Tips for Health

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

By on May 18, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

What does vitamin D do for your body?

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Your body needs calcium during childhood and adolescence to form strong bones and teeth. As an adult, you need vitamin D and calcium to maintain bone mass. This helps prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps your body to keep the amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Scientists continue to study vitamin D. Recent medical studies have shown that vitamin D may also help protect your body from other conditions such as cancer, muscular weakness, mood disorders, diabetes type 1 and 2, kidney disease, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Does my body make vitamin D?

A vitamin D is sometimes called “sunshine vitamin”, because your body makes vitamin D after you are exposed to sunlight. Depending on where you live, ten minutes of summer sunlight in three to four times per week may be enough to help your body synthesize vitamin D you need.

How much vitamin D do I need?

The amount of vitamin D your body needs can vary, depending on their weight, their genetic characteristics, the color of their skin, whether or not a chronic condition and even from where you live. Talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you should get in your diet.

Adults need the following amounts of vitamin D:

Under 50: 200-400 international units (IU) per day
50 to 70 years: 400-600 IU per day
Age 70: 600-800 IU per day
Children and adults are not exposed to sunlight may need 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D per day.

From birth to 18 years, the recommended daily dose for children is 400 IU. If you are lactating, your doctor will prescribe a vitamin supplement that has vitamin D because breast milk contains only small amounts of vitamin D. Talk to your doctor before giving vitamin supplements to older children.

Who is at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

  • Persons at aged state
  • Babies fed with breast milk
  • Obese people
  • People with dark skin
  • Persons with limited exposure to sunlight
  • People living in the northern United States
  • People who have difficulty absorbing fats from the diet
  • People taking medicines called glucocorticoids

What if I do not get enough vitamin D?

Many people do not get enough vitamin D. If you do not get enough vitamin D, your body can not absorb calcium well, and your muscles can weaken.

How I can get more vitamin D?

Foods that naturally contain vitamin D include fish, fish oil, eggs, cheese and butter. There are also vitamin D-fortified foods such as milk and milk substitutes, orange juice and breakfast cereals.



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