Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps the body to be able to fully and properly absorb calcium and various phosphates. These two minerals are essential for the development of good bone growth and normal bone formation. If an individual does not get the right levels of calcium, bone production and strength may suffer. One of the major reasons why people are low in calcium levels is because they are not getting adequate levels of Vitamin D in their daily diet. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a number of serious and long lasting issues for children and adults, which is why it is so important to get enough Vitamin D!
Vitamin D from Foods
The body naturally produces Vitamin D each and every time that the skin is directly exposed to sunlight without any infiltrations. This has led to the common nickname of the "sunshine" vitamin. Most people get some Vitamin D in this manner, though getting sun exposure through windows and other filters greatly reduces or eliminates the production of Vitamin D. Very few foods contain any of this important vitamin naturally, which is why some foods are fortified with additional Vitamin D- like what is found in some orange juice products.
Fatty fish, the most common being tuna, salmon, and mackerel, offer the very best sources of vitamin D. Other common sources of trace amounts of Vitamin D include liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Mushrooms that have been naturally grown can offer some amount of vitamin D. It is also important to note that most milk in the United States has been fortified with the addition of at least 400 IU vitamin D for each quart. Despite the very best efforts to eat well and get good sun exposure it can be difficult to get the recommended amount of vitamin D. This is why many people opt to add a Vitamin D supplement to their diet.
Vitamin D Intakes and Status
Most doctors and dietary experts recommendations that adults 60 years and older get around 600 IU/day, and for those over the age of 70 to get as much as 800 IU/day. Older adults are believed to need higher levels of vitamin D because there is a natural decrease in the production of Vitamin D by their bodies They don't eat as much are not outdoors as much and their skin naturally starts making less Vitamin D as it ages. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), done in 2005–2006, estimated vitamin D levels in study participants and found that the average intake levels for males from foods alone ranged from 204 to 288 IU/day; for females the range was 144 to 276 IU/day.
It is recommended that everyone who is able to spend ten to fifteen minutes out in the sunshine three times a week. This is believed to be ample exposure to generate the minimal amounts of Vitamin D that most people need. The best areas for sun exposure to get the most Vitamin D generated is the face, arms, back, and legs- without sunscreen. Since one of the risks of sun exposure is an increased risk of cancer, no more than ten to fifteen minutes should elapse before you apply sunscreen anytime that you are in the sun. Individuals who live in places that do not get a lot of sun may not make enough vitamin D. It is also important to note that cloudy days, shade, and darker skin also can reduce the amount of vitamin D naturally made by the skin. This is why many health professionals suggest adding a supplement to daily routines to keep Vitamin D production at the level it needs to be at.
This is just one of many articles; we hope you found this information helpful. At Colorado Active Health Chiropractic PLLC, we take every opportunity to inform our patients on all topics related to their health, and welcome new ideas and information. Call for your appointment today!