Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also called the "sun vitamin" as the body produces vitamin D with the help of the sun's rays in the summer. Here we have collected all our D vitamins, for those of you who need a natural supplement of vitamin D.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for the body and the immune system to function normally. Vitamin D is, among other things, important for maintaining normal functions in bones, muscles and teeth. We get vitamin D naturally from the food we eat and from the sun's rays. In the case of a lack of vitamin D, dietary supplements can be part of the solution.

What is vitamin D good for?

Vitamin D is an important fat-soluble vitamin that has several crucial functions in the body.

Some of the most important functions of vitamin D in our body are:

  1. Calcium absorption: Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption/utilization of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D also contributes to normal blood calcium levels.
  2. Dental health: Vitamin D helps maintain normal teeth. Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin D helps ensure that the body can utilize the calcium from food.
  3. Skeletal health: Vitamin D contributes to maintaining normal bone structure. Lack of vitamin D can lead to weak bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  4. The immune system: Vitamin D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system. Vitamin D plays a role in immune system function by helping the body fight infections. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help regulate the immune system's response.
  5. Muscle strength: Vitamin D contributes to maintaining normal muscle function. It is important for mobility and prevention of muscle weakness.
  6. The process of cell division: Vitamin D has a role in the process of cell division.

It is important to get adequate levels of vitamin D, both for children and adults. The need for vitamin D varies depending on individual factors such as age, gender and general health.

Many get their needs covered from a mixture of sun, food and sometimes also from nutritional supplements.

Vitamin D from the sun

Vitamin D is produced naturally in your skin when you are out in the sun. How much vitamin D you get from exposure to the sun depends partly on how strong the sun is, but also on certain individual factors such as your skin color.

Time of day, place on earth and possible use of sunscreen affect how much vitamin D we get from the sun's rays. If you use strong sunscreen, it can block UVB radiation and reduce the production of vitamin D in the skin.

It is important to be aware that spending too much time in the sun can be harmful, even if it leads to increased vitamin D absorption.

Risk of skin damage and skin cancer are real threats, so it is important to balance your need for vitamin D and not stay in the sun too much.

How is vitamin D formed in the sun?

When we are out in the sun and exposed to the radiation called ultraviolet B (UVB), vitamin D is formed. When your skin is exposed to UVB radiation, the process itself starts. Vitamin D is formed via cholesterol, which is sent to the liver and kidneys.

In Sweden, it is mainly during the summer months that the sun's rays are strong enough to form vitamin D.

Vitamin D from food

Vitamin D is found naturally in the food we eat, especially in certain foods.
Here are some examples of vitamin D-rich foods:

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

Eggs, and especially egg yolks.


Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
(which are enriched with vitamin D).

Some cereals, orange juices and milk substitutes may be fortified with vitamin D.
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Vegetarian and vegan diet with vitamin D

As a vegetarian it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D, and as a vegan it is even more difficult.

Vitamin D is found in eggs, fortified dairy products and fats, as well as in chanterelles. Even vegetable drinks such as soy, oat and almond drinks can be enriched with vitamin D and therefore a good option for you who are vegan.

Vitamin D from dietary supplements

During the winter and autumn in Sweden, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D because sun exposure plays an important role in the absorption of vitamin D. Then dietary supplements can be a good solution. Vitamin D supplements can be taken during certain months of the year, when there is a lack of bright sunshine.

Vitamin D in various forms

There are several different forms of vitamin D. The two most common are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is found in mushrooms, such as chanterelles, and in foods fortified with vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the kind that forms in the skin when we are exposed to the sun. Vitamin D3 is also found in foods such as fish, meat and eggs. These are the two most common and most relevant varieties for human health.

What type of vitamin D do I need?

Both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are converted in the liver and kidneys into the biologically active hormone calcitriol, which regulates calcium absorption and calcium balance in your body. When taken regularly, both of these forms of vitamin D provide a full vitamin D status, although bioactivity is a little lower for vitamin D2 than for D3.

In dietary supplements and fortified foods, you will often come across the D3 form precisely because it has higher bioactivity and is therefore considered more effective.

When it comes to vitamin D supplements, it's important to check the label to see which form is used, in case a certain variety suits you and your needs better.

Lack of vitamin D

It is relatively common to suffer from a lack of vitamin D. Especially if you live in a part of the world with few hours of sunshine. Fortunately, the deficiency can be remedied with the right diet, and if necessary with the help of nutritional supplements.
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Recommended amount of vitamin D

The amount of vitamin D your body needs is individual. The recommended amount of vitamin D (also called the Daily Intake or RDI) can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, individual health and sun exposure.

Vitamin D is important for all people – children and adults as well as the elderly and pregnant. The recommended daily requirement varies with age and how much you spend in the sun.

The Swedish Food Agency's general recommendations for the recommended daily intake of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D for children: Vitamin D for adults:
  • Adults under 70: 10 micrograms.
  • Adults over 70: 20 micrograms.
  • Vitamin D for adults with little or no sun exposure: 20 micrograms
  • Vitamin D for pregnant women: 10 micrograms
  • Vitamin D for breastfeeding women: 10 micrograms

It is important to remember that these guidelines are general and do not take into account individual factors that may affect vitamin D requirements – such as skin color and specific health conditions.

Some people may need more vitamin D than the general recommendations, especially if they have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency, such as insufficient sun exposure or malabsorption diseases.

Vitamin D as a dietary supplement for children

Vitamin D is important in both children and adults. Children, just like adults, can be deficient in vitamin D and therefore need to add extra vitamin D in addition to diet and sun.
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D drops for children

Vitamin D drops are often recommended for infants and toddlers who may have a harder time getting enough vitamin D through dietary sun exposure.

Especially children who are breastfed, follow a vegetarian diet or are not exposed to enough sun may be in need of D-drops. Always consult a doctor about the dose and type of intake before giving your child food supplements containing vitamin D.

Can children get too much vitamin D?

As with most vitamins and minerals, excessive intake of vitamin D can be harmful, even for children.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means it can be stored over time. Follow the Swedish Food Agency's general recommendations and/or the specific recommendations you received from a doctor or dietician when taking dietary supplements containing vitamin D.

Can the body store vitamin D?

Yes, a certain amount of vitamin D can actually be stored in the body, but it is not enough to cover the need throughout the winter.

If you live in a country with long winters and little sun, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D naturally during the winter months. Thus, it is also possible to "refuel" vitamin D. This is why many people do not feel a lack of vitamin D, which is due to too little exposure to the sun, until about three months after the sun holiday or summer.

Do not eat more vitamin D than you need

Vitamin D is a vital vitamin that your body needs, but as with most things, in moderation. Although vitamin D supplements may be necessary at times, excessive intake of vitamin D can also be harmful to your health.

Always remember to use vitamin D with caution and according to the instructions of a doctor or dietitian.

Excessive intake of vitamin D can lead to hypervitaminosis D, which can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation and damage to the kidneys and other organs.

Frequently asked questions and answers - vitamin D