Hanover / Seely. Especially in the winter months, many people in Germany are deficient in vitamin D. According to an assessment by BARMER, about 218,000 people in Lower Saxony and about 13,000 people in Bremen receive medical treatment for vitamin D deficiency each year. This represents about 2.7 percent of the population in Lower Saxony and 2.4 percent in Bremen. Men and women are affected differently: in Lower Saxony it was 1.7 percent of men (Bremen 1.5) and 3.7 percent of women (Bremen 3.2). Vitamin D is important for bones and other metabolic processes in the body.
Vitamin D deficiency is usually caused by unilateral dieting or an increased need for nutrients in certain life or age situations. “We can produce vitamin D ourselves through exposure to sunlight. However, if you don’t get out often enough during the dark months of the year, sometimes your body may not have enough vitamin D,” says Heike Sander, Director of the state of Barmer in Lower Saxony and Bremen.
Learn about nutritional deficiency
Nutritional deficiency usually does not make itself felt at all or only through general complaints such as fatigue or increased susceptibility to infections. “Anyone who feels weak often doesn’t relate this directly to a lack of nutrients. Vitamin D deficiency, for example, often only shows through fatigue and depressive moods,” says Sander. Prescription isn’t recommended with supplements. Anyone who suspects that they have a nutritional deficiency should consult a doctor – and of course try to eat a balanced diet.
Malnutrition in old age
“In Germany, the elderly belong to the group vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies. They lack vitamin B12 and vitamin D in particular,” confirms Sander. Not every elderly or elderly person is undernourished. However, many people lose the healthy feeling of hunger, appetite, and thirst in old age. In addition, with age, one often has to take more medications, which can have an effect on the absorption of nutrients. The underlying disease itself can have a negative effect on the nutrient supply.
More information on nutrient deficiencies: www.barmer.de/s000694