Vitamin D deficiency, benefits and side effects are the center of debate.
Some people who get too much UV exposure could end up with skin cancer and those who don't get any sunlight might end up dealing with an array of other health related issues.
This was the fourth vitamin discovered in the early 1920s, with D being the fourth letter in the alphabet.
Vitamin D is normally measured in International Units (IU) or Micrograms (mcg).
According to FDA (the food and drug administration), the recommended daily value for Vitamin D is 400 IU or 10 mcg in order to avoid Vitamin D deficiency .
By going thru the liver and kidneys, Vitamin D gets converted into its usable form which in turn helps regulate and absorb calcium in the blood as one of its many functions.
Thus one of its major benefits or foods with vitamin d is having strong bones.
Otherwise, especially people over the age of 50 could be at risk for bone loss and fractures due to osteoporosis.
This is just one of the effects of vitamin d deficiency.
Our bare human skin produces it by being exposed to the sunlight and letting the UVB ray penetrate its upper layer called epidermis. This is where synthesis occurs.
Stoppage of synthesis is one of the vitamin d deficiency causes.
Melanin is the chemical pigment found beneath our skin and is responsible for the quantity being produced.
The higher the amount of melanin in the human skin, the darker the skin and the longer the skin has to be exposed to the sun for activated form of vitamin D.
The darker the skin, the higher the risk of deficiency of vitamin d.
Your location on earth and the altitude of where you live also makes a big difference. So does the season you are in and the UV index.
For instance your skin gets to produce much higher vitamin d dosage at 10,000 feet elevation than at sea level.
Also if you live near the equator, your skin will produce much higher amounts compared to other locations on earth.
One could get it from a tanning bed too, but even that could be harmful to your skin.
The UV rays can lead to skin cancer, with malignant melanoma being one of the deadliest.
Therefore, it might be more logical for certain individuals to obtain it thru foods rich in vitamin d.
Milk, some cereals (1 cup, fortified with 10% daily value, 40 IU) and certain breads have been fortified for many years now.
Also cooked fish like salmon (3.5oz, 360 IU) or canned tuna fish in oil (3oz, 200 IU) and sardines in oil (1.75oz, 250 IU) are considered natural vitamin d rich foods.
Cod liver oil has the highest amount of vitamin D (1,360 IU per tablespoon) where as one cup of nonfat fortified milk contains 98 IU.
No Vitamin D Deficiency Facts:
• It is essential to your bone health
• It prevents Rickets in children (deformity and soft bone)
• It prevents Osteomalacia in adults (weak bone and muscle)
• It maintains a healthy immune system
• Vitamin D production stops when sunscreen is used
• Sunscreen may create deficiency of vitamin d
• Skin needs sun exposure a couple of times per week for good vitamin d levels
• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat or non-fat dairy products
According to FDA these are the Daily vitamin D Needs in International Units (IU):
• 200 IU, until age 50 (One cup of vitamin D-fortified milk or juice provides 50 IU of vitamin D.)
• 400 IU, age 51-70 (Multivitamins typically provide 400 IU of vitamin D.)
• 600 IU, over age 70
According to Surgeon General your body also needs Calcium:
• 0 to 6 months 210 milligram (mg)
• 6 to 12 months 270 mg
• 1 to 3 years 500 mg
• 4 to 8 years 800 mg
• 9 to 18 years 1,300 mg
• 18 to 50 years 1,000 mg
• over 50 years 1,200 mg
As a comparison, a cup of calcium fortified orange juice or milk has about 300 milligram of calcium.
Other good sources of calcium are sardines canned in oil with edible bones (3 oz, 324 mg), shredded cheddar cheese (1.5oz, 306mg), plain low-fat yogurt (1 cup, 300 mg) or a cup of cooked soybeans (261mg).
Also in this group are fortified breads, cereals and soy products.
There are others too with less amounts of calcium such as canned salmon with edible bones (30z, 181mg), 1% milk fat cottage cheese (1 cup, 138mg), spaghetti (1 cup, 125mg) or baked beans (1 cup, 142mg).
Please consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
Vitamin d deficiency causes:
• Kidney fails to convert Vitamin D to its usable form
• Absorption problems in the digestive tract
• Taking in too little vitamin D in your diet
• Being lactose intolerance or allergic to milk
Baby Alert Regarding Vitamin D Deficiency:
Infants might require vitamin d supplements, if they are only being breast fed.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a daily vitamin d dosage of 200 IU for breast fed infants beginning within the first 60 days of life is vital.
Unless they are being fed about 2 cups per day of vitamin D-fortified formula.
Vitamin D Cancer relation:
Research suggests a lower cancer incidence, with higher vitamin D, calcium intake and/or sun exposure.
More studies are needed to prove the relation between cancer and vitamin d deficiency.
Did you know,
That your annual check up and blood test does not include the test for deficiency of vitamin d or vitamin d levels?
Please remind your doctor and act according to his or her recommendations.
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