By Silvia Aeschbach, November 17, 2018
When the body gets enough sun – that is, enough UVB radiation – it usually produces enough vitamin D. However, if you are not exposed to the sun, for example in autumn and winter, when the may help with drops or vitamin D pills. But that does not mean you should not leave home regularly. Even in cloudy weather, a half-hour walk can be a balm for the body and soul.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be produced by the body itself (and therefore, in principle, is more a hormone than a vitamin). And more and more new studies are showing just how important a good level is. Because vitamin D not only contributes significantly to a strong immune system and promotes the immune system, it is also important for a stable psyche because the symptoms of deficiency can aggravate exhaustion and depression.
But vitamin D can do much more, as several studies show. It should promote performance and endurance, which is especially interesting for athletes. This is one of the conclusions of a recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. According to the study's director, Amr Marawan of Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States, the study shows that "a higher level of vitamin D with better training capacity is connected."
This study investigated whether people with higher levels of vitamin D in the blood have better cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness shows how well respiration and blood circulation provide oxygen to the body. There is a link between higher levels of vitamin D and better mobility in men and women, young and middle-aged groups, and regardless of body mass index, "notes Marawan.
These new findings fit into a whole series of study results from recent years. "Anyone who brings their vitamin D level up to speed may have a better performance in sports. On the other hand, a vitamin D deficiency can cause sports performance to collapse," the German Center for Health website recently wrote. "Vitamin D improves the resilience and performance of the heart-lung system, promotes muscle growth and increases testosterone production."
More power of the cardiopulmonary system
Several studies with athletes have shown, for example, a greater intake of oxygen thanks to vitamin D, a reduction in the degree of inflammation of the muscles and an increase in the level of energy. Two independent studies, presented by the British Journal of Nutrition in 2016, also showed that vitamin D can improve the performance of the heart-lung system.
The fact that a sufficient supply of vitamin D is basically "very important for human health," emphasizes the Federal Department of Public Health (FOPH) in a fact sheet. The Federal Department of Food and Veterinary Security (BLV) has also published "Concrete Recommendations to Meet Daily Vitamin D Requirements."
But before taking vitamin D in the form of drops or pills, you should measure the vitamin D levels of the family doctor and get advice on the indicated dosage if necessary. Because an overdose for a long period of time can also be harmful.