You are a woman in or just before menopause? Then you should start thinking about your vitamin D level.
But why? In this time of physical change, isn’t there enough to break (woman’s) head? This is certainly true, but women of older age are among the classic risk groups for vitamin D deficiency.
The effects can be problematic, especially during menopause. You can read more about this below.
First, a bit of enlightenment:
What is vitamin D and what does it do in our body?
The term “vitamin D” means a whole group of fat-soluble vitamins, which are especially important for calcium metabolism in the body. Among other things, this is especially essential for the health of your bones and musculoskeletal system.
The most important representative of this group is called “Cholecalciferol”. The special thing about this substance is that our body can gain it in the skin with the help of solar radiation(UV-B radiation).
Fun Fact on the edge: If you want to take it exactly, vitamin D is not actually a vitamin at all. As a rule ,as originally defined, these cannot be produced in sufficient quantities by the body itself.
In addition to UV-B radiation, we also get vitamin D through food, especially from fish. The most important source, however, is and remains the good old sun.
How do you notice a vitamin D deficiency during menopause?
Vitamin D deficiency is something of a common disease, especially in Central Europe. Experts suspect that in the winter months about 60 of the Germans are undersupplied with the substance. Women in transition make up a not to be underestimated part of this.
Since vitamin D does not have a direct effect on our body, we often feel a deficiency relatively late. But what concrete symptoms can occur during menopause, among other things?
- Weakened immune system (increased susceptibility to infections)
- Exhaustion and faster fatigue
- Mood swings to depression
- Decreasing muscle strength
- Weight gain
- Impairment of cognitive abilities
- Increased intensity of menstrual bleeding before menopause
Do these symptoms sound familiar? Correct, the effects of a vitamin D deficiency often overlap with the typical alternating symptoms. This means, firstly, that a deficiency of vitamin D often goes undetected during the menopause and, secondly, that it can aggravate the already occurring ailments.
Do you suspect you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency? Your GP / your FAMILY doctor can help you with a blood test here. If the deficiency is confirmed, it can usually be successfully compensated by a targeted therapy with vitamin D preparations.
But there are even more reasons why you should pay particular attention to your vitamin D household during menopause.
From 50: Women in menopause need more vitamin D
In order to prepare your body for menopause and prevent possible discomfort as best you can, you should start thinking about vitamin D even before the menopause.
Generally speaking, the ability of vitamin D synthesis of the skin to decrease dramatically from about 65 years. Incidentally, this also applies to men.
As a result, large amounts of vitamin D can no longer be produced, especially for a short period of time. So you need longer stays in the sun to meet your needs.
The health office Bremen attests to a sufficient intake with vitamin D in advanced age a number of positive effects. These include:
- Increase in muscle mass
- Improving coordination and reducing case risk
- Reduction of systolic blood pressure (improvement of heart function)
- Reducing the risk of breast and colorectal cancer
- Positive effects on sugar and fat metabolism
- Preventing slowing brain power and depression
In addition, it has been observed that the targeted administration of vitamin D and calcium has a strong positive effect on bone health. In women in nursing homes suffering from vitamin D deficiency, administration led to a reduction in the likelihood of bone fractures.
How to get enough vitamin D in alternation
Vitamin D in menopause is therefore important for your body and your psyche. But how do you get enough of it?
Probably the most important supplier of vitamin is our dear sun. From certain proportions of the sun’s rays, our skin can synthesize valuable vitamin D. Normally, this does not even require extensive sunbathing. Even short irradiation gives your body enough vitamin D. This ability of your skin decreases, as already mentioned, but with age. Therefore, with an advanced age, be sure to get enough sun. You will see that regular walking in the fresh air is also good for your soul!
By the way, you also get vitamin D through your diet. Especially fatty fish and mushrooms can supply you with it. For example, 250g mushrooms or a 100g serving of tuna contain 5g of vitamin D. Other fish, such as herring, even 23g.
Since the body is difficult to get vitamin D from the diet, it plays a lesser role in the supply of the substance. However, the recommended daily dose of 20g of vitamin D can hardly be covered for seniors by diet alone and without adequate sunlight. Here you can help with dietary supplements.
3. Dietary supplement
Dietary supplements are an effective way to charge your vitamin D household.
However, the doseis particularly important:
Unlike other vitamins, you can get too much from vitamin D. An overdose with the substance can have serious consequences. Loss of appetite, digestive problems or high blood pressure are even the less problematic consequences. Calcium deposits in the organs are particularly harmful to the organism in the event of an overdose of vitamin D. Especially kidneys, heart and lungs can be damaged by this.
How much vitamin D you can take at most per day without harmful ness is still a matter of debate. Recent studies suggest that about 250 g can be taken for an extended period of time without harmful side effects. This figure is also used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which cites this figure as an unproblematic maximum daily dose.
However, this value should be enjoyed with caution, as taking vitamin D in combination with calcium can be harmful even at a lower dose. This is due to calcium, which, in combination with increased vitamin D, leads to an increased probability of the formation of dangerous deposits.
Women over 50 should pay attention to these vitamins
But vitamin D is not everything. In order to stay healthy in the long term, a balanced diet is essential.
After all, a healthy lifestyle helps to prevent meachangeal problems. Women in the climate should therefore pay attention to an adequate supply of vitamins and nutrients.
So here is a small list of the most important vitamins for women aged 50 and over:
- Vitamin C (strengthens the immune system)
- B vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 support your nervous system and help against fatigue)
- Vitamin E (protects your cells)
- Vitamin D (good for bone metabolism, prevents osteoporosis and depression)