In drought years 2018 and 2019, the median blood value of a vitamin D precursor was 10 nmol/litre higher than in the previous four years without extreme summers. This reduced the proportion of patients with inadequate vitamin D intake by 10%. This was demonstrated by the readings of more than 13,000 people whose vitamin D levels were determined in the central laboratory of the University of Medicine from Halle.
The research process can be traced back to an attentive lab employee: “I once noticed that the average value of the vitamin D precursor had increased in 2018 compared to previous years. When the effect was also evident in 2019, we became curious,” says study author Dr. Bernhard Kraus, clinical chemist in the lab. In the study, Kraus and his team collected vitamin D readings over six years and compared them to actual sunshine hours from the German weather service.
Vitamin D requirements are largely met by the body’s own production in the skin. This requires UV-B radiation from sunlight, which in our latitudes is only sufficiently available from March to October.
If you want to know your exact values, you must have the concentration of the precursor molecule of vitamin D in your blood determined. From a value below 50 nmol/litre, the intake is considered sub-optimal, below 30 nmol/litre as deficient. Values that are too low can have a negative effect on bone health, among other things.
What: DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0242230