May. 02, 2020

Vitamin D deficiency in the winter

The winter blues… You feel tired and lethargic. You suffer from your muscles and joints. The “winter blues”? Perhaps, but a deficiency of vitamin D can also explain this.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. We need vitamin D to stay healthy. The sun is the main trigger for the production of vitamin D. Your body produces it itself when you come into contact with the sun. About two-thirds of vitamin D is produced in the skin under the influence of UVB rays from the sun . You also get a limited amount of vitamin D through certain foods .
The term vitamin D is a collective term. The two main forms are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 .


Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol is the vegetable form, which is found in small amounts in certain types of mushrooms. Plant-based vitamin D2, however, is less effective than vitamin D3 .



Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is the animal form. Vitamin D3 can be obtained from foods such as oily fish. However, the largest amount of vitamin D3 is due to sunlight, since your body produces it itself under the influence of UV radiation.

Effect of vitamin D on your skin

Vitamin D plays an important role in certain biological processes such as bone metabolism, muscle function and your immune system. In addition, recent research has shown that a lack of vitamin D plays a significant role in certain skin conditions . Vitamin D3 is necessary for the wound healing process. Namely, it is responsible for the production of antimicrobial peptides that ward off infectious microorganisms. For example, vitamin D3 protects damaged acne skin due to its anti-inflammatory effect.

How much sun do you need for enough vitamin D?


UVB radiation has a direct effect on the production of vitamin D in the body. To reach your daily dose of vitamin D, it is sufficient (depending on your skin type) to be in the sun for 15-30 minutes daily with your hands and face unprotected . Enjoy the sun protected again after the unprotected minutes. Because we all know that exposure to the sun causes damage to the skin with sunburn and, in extreme cases, skin cancer.

To lubricate or not to lubricate? Looking for the sun or avoiding it? It's contradictory, I know. Even within the medical world, there is a certain amount of disagreement. Many dermatologists will rightly warn you about the harmful effects of the sun and advise you to avoid it. However, other doctors recommend spending short periods (even unprotected) in the sun to ensure adequate production of vitamin D. This advice came partly as a result of the "Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide" campaign. This was a successful awareness campaign in Australia to encourage people to protect themselves optimally from the sun in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer. However, this study also showed that vitamin D deficiency had negative consequences, such as mild forms of depression, osteoporosis and other ailments.

Insufficient Vitamin D from the diet

Getting enough vitamin D from your diet is very difficult. Only very few foods are a good source of vitamin D. Apart from our own production, vitamin D3 is only found in animal products . The best source of vitamin D3 are fatty fish such as mackerel, herring and salmon. But these amounts are very low, for 20 micrograms of vitamin D3 you need to eat 100 grams of wild salmon. Vitamin D2 is plant-derived vitamin D found in small amounts in certain mushrooms .


The "vitamin D" winter?

How much vitamin D someone needs is difficult to estimate and is very variable. It depends, among other things, on what you eat, how much sunlight your skin absorbs, your age as well as your skin color itself. Due to a lack of sufficient UV radiation, you have a greater chance of vitamin D deficiency in the winter. However, the reserve of vitamin D that you have stored in your fat cells during the sunny days is not always enough to bridge the dark months. Even if one maintains a healthy diet. That is why it is sometimes advisable to take a vitamin D food supplement during the winter.


According to the guidelines of the Superior Health Council (SHC), a supplement of 10 micrograms per day is recommended for adults during the winter months. The dosage of vitamin D is usually expressed in international units “IU” or “IU” . 1 microgram of vitamin D corresponds to 40 international units.



Keep an eye on! A prolonged and excessive intake of vitamin D supplements can cause damage . The body, on the other hand, cannot produce toxic amounts of vitamin D. An overdose of vitamin D is impossible due to UV exposure . The skin reaches a maximum, after which the production and breakdown of vitamin D is in balance.


  • Vitamin D cure with a daily intake
  • Opt for vitamin D3 as it is the most potent form of vitamin D.
  • Choose capsules or drops in which the vitamin D3 is offered in an oil base (not a tablet form). Research has proven that vitamin D3 is then absorbed much better.

A trip to the sun?


Do you feel a bit lethargic, do you suffer from the 'winter blues', but don't feel like taking nutritional supplements?

Then there is only one thing for you: book a trip to the sun!
A few days of warm sun rays on your skin ensure the production of vitamin D, hopefully enough to bridge those winter months. A good excuse, right? ;)

Do you want to learn more about vitamins?

Vitamins are important for the human body and especially for the skin. That is why they are often used as an ingredient in cosmetics.

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Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date on the latest skin tips and news.

Follow the hashtag #Nomige and stay informed about the latest skin tips and news.
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