Vitamin D- Why You’re not Getting Enough

Why Vitamin D you ask? We get that from the sun and from milk, there’s no way we need to supplement it too. But here’s where you’re sadly mistaken! Vitamin D, could quiet possibly be the most important Vitamin that you’re not getting enough of! This past semester in my Nutrition and Human Development class we learned about many disorders, diseases, and sickness’s that have been linked to a lack of Vitamin D. As well as Vitamin D drastically helping or even preventing sickness’s. I never knew the immense value of Vitamin D until now, and I think its important for you to know too!

What it does: The Benefits

  • Given to infants for up to a year, 400 IU’s.
  • Helps with winter depression and regular depression.
  • Aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus; crucial to maintaining healthy bone structure.
  • Helps protect against colds, flu, allergies.
  • Possibly aids in cognitive functioning; keeps your mind sharp!
  • Reduces the risk of developing arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Cures and prevents rickets.
  • Protects against the harmfulness of some radiations.
  • Lowers your risk of a heart attack.
  • Could reduce the risk of cavities.
  • Prevents tooth loss.
  • Overall health.

Why you’re most likely not getting enough15700337069_3e9a8a2d4f_o

  • You live in a climate zone that experiences a cold winter season.
  • Lack of sun exposure.
  • You follow a vegan diet.
  • You’re of older age; and therefore do not synthesis Vitamin D as efficiently.
  • You don’t consume a lot of fish.
  • You’re lactose intolerant or don’t consume dairy often.
  • You have darker skin- paler skins produce Vitamin D more readily.
  • You’re over weight or obese.
  • You have digestive issues such as Crohns disease, Celiac, or cystic fibrosis

 You can get it naturally but…

Aside from sun exposure, there are ways to get some of this great vitamin in your daily diet by the foods you consume! But of course most of the time our diet does not supply enough Vitamin D, and therefore should be supplemented according to the Vitamin D Council.  Here are some good sources of Vitamin D:

  • Fortified Milk- even vegan fortified milks
  • Fortified Orange Juice
  • Fatty Fish such as: tuna, salmon, sardines, trout, anchovies, and mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals

 Why you Should be Supplementing

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D for most adults is, 600 IU’s, but most research suggests this is far below what you should actually be getting daily. Many studies also state that consistent higher doses of Vitamin D have been associated with healthier bones, a lower risk of cancer, preventing diabetes, many other medical conditions, and of course overall health.

The NIH states the upper limit of Vitamin D intake is 4,000 IU’s for normal adults. But other research suggests upper limits of 10,000 IU’s (which is the Vitamin D Council’s upper limit) or more. I personally take around 5,000 IU’s (which is the adults RDI from the Vitamin D Council) a day as a liquid supplement, and know folks who take 10,000 IU’s daily with no issues and in great health.


How to Supplement Vitamin D

Taking a Vitamin D supplement is easy and can enhance the way you feel tremendously, not to mention raise your overall health status! You can find Vitamin D supplements in any drug store, health food store, vitamin shop, or grocery store. Here’s how to supplement it:

  • Look for Vitamin D-3 or Vitamin D-2. These are the most absorbable and beneficial forms of Vitamin D; Vitamin D-3 reigning supreme.
  • Liquid, soft gels, capsules, or chewable.
  • If you are not exposed to much sunlight, do not consume a lot of fish, or fortified dairy, you could supplement the RDI recommended by the Vitamin D Council  which is 5,000 IU’s. 5567_2_0_0
  • Take the liquid supplement under your tongue rather than on top of your tongue.
  • Have you vitamin D levels checked by a doctor to see if you’re deficient, you very well could be!
  • THIS IS IMPORTANT! Vitamin D is most effective when taken with something else that helps absorb it such as; calcium and magnesium or Vitamin K.
    • If you already take a multivitamin it may be best to take your Vitamin D with your multi.
    • Or if you take a calcium supplement this is a great time to take your Vitamin D. This is what I personally do.
    • Or if you don’t take the above supplements try getting a capsule with a mix of Vitamin D-3 with K-2.
    • Or you can also take your Vitamin D when and if you do consume calcium rich foods such as: dairy, leafy greens, fortified orange juice, or fish.

References

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/vitamin-d-deficiency

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