Vitamin D/ Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D otherwise known as “the sunshine vitamin” is essential for our health; however, estimated 1 billion people worldwide still suffer with Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamins are considered essential nutrients for our health because either the body cannot make them or they are made in an inadequate amount. This means you must provide them through your diet or by taking a supplement; otherwise, it may affect your health. For instance, Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and maintains adequate calcium and phosphate concentrations which are critical for building strong and healthy bones. Research also shows many other health benefits to Vitamin D like: protection against infections, high blood pressure, cancers (colon, prostate, and breast), osteoporosis, depression, rickets, diabetes, and others conditions. And on the flip side, if your Vitamin D levels are low, you’re at increased risk for fractures, osteoporosis, fatigue, chronic aches and pains in the bones, and depressed mood. Now you may be wondering…
Who is at risk for low Vitamin D levels?
Older adults, people with dark skin, people with limited sun exposure, people with inflammatory bowel disease, people who are obese (BMI > 30), and breastfed infants.
What are some ways to increase Vitamin D?
10-20 minutes of sun exposure, Fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, eel), Dole's Portobello Mushrooms, fortified milk, fortified orange juice, supplements, egg yolks, fortified cereal (multi grain cheerios), beef liver, and cod liver oil.
What are the daily Vitamin D recommendations?
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D is 600 international units daily for children age 1-18 and adults up to age 70, above 70 years of age it’s 800 international units, and pregnant/lactating mothers 600 international units.
How do I check my Vitamin D levels?
Healthcare providers can order a 25 hydroxy vitamin D blood test for you to see your vitamin D levels. A level of 20 nanograms/milliliter(ng/ml) to 50ng/ml is considered adequate for healthy individual but less then 12ng/ml indicates vitamin D deficiency. Your healthcare provider will be the one to monitor you closely and make any medication adjustments if necessary. Therefore, be proactive and ask your healthcare provider to check your Vitamin D levels.