Benefits of Vitamin D - Vitamin D Sources - Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D, sometimes called Cholecalciferol, is the only vitamin that the body is capable of producing on its
own. The only catch is that the body must be exposed to sunlight before it can produce this vitamin. It is not
necessary to worship the sun to reap the vitamin-making benefits. An hour a week is generally enough. All of the
body's other daily requirement of vitamins must come from the diet and/or via supplementation.
Vitamin D is a very stable fat soluble vitamin. Like other fat soluble vitamins, the body is capable of storing
Vitamin D for later use. Because it is stable, it is not broken down during food preparation or exposure to heat
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and this in turn helps keep bones strong and less prone to breaks and
brittleness. Ample amounts of Vitamin D greatly reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis and joint damage. It
can slow down the effects of arthritis and keep back pain under control. Vitamin D is also required for proper
absorption of phosphorus.
Vitamin D is currently being studied as an effective way to protect the body against colorectal cancer and the
development of certain types of autoimmune diseases. Early results are promising.
Food High In Vitamin D - Vitamin D Sources
Milk that has been fortified with Vitamin D is a really good source because it has the added bonus of providing
the body with calcium. Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are
other good sources. Vitamin D is also found in animal fats including organ meats, butter, egg yolks and full-fat
dairy products. Other foods that have been fortified with this vitamin, such as orange juice and cereals, are other
reliable sources. A good herbal supplement is cod liver oil.
The recommended daily intake for adults is 200 400 IU (International Units). Individuals aged 50 70 should
increase their intake to 400 IU and those older than 70 should get even more, 600 IU/day. It is also suggested that
breastfed babies be given a Vitamin D supplement.
Note that health-related problems can result from over-supplementation. Excessive amounts of calcium can lead to
the development of kidney stones and over-calcification of teeth and bones. Calcium deposits in the arteries can
cause arteries to harden.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Rickets, a disease thought to be under control, is beginning to appear again, especially in children who do not
get sufficient quantities of Vitamin D. The primary symptoms of this disease are soft bones and bones that develop
abnormally. Infants that do not get sufficient Vitamin D can develop a condition in which bones do not harden. This
results in bowed legs, stunted growth and a lot of pain.
In later stages of life, insufficient levels of Vitamin D can cause osteoporosis, a condition in which bones
become weak and fracture easily. Since Vitamin D is absorbed in the small intestines, diseases in the gall bladder,
liver, intestines and the pancreas can impede absorption and lead to deficiencies.