Vitamin D, sunshine vitamin, is a nutrient your body needs for building and maintaining healthy bones. Calcium, the component of bones, can only be absorbed if Vitamin D is present.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body for long periods of time, unlike water-soluble vitamins. The different forms include Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).
Vitamin D2 is made from plants and is found in fortified foods and some supplements
Vitamin D3 is naturally produced in the human body and is found in animal foods
Measured in micrograms (mcg) or international units (IU)
One microgram is equal to 40 IU
What are the 3 Sources of Vitamin D?
Fatty fish (trout, salmon, mackerel, tuna) naturally contain Vitamin D
Cod Liver Oil
Mushrooms contain a small amount
Fortified milk, cereal, juices (vitamin D was added)
The body produces Vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight
People who don't get enough sunlight and people over 65 are at a risk for deficiency
People with darker skin may have lower levels because the pigment in skin (melanin) reduces Vitamin D production
The recommended daily dosage for adults are:
600 IU for adults under 70 years old
800 IU for adults over 70 years old
What are the Major Health Benefits of Vitamin D?
Improves Heart and Muscle Function
Regulate Blood Sugar
Aids in Calcium Absorption
Boosts Cognition, Mood and Sleep
Reduces Cancer Risks
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Bone & Joint Pain
Loss of Appetite
Pale Skin & Dark Circles
No Symptoms (most people)
What are the Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Limited Exposure to Sunlight
Darker Skin-Higher Risk
Kidney & Digestive Tract Medical Problems
How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed and Treated?
Testing is done by blood test
Treatments are Vitamin D supplements & Diet
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity?
Vitamin D toxicity can occur if you get too much Vitamin D. The main symptom of Vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia, too much calcium in the blood. Symptoms include:
heart rhythm problems
kidney stones and kidney damage
confusion and disorientation
Vitamin D is a nutrient that our body needs to sustain a healthy life. It is important to get enough sunlight and eat a healthy diet to prevent Vitamin D deficiency. Always consult your physician before taking any medications and/or supplements.
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