined by the researchers based on laboratory analyses of blood samples. The results of the survey showed that about 80% of the grown-up residents of Slovenia did not obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin D between November and April, and approximately 40% even had such low serum concentration that it could already present a risk of vitamin D deficiency.
What are the dietary sources of vitamin D?
People can obtain vitamin D with a balanced diet rich in vitamin D. These are certain foodstuffs of animal origin and foodstuffs of plant origin fortified with vitamin D. By including these foodstuffs regularly at the recommended frequency and quantity, they contribute to a higher level of vitamin D intake. Therefore, the added vitamin D amount must be marked on the packaging of all these products.
Mlinotests bread with vitamin D 300 g
It is a unique bread in Slovenia, fortified with vitamin D. It is an exceptional bread distinguished by a range of interesting features:
It can be said with certainty that this bread is part of a balanced diet throughout the year, especially recommended in autumn and winter. It is available to consumers in larger shops and Mlinotest shops.