News about the sunshine vitamin isn’t quite so sunny these days as vitamin D deficiencies are on the rise.
Why is vitamin D deficiency more common now?
Our bodies need exposure to ultraviolet-B rays (UVB) to stimulate vitamin D production in our skin. But increased use of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, reduced participation in outdoor activities, and air pollution have all decreased our exposure to UVB rays. The consensus in the medical community is that skin cancer prevention is necessary, so getting additional vitamin D through food and supplements is the best option.
Vitamin D is essential to our health!
- Contributes to bone formation and strength by helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorous.
- Plays an important role in our immune and muscle functions and helps our brain communicate to the nervous system.
- Recent studies have shown higher vitamin D intake helped prevent cardiovascular disease in men.
How much vitamin D do we need daily?
- Infants up to 1 year: 400 IU or 10 mcg
- Children 1-18: 600 IU or 15 mcg
- Adults 19-69: 600 IU or 15 mcg
- Adults 70 and older: 800 IU or 20 mcg
Good Vitamin D Sources
- Fresh fish, especially rainbow trout and salmon
- Cod liver oil
- Beef or calf liver
- Egg yolks
- Fortified dairy products like milk and yogurt
- Fortified orange juice and breakfast cereal
Vitamin D supplements are an option, but consult with your doctor to get a prescription for vitamin D or before taking supplements.