Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D It is known to be important for bone health. It has also been studied for its possible association with a lower risk of various conditions. But even though you can get vitamin D from food, supplements, or spending time in the sun, many people don’t get enough.

why Maybe you’re not getting enough of it from your diet. Other things that affect your body’s ability to produce vitamin D include the season, time of day, where you live, air pollution, cloud cover, Sun protection, body parts exposed, skin color and age. Dermatologists recommend using it Sun protection and intake of vitamin D from food and Supplements rather than risking the harmful rays of the sun.

The role of vitamin D

Vitamin D is naturally present in several foods. But it is in many fortified foods.

Since the 1930s, virtually all cow’s milk in the United States has been fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D per cup. Food manufacturers are fortifying other foods such as yogurt, cereal, and orange juice.

Ideally, vitamin D is added to a food or drink that contains it calcium. Vitamin D is needed for the maximum absorption of calcium from the intestines, which helps to build strong bones and bones. teeth.

Vitamin D deficiency associated with low bone mass and Osteoporosisin the United States, which is estimated to affect 10 million adults over the age of 50,” Atlanta says. rheumatologist Eduardo Baet, MD. He says many of his patients — especially the elderly and black people — have low levels of vitamin D because the sun isn’t a reliable source.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

The National Institutes of Health recommends that people get this much vitamin D each day:

  • From birth to 12 months: 10 micrograms (mcg) or 400 international units (IU)
  • Age 1-70 years: 15 mcg (600 IU)
  • Age 71 and older: 20 mcg (800 IU)

Older people need more vitamin D because as they age, their skin does not produce vitamin D efficiently, they spend less time outdoors and do not get enough vitamin D.

Best sources of vitamin D

The sun is a great source of vitamin D, but it’s hard to know how much vitamin D you get from sun exposure, and the risk of skin cancer may outweigh the benefits.

Food comes first, says Kelly Hawthorne, a nutritionist at Baylor College of Medicine. “Supplements can fill in the gaps, but it’s always better to meet your nutritional needs with fiber-rich foods, phytonutrientsAnd much more,” he says.

If you don’t enjoy a diet that includes fatty fish or fish liver oils, you may have trouble getting natural vitamin D without eating fortified foods or taking supplements. “The main dietary sources of vitamin D come from fortified dairy products, along with some yogurts and cereals,” says Hawthorne. It contains mushrooms, eggs, cheese and beef liver in small quantities.

how much is too much

Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can accumulate in the body. So it is possible to take too much of it.

The National Institutes of Health says this is the daily upper limit for vitamin D:

  • From birth to 6 months: 25 mcg (1000 IU)
  • Infants 7-12 months: 38 mcg (1500 IU)
  • Children 1-3 years: 63 mcg (2500 IU)
  • Children 4-8 years: 75 mcg (3000 IU)
  • Children 9-18 years: 100 mcg (4000 IU)
  • Adults 19 years and older: 100 mcg (4000 IU)
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding: 100 mcg (4000 IU)

“There is potential for harm if you overdose Supplements “More than 4,000 IU per day, but there’s no fear of overdosing from the sun because your skin acts as a regulatory system that allows you to produce only the amount of vitamin D you need,” says Patsy Brannon, Ph.D., a professor at Cornell University. Nutritional scientists who served on the Institute of Medicine committee that reviewed vitamin D recommendations.

Acceptable levels of vitamin D in the blood

Your health care provider can test your vitamin D blood The level is simple blood test.

Part of the confusion about whether you are getting enough vitamin D can be the definition of an acceptable level of vitamin D in the blood, measured clinically as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. [25(OH)D].

Using blood levels of vitamin D is the best estimate of adequacy that takes into account dietary intake and sunlight exposure, although experts differ on what that level should be.

“A blood 25(OH)D level of at least 20 nanograms/mL was used by the IOM committee to set vitamin D recommendations because this level has been shown to correlate with a variety of indicators of bone health,” says Brannon.

The Endocrine Society’s practice guidelines, as well as many laboratories and experts, recommend a minimum blood vitamin D level of 30 nanograms/mL as an acceptable level.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

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