An extra dose of sunshine
Why do we feel so good when the sun shines? One reason is because that’s when our body is able to manufacture enough vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as cholecalciferol, can actually be produced by the human body itself, but this requires the skin to be exposed to enough UV light. For this reason, vitamin D is often simply referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. So to get enough vitamin D, sufficient sunlight is necessary.
Vitamin D has so much to offer: in its active form, it’s required by the body for bone metabolism as well as for strengthening bones and developing muscles. In addition, healthy cells and organs and a well-functioning immune system are all dependent on a good supply of vitamin D.
Possible causes of vitamin D deficiency
- inadequate vitamin D in the diet (to meet the DGE’s recommended daily allowance, 400g of avocado, for example, would need to be consumed each day)
- long periods spent in closed rooms (e.g. office work)
- lack of sunshine in the winter
- reduced vitamin D production with increasing age
- constant use of sunscreen (reduces the skin’s own production of vitamin D by up to 95%)