Spain is the country with the most hours of sunshine, but also with a major vitamin D deficiency

Spain is the country with the most hours of sunshine, but also with a major vitamin D deficiency
Spain is the country with the most hours of sunshine, but also with a major vitamin D deficiency

Spain is the European country with the most hours of sunshine, but is also the southern European country where many people have a vitamin D deficiency. Research shows that approximately 75% of the population suffers from this, a percentage that rises to 80% in the case of young people in Spain. This deficiency is caused by lifestyle changes, such as spending less time outdoors, sitting more and unhealthy diet.

The percentages of residents of Spain who do not have enough vitamin D is already high, but it could be even higher. In In the Netherlands, it appears that 92% of all residents have a vitamin D deficiency, approximately the same percentage as the residents of Belgium.

Spain has an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal country to get vitamin D. So there are more sunny days than gloomy days in Spain. The sun is not only good for your mood, but also ensures the production of vitamin D in your body. In addition, the Spanish blue sky will also make you happy. The gray skies in the Netherlands and Belgium can actually be depressing.

Blue light has an activating effect on our brains and… a blue sky in combination with the sun has a positive influence on your body. So it’s no surprise that people generally feel happier when they stay in a sunny environment. So, if you need some extra vitamin D and a mood boost, Spain is definitely a good destination!

Vitamin D is produced by the sun’s rays. The best time to be outside in the sun for vitamin D is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., especially in the months of April to October in the Netherlands and Belgium. In Spain this can even be for a longer period or all year round, depending on the location and climate. The time of day when the sun is most favorable for vitamin D absorption can vary in Spain depending on the temperature.

It Using sunscreens or lotions reduces vitamin D production by 97% (factor 8) to 99% (factor 15). If you want to stay in the sun for more than half an hour, it is wise to protect yourself after the first 30 minutes. This helps to prevent damage to the skin and at the same time produce sufficient vitamin D. It is therefore important to find a balance between sun exposure and skin protection.

Sometimes people talk about one shadow rule when it comes to producing vitamin D through sunlight. According to this rule, you only produce vitamin D when your shadow is shorter than your height, or from sun power 3. In the Netherlands this only starts from May/June, while in Spain it starts earlier and lasts longer. It is therefore important to know when and for how long your sun exposure can be effective for the production of vitamin D.

It is important to get enough vitamin D, because it is essential for strong bones and a properly functioning immune system. For example, people can walk outside more or exercise to increase their vitamin D levels. In addition, it may help to add foods rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish and eggs, to the diet.

If you are unable to get enough vitamin D from food and sunlight, you may need to take supplements. It is always wise to consult with a doctor about the correct dosage and method of supplementation. In this way, a vitamin D deficiency can be tackled and people can live healthier and more vital lives.

To determine whether there is a vitamin D deficiency, the result of a vitamin D test is compared with normal values. A value of 80 nmol/L in a vitamin D blood test is considered normal. If the value is lower, there is a vitamin D deficiency. If the level is higher than 210 nmol/L, the healthy upper limit is exceeded.

Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can include fatigue, lethargy, muscle cramps and bleeding gums. It is important to note that these symptoms are not specific to a vitamin D deficiency. When in doubt, it is always wise to consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis and treatment.

How do you get more vitamin D? Vitamin D can be obtained in several ways, including:

  • Exposure to sunlight: The main source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. The sun’s UV rays help the skin produce vitamin D. It is recommended to get 10 to 15 minutes or even up to 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure daily, especially during the midday hours.
  • Nutrition: Some foods naturally contain vitamin D, including: fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), liver, cheese, mushrooms and egg yolks.
  • Supplements: Vitamin D supplements are available in several forms, including pills, capsules, and drops. Supplements may be necessary for people who do not get enough vitamin D from diet and sunlight.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Spain country hours sunshine major vitamin deficiency


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