Vitamin D – The super vitamin?

Sun, Vitamin D, HealthVitamin D, more doctors are prescribing it and more Americans are taking it. Studies are indicating that as much as 57% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Why is this and how does it impact our health?

There are a lot of studies focused on this subject and they have found correlations between heart failure, chronic kidney disease, some forms of cancer and influenza.  Ever thought about why people get more colds in the winter?  The culprit could very well be a lack of sunlight, leading to a drop in vitamin D levels.

The challenge is that we need sun for our bodies to produce vitamin D, yet the vast majority of us spend most of our time indoors.  Unfortunately there are very few foods that are high in vitamin D.  Even milk that has been fortified with vitamin D does not provide enough to increase the level in your body to the necessary amount.

There are  different factors such as skin exposure to sunlight, pigmentation, geographic location and diet that influence the amount of vitamin D in your body.  If you know that your exposure to sunlight is very limited, especially between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, you may need to consider taking a supplement.  An article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicates that adults should have approximately 10,000 IU daily of vitamin D.

Given all of the possible long term health benefits, including playing a role in preventing some of the world’s most prolific diseases, this is a subject worth paying attention to.  It’s easy to have the level of vitamin D tested and it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor about it.

More on this:

More Americans taking vitamin D supplements, finds survey

Risk assessment for vitamin D

Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren

Vitamin D and Heart Failure

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  1. this totally hits home to me bc i haven’t had a window in my office for the last year. we have these faux windows that just lead into the hallway, not at all the same….

  2. Yeah, I think most of us are the same way. The first time I heard about this was when I had a blood test last time I went to the doctor. Of course I was low on vitamin D and he recommended that I start taking a supplement. To be honest, at the time it didn’t seem that important and I didn’t give it much thought. After learning more about it though, I now have a much different perspective.

  3. And most people barely consume a cup of fortified milk, let alone the recommended three cups per day for adults. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium to form and maintain bones. Do you like fish? Oily fish like salmon also contain vitamin D, as well as other heart healthy benefits such as Omega 3 fatty acids.