Skip to content
Home / Articles / Vitamin D – Recommendations, sources, reference values, and vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D - Recommendations, sources, reference values, and vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D – Recommendations, sources, reference values, and vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is stored in the body during summer, but its concentration decreases during the dark winter months.

Vitamin D:

  • Precursor of active vitamin D is formed in the skin.
  • D2 vitamin is obtained solely from diet.
  • It is highly individual whether the generally recommended dosage of 10 µg/day is sufficient to maintain an adequate level of vitamin D.
  • If the vitamin D value is under 50 nmol/L, it indicates deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Recommended level for patients with osteoporosis is 75–120 nmol/L. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin for vital human functions that must be obtained sufficiently.

In Finland, vitamin D is stored in the body during summer, but its concentration decreases during the dark winter months, and the stores accumulated during the summer are not alone enough to maintain a sufficient concentration. 

Benefits of vitamin D: What is vitamin D needed for?

Vitamin D has a comprehensive effect on our health:

Absorption of vitamin D

The intake and absorption of vitamin D is individual. You can measure the level of vitamin D through a blood test. Compare the results you obtained in the laboratory test with the reference values and adjust the dosage of vitamin D supplement if necessary.

How can I get vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is obtained from food, the sun and dietary supplements.

On average, Finns do not get enough vitamin D because of our dark winter months. The precursor of active vitamin D is formed in the skin, then converted into its storage form in the liver. Next, it is further converted into active vitamin D in the kidneys. Our vitamin stores may not be fully restored even during the summer as we tend to use clothing to protect our skin from the harmful effects of the sun. 

It may be difficult to get enough vitamin D through food. Vitamin D is naturally found in fish and mushrooms. In Finland, vitamin D3 is added to liquid dairy products, plant-based drinks (such as soy and oat drinks), and dietary fats. 

In Finland, vitamin D supplementation is recommended during the darker months (and throughout the year for persons under 18 years of age and over 75 years of age). Taking vitamin D supplements throughout the year may be necessary for other age groups as well.

Which foods contain vitamin D?

In addition to the sun, vitamin D is obtained from a few foods, such as fatty fish. Examples of other foods rich in vitamin D are: 

Sources of vitamin D for vegans 

Mushrooms are an example of great vitamin D sources for vegans. Try funnel chanterelles, chanterelles, false morels, boletuses, russulas and milk-caps. However, a vitamin D supplement is usually needed as well. 

Reference values and recommended level for vitamin D 

If the vitamin D value is under 50 nmol/L, it indicates deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Recommended level for patients with osteoporosis is 75–120 nmol/L. 

The symbol nmol/L stands for nanomole per litre. 

Reference levels may vary depending on the laboratory and the test analysis method. Puhti samples are taken and analysed at the laboratories of Mehiläinen. 

Recommended intake of vitamin D

Age groupTotal needVitamin supplement need
2 w – 2 years10 µg/d10 µg/d throughout the year
2 – 17 years10 µg/d7,5 µg/d throughout the year
18 – 60 years10 µg/d10 µg/d if necessary
61 – 74 years10 µg/d10 µg/d if necessary
over 75-years20 µg/d20 µg/d throughout the year
The symbol µg/d stands for microgram per day. 

What causes vitamin D deficiency? 

Vitamin D deficiency occurs when we do not get enough vitamin D from food or sunlight. Deficiency may also be associated with a malfunction of an organ involved in the storage of the vitamin, such as the liver or kidneys. 

Particular attention should be paid to the vitamin D intake of the following groups: 

Rickets caused by severe vitamin D deficiency is almost never found in children in Finland. In developing countries, rickets can still occur. 

Is it possible to get too much vitamin D (vitamin D overdose)? 

Usually, it is impossible to have too much vitamin D through the sun or diet. Taking vitamin D as a dietary supplement can sometimes lead to toxicity. However, this applies only to excessive and long-term use. 

When vitamin D supplementation is used as recommended, there is no risk of toxicity. 100 micrograms is the upper limit of a safe daily dose for adults. 

How can I get my vitamin D tested?

You can order the vitamin D as a single test from Puhti’s online store. Add the desired products to the shopping cart and complete all the tests at once.

No sampling fee for orders over EUR 40! A sampling fee of EUR 10 will be added to smaller orders. 

Vitamin D is included in the following test packages:

First, order the tests you need via Puhti. You do not need a doctor’s referral. You can visit one of our many laboratories in Finland. Most of the laboratories also serve customers without an appointment. You will receive an easy-to-read results report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go to cart: 0,00