Does Alcohol Cause Vitamin D Deficiency
Heavy drinking causes nutrient deficiencies in 6 main ways, all of which deplete levels of vitamin D:
- Diuretic effect Alcohol leaches water and nutrients out of your system.
- Damaged gut lining Alcohol directly damages the lining of the stomach and intestines, making it harder to absorb nutrients
- Damaged gut microbiome Good bacteria that help break down food are damaged by alcohol exposure, while harmful strains like candida yeast thrive from alcohol and sugar
- Foregone calories Alcoholics tend to make room for alcohol, rather than quality foods
- Overworked liver and pancreas Many nutrients are made available to the body by the liver, but the organ cannot process vitamins and minerals when it is preoccupied with detoxifying alcohol .
- Acetaldehyde This is the most common toxic byproduct from alcohol, causing hangover symptoms, inflammation, and DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Antioxidants like vitamin D are depleted by constantly mopping up this toxin.
Vitamin D3 cannot be used by the body until it is activated by enzymes in the liver and kidneys. Alcohol addiction throws a wrench into this process by damaging these crucial organs.
Before I quit drinking, I often felt a dull pain and swelling under the right side of my ribcage. The pain became worse after prolonged binges. I later learned that this was a symptom of pancreas inflammation, and that if my pancreas was inflamed, then my liver wasnt healthy either!
Why You Need Vitamin D
It’s important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system — your body’s defense against germs. You get most of your vitamin D from sunlight on your skin. Just a few minutes a day on your hands and face should do the trick. But you can also get it from food. If you’re homebound, sick, or older, you might not get enough vitamin D. Talk to your doctor if you think your levels are low.
What Fruits And Vegetables Are High In Vitamin D
Vegetables high in vitamin D include mushrooms which have been exposed to sunlight. Other vegan foods high in vitamin D include fortified soy products like tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, fortified cereals, and fortified juices.
Unfortunately, no fruits are high in vitamin D, and fortified orange juice is currently the only fruit product commonly sold with vitamin D.
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Back Up: What Is Vitamin D And Why Is It So Important
Your body creates vitamin D on its own after being exposed to sunlight. It helps the body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks of bones. If you’re low on D, then you’re at increased risk for bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Evidence continues to mount that vitamin D also helps to regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, protect against depression, and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and several kinds of cancer. A 2014 study from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine also found that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to die prematurely.
How Much Vitamin D Is Recommended
So, just how much vitamin D does the human body need to function properly?
Vitamin D, like other vitamins, is usually measured in IU, which stands for international units, or micrograms. The average daily intake of vitamin D should be around 400-800 IU or 10-20 micrograms.
Certain individuals may need higher levels to regulate vitamin D levels. If you have little to no exposure to the sun, you are postmenopausal, or you are overweight, you may need a higher level of vitamin D in your diet. In some cases, you may need up to 2000 IU to ensure optimal blood levels.
Daily vitamin D can be gotten from 15-20 minutes of sun exposure, supplements, or food or drinks for vitamin D.
If youre in doubt about how much vitamin D you should be adding to your diet, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.
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Why You Need Vitamin D3
It’s important not to take too much vitamin D. Vitamin D toxicity is rare but can be serious, resulting in symptoms ranging from nausea to bone pain and kidney stones.
A deficiency of vitamin D can have serious consequences in the body. Vitamin D is vital for these reasons:
1. Bone Health
Doctors discovered vitamin D when they were studying rickets, a children’s bone disorder. Today rickets is rare, but vitamin D is still needed for bone health. It’s especially important for women past menopause, who are at risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also used to treat a more serious bone condition called osteomalacia . Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium. Without vitamin D, the body uses only a small percentage of the calcium in food.
2. Anti-Cancer Properties
Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood are associated with lower levels of some cancers, including colorectal,prostate, and pancreatic. In animal studies, vitamin D was associated with fewer tumors and slower growth of tumors. Clinical trials in humans suggest that vitamin D may not prevent cancer but may slow its progress.
3. Brain Health
Low levels of vitamin D may be a risk factor for various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies and cell studies have shown a connection, but the results of clinical trials have been mixed. Further research is needed.
Dont Forget Supplements And Sunlight
Lastly, it is worth remembering that a convenient source of vitamin D is sunlight from sun exposure.
According to a recent Canadian study, sunlight exposure can produce the recommended level of vitamin D in as little as 14 minutes .
However, this depended on the suns intensity and the individuals skin color, and the time rose to as high as 58 minutes in people with darker skin tones. It is also important to practice good sun-safe habits such as avoiding burning and using sunscreen or covering up when necessary.
Supplements can be another good source of vitamin D, and there are numerous
The two types of vitamin D supplements are D2 and D3.
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What Is The Difference Between Iu And Mcg For Vitamin D
Are you confused about the difference between mcg and IU?
Firstly, they are just two different ways of measuring the vitamin D content in food.
Mcg stands for micrograms, and it is the metric way of measuring mass. You may also hear micrograms referred to as µg, which is the official symbol, but it isnt as keyboard-friendly as mcg.
There are one thousand micrograms in one gram.
IU means International Units, and it is a measurement of the biological activity of the vitamin.
There is no need to know both of these.
However, in this article, vitamin D concentrations have been shown in both measurements for convenience. The reason for this is because some countries use IU and some use mcg to measure the vitamin.
