In winter the cold season begins and the immune system works at full speed. You can read about which vitamins can help the body here.
vitamins The body needs it not only in winter, but every day. They are involved in numerous vital processes. However, there are vitamins that can be useful, especially in the cold season. You can read what they are here.
The body needs these vitamins especially in winter.
There are a total of four fat-soluble and nine water-soluble vitamins. All of them must be consumed through food every day to provide the body with the nutrients it needs. However, there are four vitamins that are especially relevant in winter:
Vitamin D in winter: why dietary supplements can be useful
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced by the body through ultraviolet rays. The number of minutes or hours you need to spend a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D depends on many factors. Among other things, the time of year and day. In winter the sun in this country is not as intense as in summer. Therefore, you need to spend more time outdoors to get enough vitamin D. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health offers guidance for light, medium-light and dark skin types. Here is the overview:
Light skin types:
|january and december||>4h||1.5 to 2.5 hours||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce|
|February and November||2.5 to 3.5 hours||30 minutes to 1.5 hours||2 to 3 hours|
Medium skin types:
|january and december||>5h||2 to 7 hours||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce|
|February and November||3 to 5 hours||45 minutes to 2.5 hours||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce|
Dark skin types:
|january and december||>7h||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce|
|February and November||4 to 8 hours||1.5 hours to 5 hours||too little sun to be enough vitamin D to produce|
As can be seen from the tables, it is difficult to get enough vitamin D daily in January and December, even for fair skin types. According to the RKI, in winter the body can use its vitamin D reserves in fat and muscle tissue. However, it is problematic that these warehouses are not sufficiently full, even in summer. This may be due to several reasons, since in summer the weather also plays an important role in the production of vitamin D. Diseases such as gastrointestinal inflammation or certain medications can also hinder the absorption of vitamin D.
If you want to learn more about your vitamin D stores, your doctor can perform a blood test. However, the health insurance company will only cover the costs if a defect is suspected. A good level of vitamin D is between 30 and 40 nanograms per milliliter. If you have less, you should consider supplementing vitamin D with tablets in winter. The solar vitamin is hardly found in food. Fatty fish and mushrooms, among other things, can contribute to winter supply.
Vitamin C in winter: does it make sense?
The best known vitamin is vitamin C. It protects cells from oxidative stress and supports the immune and nervous systems. It is always recommended to take vitamin C, especially in winter, as the vitamin is said to help with colds. Opinions on this point are divided among experts. The Cochrane research network evaluated 29 studies on the topic and concluded that prolonged intake of vitamin C can shorten the duration of colds by eight percent in adults and 14 percent in children. But the dose is important: according to the DGE, the daily requirement for adults is 95 (women) and 110 (men) milligrams per day. This value can be easily achieved through foods that contain vitamin C, such as peppers or broccoli. Although the body excretes excess vitamin C through urine, vitamin C poisoning can occur at very high doses.
Why vitamins A and E can be useful in winter
Vitamin A and E are fat-soluble vitamins and can be stored by the body. Vitamin A is essential for the visual process, during Vitamin E which can protect cells from oxidative stress. In a 2020 observational study, researchers in England found that people with a good intake of vitamin A and vitamin E were less likely to suffer from respiratory diseases. As Professor Caroline Stokes from the Humboldt University of Berlin informs us upon request, the study does not prove that vitamins A and E prevent respiratory diseases, but they are associated with a lower risk of getting sick. Especially in the cold season, it makes sense to ensure that the daily needs of vitamins A and E are sufficiently covered in the diet. One food that provides the body with a particularly high amount of vitamin A is, for example, carrots.
What vitamins do children need in winter?
Children need the same vitamins as adults, although of course the daily needs are much lower. In winter, parents should ensure that their children get enough vitamin B, as they, among other things, support the immune system. Vitamin D is also particularly important for children because it is essential for bone growth. You should consult with your pediatrician whether additional intake in winter makes sense.
Winter fatigue: can vitamins help?
Fatigue can have many reasons. Sometimes, behind this there is also a nutrient deficiency. There are some vitamins that have been shown to help reduce fatigue. These are:
According to Barmer health insurance, the body produces more melatonin, especially in winter. The messenger substance is also known as the sleep hormone. While it helps us sleep, it can make you feel tired more quickly than usual in winter.