Vitamin D supplements for everyone in Latvia, say experts

Our geographic region requires that both children and adults take supplementary vitamin D, which is necessary for the development of the bone system in children and the maintenance of bone strength in adults, according to Latvian Radop April 15.

However, without keeping track of the amount of vitamins taken, it is possible to overdose, which can cause heart problems and even death.

In the "Family Study" program of Latvian Radio, researcher of the State Scientific Institute "BIOR" Inese Siksna and pediatric endocrinologist, chief physician of the Children's Disease Clinic of the Children's Hospital Iveta Dzīmīte-Krišāne discuss, family doctor Jevgenija Sobolevska and pharmacist of Erika Pētersone took part in the discussion, with all agreeing that due to Latvia's northern location, the synthesis time available for vitamin D from sunlight is short, so all children and adults living here should use vitamin D seasonally in preventive doses.

Vitamin D is necessary for our body – for children to mature and strengthen bones, for adults to maintain bone strength.

It is difficult to get sufficient vitamin D only with ordinary dietary products, particularly as many children refuse to eat fish, where there is a lot of vitamin D. If the child stays outside for a longer period of time, it can be thought that the use of additional vitamin D can be skipped for a month.

Sunscreen delays the absorption of vitamin D, if hands, feet, face are not covered with sunscreen and stay in the sun for 40 minutes, then vitamin D will be synthesized in the skin sufficiently. After 40 minutes, apply a protective cream to the hands, face and feet to prevent sunburn if necessary, the experts suggested.

Dzīvīte-Krisāne recounted that the Children's Clinical University Hospital raised an alarm because recently toxic levels of vitamin D were detected in some children,as a result of too much consumption of supplements. It is important to know the concentration and doses of the specific vitamin – your local pharmacist or family doctor can help explain the correct dosages.

You cannot overdose on Vitamin D from exposure to sun and eating a normal diet – only excessive consumption of supplements can result in toxic levels in the body, so sensible consumption is the key. 

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