In winter, lack of exposure to the sun increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, particularly among vulnerable populations. The order of pharmacists recalled at the end of January in a publication the good recommendations for additional intake without risking overdose.
Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of our bone and muscle tissues as well as for strengthening our immune system. In winter, especially, lack of sun exposure can generate deficiencies, particularly among vulnerable people such as the elderly, newborns, infants, pregnant women and postmenopausal women. Hence the importance of supplementing with vitamin D. But be careful, it is not a question of absorbing vitamin D as you wish. Recommendations exist, as recalled by the Order of Pharmacists on January 18.
Different nutritional needs depending on age
Thus, according to the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES), the Nutritional Reference for the population (RNP) for vitamin D is:
- 10 mcg per day for an infant aged 0 to 1 year;
- 15 mcg per day for everyone over 1 year old.
This reference was defined by only considering the intake of vitamin D through food and not the contribution of exposure to the sun.
“In newborns and infants, a population particularly sensitive to vitamin D deficiency, supplementation is necessary to ensure satisfactory status and prevent rickets,” insist the pharmacists in their publication.
Especially since in Europe, food intakes are generally lower than recommendations. In fact, according to the study Inca 3, the average intake of vitamin D through food is estimated at:
- 5.2 mcg per day for children 1 to 3 years old;
- 2.6 mcg per day for 4-10 year olds;
- 2.9 mcg per day for 11-17 year olds;
- 3.1 mcg per day in 18-79 year olds.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
Vitamin D overdose: what are the risks?
Are you experiencing this lack of vitamin D? It is best to consult your healthcare professional for appropriate supplementation. Supplementation cannot be improvised and an excess of vitamin D can have serious consequences on the health of infants in particular and threaten their vital prognosis. ANSES has already reported several cases of overdose after taking food supplements enriched with vitamin D, causing severe hypercalcemia.
According to the order of pharmacists it is therefore recommended to.
- Favor taking vitamin D in the form of medication rather than food supplements;
- Control the doses administered, particularly the number of drops;
- Do not increase your consumption of products containing vitamin D.
The Health and Social Education Committee of the French Pharmacy (Cespharm) thus summarized at the start of the year the prevention issues linked to this public health issue in a video, which will be shown in pharmacies.