Oct 13, 2009

10 Vitamin D Facts

I thought we'd get back to the series on Vitamins and their benefits with Vitamin D. This wonderful vitamin benefits us in the following ways:

  1. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb and use calcium and phosphorus properly.
  2. Vitamin D aids in the synthesis of protein which, like calcium, helps in building strong bones, teeth and skin.
  3. Vitamin D is needed for a healthy nervous system
  4. Vitamin D brings health to the kidneys.
  5. Vitamin D deficiency is generally not a big concern for most, it seems to be more of a problem with older individuals, blood tests help determine this, for example, my Mom who is in her 80's has been told she is low in V. D and should spend time in the sun and supplement with Vit. D3 in particular.
  6. A natural source of vitamin D is the sun, which acts on the oils on our skin and is absorbed by the body. If you spend 15 minutes in the sun each day, you will get a nice dose of Vitamin D.
  7. Vitamin A and D work together synergistically to benefit the body and are often combined in supplement form, but care should be taken not to take excessive amounts, and may not even be necessary except in older individuals who are prone to Vit. D deficiency, this can be measured through blood tests.
  8. Pregnancy Caution: Vitamin D should not exceed 5,000 IU's, excesses of 10,000+ IU's can result in birth defects and other reproductive concerns. In fact, pregnant or not, these are high amounts, and generally, you are getting what you need through sunshine and a good multi-vitamin.
  9. Vitamin D toxicity causes excess thirst, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, and headaches...plus the excess calcium that it can bring into the body can cause calcification of tissues, possibly may contribute to atherosclerosis.
  10. The food source that contains the most Vitamin D is fish, fish oils.
So generally, unless you are sun-deprived, you probably do not need to supplement Vitamin D, you'll get enough from the sun. In the Northeast we do need supplementation during the colder months when large areas are not exposed to the sun, or we are indoors during cold months. D3 is suggested during these times, you can discuss this with your doctor.

Related Vitamin Fact Posts:

16 Facts About Vitamin A
10 Facts About Vitamin B12, Sources
10 Vitamin C Facts and Colds

Updated 3/21/16

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