Vitamin D: Benefits and Sources

Are you dealing with muscle pain, weakness, hair loss, and frequent infections? You might not be getting enough Vitamin D. 

Getting enough Vitamin D is very important if you need healthy bones and teeth, and a functional immune system. 

In this article, we tell you all about this sunshine vitamin.

About Vitamin 

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient. It’s a common misconception that soaking in the sun must mean that sun rays themselves have Vitamin D. Sun rays don’t have it; they trigger the production in our skins on exposure. The sun’s UVB rays touch a protein in our skin called 7-dehydrocholesterol. This interaction changes the protein into Vitamin D3, which is a type of Vitamin D that our body can use.

Advantages of Vitamin D

Vitamin D offers numerous advantages for our bodies:

  1. It is crucial for preserving the health of our bones and teeth since it aids in the regulation of calcium absorption.
  1. Vitamin D plays a role in controlling inflammation and immune system function, which can help lower the likelihood of autoimmune conditions and infections.
  1. According to studies, Vitamin D may also decrease the risk of multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.
  1. Vitamin D can enhance muscle function, brain cell activity, and sensitivity to insulin.
  1. Furthermore, Vitamin D may help lift your mood and decrease the risk of experiencing depression.

Where to get Vitamin D

Now sun rays aren’t the only way you can get more Vitamin D. If you pay attention to what you eat, you can maintain optimum levels in your body. 

For non-vegetarian sources of Vitamin D, you can have more chicken, chicken soup, eggs, fortified orange juice, fish and fish oil, skim milk, and whole milk.

Vegetarians can have non-dairy plant milk, including hemp, soy, rice, oat, and almond milk. You can try some mushrooms, fortified orange juice, and cereal too. 

But these sources may not be enough, especially for vegetarians or those who can’t or don’t want sun exposure. Thankfully there are Vitamin D supplements, which despite being OTC, should be taken under the guidance of a doctor.

But enough about ‘where.’ Let’s deal with how much.

How much Vitamin D do you need?

The suggested daily consumption of Vitamin D can change based on factors such as age, ethnicity, geographical location, the current season, the amount of sun exposure, and the kind of clothes you wear. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests a typical daily intake of 400–800 IU, or 10–20 micrograms, of Vitamin D for the majority of people. 

Nevertheless, various studies propose that a daily intake of 1,000–4,000 IU, or 25–100 micrograms, might be necessary to keep optimal blood levels. 

The Department of Health and Social Care advises that adults and children above the age of 4 should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D all year round. 

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults up to 70 years old is 600 IU, and this increases to 800 IU for those over 70. 

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming more than the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D.

How do you know if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

A blood test called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test is used to see if a person has enough Vitamin D in their body. This is also known as the 25(OH)D test. 

You can also buy test kits that let you do this at home. With these kits, you can take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab for testing. People who are more likely to have low levels of Vitamin D are sometimes checked with these tests.

For more information, visit Canadian pharmacy

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