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Vitamin D

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which encourages calcium’s metabolism and absorption as well as phosphorous.

What does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy human body, beginning with gestation in the womb and continuing throughout the lifespan. Because Vitamin D assists in calcium’s absorption, it helps to form and keep the bones strong. Vitamin D is used for preventing and treating a disease called rickets, weak bones characterized by osteoporosis, bone pain and loss. It is also used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, muscle weakness, diabetes, premenstrual syndrome, multiple sclerosis, tooth and gum disease, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, bronchitis, and asthma. Some people use vitamin D for skin conditions including scleroderma, psoriasis, vitiligo, lupus, and actinic keratosis, and. It is also used for preventing autoimmune diseases, boosting the immune system, and cancer prevention.

Where can Vitamin D be found?

Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources, in certain fish such as sardines, tuna, herring, cod liver oil, and mackerel; milk; and eggs. Because daily sunlight promotes the synthesis of vitamin D in skin, it is said that even just 10 minutes of sunlight is enough to prevent occurrence of deficiencies and people who are exposed to adequate amounts of sunlight have no need of vitamin D supplements. For those who need more of the vitamin and to make it more available, a laboratory-made form of the vitamin is added to some juices, some cereals, and dairy products.

What happens when someone is Vitamin D deficient?

Vitamin D deficiency can occur for a number of reasons and if the body is unable to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D because of the lack of exposure to the sun, obtaining the vitamin through supplementation and food is necessary. Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness, severe asthma in children, cognitive impairment in the elderly, an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, the kidney’s inability to convert the vitamin to an active form, the digestive tracts inability to absorb the vitamin, having dark skin, being obese, and cancer, can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency.

Helpful food sources, supplements and additional benefits of Vitamin D

If you do not get enough of the vitamin by natural means of consumption of food and/or enjoying small amounts of daily sunlight; Vitamin D supplements are widely available. If the benefits earlier stated do not give enough reason to consume more of the vitamin or take a walk in the park, maybe knowing that studies show: that vitamin D plays a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including glucose intolerance, both types of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and hypertension, will help. So…Just a friendly reminder: If you stay away from the sun, follow an extreme vegetarian/vegan diet, or suffer from having milk allergies, you could be at risk for developing a vitamin D deficit. Many have labeled it to be the “sun” vitamin because it responds to the light of the sun and is the body produces it. It naturally is found in some foods including some fish liver oils, fish, and egg yolks, and in grain and dairy products.

 

AIs (Adequate Intakes)

1 Microgram=40IU (International Units) Vitamin D

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Micrograms per Day
5
5
Children
1-3 years
4-8 years

5
5
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

5
5
5
5
10
15
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

5
5
5
5
10
15
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

5
5
5
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

5
5
5

Source: USDA Dietary Reference Intakes