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Selected Questions and Answers on Vitamin D

Joint FAQs to the BfR, German Nutrition Society (DGE) und Max Rubner-Institute (MRI) of 03 December 2014[1]

Vitamin D promotes the intake of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract and hardens the bones. It influences muscle power, regulates the calcium and phosphate metabolism and is also involved in other metabolic processes in the body. Vitamin D is formed in human skin under the influence of sunlight. In contrast to the quantity the body produces by itself, vitamin D intake via food accounts for only a relatively low percentage of the vitamin D supply. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (DGE, German Nutrition Society) estimates 20 micrograms of vitamin D per day to be an appropriate intake for children, teenagers and adults if the body does not produce any by itself (

General enrichment of foods with vitamin D is not recommended. The focus is on the body’s own production of vitamin D, hence the recommendation to produce and store vitamin D by means of sunshine on the skin. The amount the body produces by itself varies from person to person and depends on other factors, such as latitude and the time of year. Exposure to the sun for a total of approximately 5 to 25 minutes per day with the face, hands and large parts of the arms and legs uncovered is recommended. The intake of vitamin D preparations is only recommended, especially for risk groups, if a targeted improvement of the supply cannot be achieved through food or the body’s own vitamin D production through exposure to sunshine.

The BfR, DGE and MRI have summarised below some frequently asked questions and answers on vitamin D.

[1] Updated version of the FAQ of 22 October 2012



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Date Title Size
Joint FAQs to the BfR, DGE und MRI
Selected Questions and Answers on Vitamin D 67.1 KB


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