What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight.
Why is vitamin D necessary?
- Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis.
- It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteomalacia.
- Vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension ,psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).
What are the signs of a deficiency?
Deficiencies of vitamin D are common, especially in industrialized countries where sun exposure is typically infrequent. Low levels of vitamin D may be indicated by porous bones, weak muscles and easy fracturing.
How much vitamin D should adults take?
The daily Adequate Intake (AI) for adults is 5 mcg (200 IU) daily for males, female, and pregnant/lactating women under the age of 50. People 50 to 70 years old should get 10 mcg daily (400 IU) daily, and those over 70 should get 15 mcg daily (600 IU). Anyone with vitamin D deficiencies should discuss intake levels with his or her physician.
How much vitamin D should children take?
AI for children from birth until 5 years of age should take 5 mcg per day (200 IU).
Food Source: Mushrooms, Cheese, Fish Eggs, Egg Yolk, Fortified Milk & Foods, Oily Fish, Red Meat, Liver etc.