Expert Recommends 5 Drinks To Take If You Have Vitamin D Deficiency
Along with foods, one can also take vitamin D rich drinks to fulfill the deficiency. Read on to know from an expert.
Vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrients, which our body requires to perform many bodily functions. Vitamin D deficiency is also one of the most common causes of stress around the world of health industry. Vitamin D deficiency is a problem seen in the Indian subcontinent a lot of times and it prevails of 70% of Indian population, according to a study published earlier.
Poor lifestyle habits and an unhealthy diet these days can make people suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. This makes it essential to take a healthy Vitamin D-rich diet. In fact, besides consuming foods rich in this vitamin, you can even take supplements which should only be done after taking your doctors advice. While looking for all sources of the vitamin, it is useful to know about some drinks that are rich in Vitamin D. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dietician Arushi Gupta, Associate Dietician, Dayanand Medical College and hospital, Ludhiana,about the drinks to take if you have vitamin D deficiency.
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Advice For Adults And Children Over 4 Years Old
During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.
You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
What Is The Healthiest Drink Besides Water
When it comes to staying hydrated, flushing out toxins, and maintaining healthy organs, water cant be beat. But what if your child doesnt like drinking plain water, and wants more options for their 8-ounce cups of fluids a day?
Here are 8 drinks besides water that dont contain artificial or sugary ingredients and are both easy to prepare at home and inexpensive.
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What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D
Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.
If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.
Children aged 1 to 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms a day. Infants under 12 months should not have more than 25 micrograms a day.
Some people have medical conditions that mean they may not be able to safely take as much. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor.
If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice.
You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
Taking A Vitamin D Supplement
As well as upping your Vitamin D food sources, it is also possible to boost your levels by taking vitamin D supplements.
Theres a wide range of supplements out there, such as tablets, caplets, drops for babies and children, sprays and chewable tablets.
Take a daily Vitamin D supplement to cover your everyday dose of Vitamins D2 and D3. Its a cost-effective way to get peace of mind all year round.
Heres our Vitamin D guide to make sure you take the one that is right for you and your family members.
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Consume Fatty Fish And Seafood
Fatty fish and seafood are among the richest natural food sources of vitamin D.
In fact, a 3.5-ounce serving of canned salmon can provide up to 386 IU of vitamin D about 50% of the RDI .
The exact vitamin D content of seafoods may vary depending on the type and species in question. For example, some research suggests that farmed salmon may contain only 25% of the amount of wild-caught salmon (
Fatty fish and seafood are among the foods highest in vitamin D, though exact vitamin content may vary depending on the type and source of the food in question.
Tasty Foods With More Vitamin D Than A Glass Of Milk
When we think of Vitamin D, most of us think of sunshine or a big glass of milk, but there are several other delicious ways to get enough of this vital nutrient. Vitamin D is actually not even a vitamin at all, but a hormone, and it is essential for proper bone growth and helping our body absorb calcium.
Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D can also help prevent certain types of cancers, autoimmune diseases like MS, depression, and type 2 diabetes. The current RDA is 600 IU for those between 1-70 years old, and almost 50 percent of the U.S. population doesnt get enough!
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What Drinks Should You Avoid
Below are 6 types of drinks to avoid:
1. Fancy coffee drinks
Fancy coffee drinks served at cafes and restaurants often contain up to 800 calories and 1/3 of the maximum recommended intake for artery-clogging saturated fat. There is a reason why they taste so sweet. With 170 grams of sugar in a typical drink, you get more of a sugar shock than a caffeine buzz. Top it off with whipped cream and you have a drink that’s far from healthy.
2. Flavored waters and sports drinks
Flavored and infused waters may deliver a few extra vitamins but usually contain added sugars and preservatives. Many sports drinks on the market also have artificial sweeteners and unhealthy additives. While some have electrolytes mixed with water, many of these drinks arent as healthy as the claims on the labels.
Most people are aware that regular soda is loaded with sugar and artificial additives. And while diet sodas do have low or zero calories, they also contain preservatives.
If youre looking for a fizzy, refreshing drink, try plain soda water instead.
Cocktails are often loaded with sugar. They usually dont use fresh fruits and instead contain artificial essences, food coloring, and syrups.
5. Packaged fruit drinks and smoothies
While freshly squeezed fruit juices are healthy, packaged fruit drinks and smoothies are usually filled with sugar and additives. Each pack may contain up to 700 calories.
6. Energy drinks
People At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Some people will not make enough vitamin D from sunlight because they have very little or no sunshine exposure.
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that adults and children over 4 take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they:
- are not often outdoors for example, if they’re frail or housebound
- are in an institution like a care home
- usually wear clothes that cover up most of their skin when outdoors
If you have dark skin for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
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Ways To Get Vitamin D From Non
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in 2011 when vegan vitamin D supplements were not available. AOR now offers the first vitamin D3 available in Canada from a truly vegan, non-animal, non-soy, non-GMO source. Mykind Organics also offer a vegan D3 spray.
Deanna Lynn Sletten
Vitamin D plays an important role in our overall health yet most of us do not get a sufficient amount. If you are unable to eat dairy products or you follow a vegan or restricted diet, it can be challenging to get enough vitamin D through the foods you eat. Fortunately, there are a few foods that contain vitamin D as well as other sources of this essential vitamin. Here are seven ways to get enough vitamin D from non-dairy sources:
The easiest way to get enough vitamin D is through taking supplements. Many multivitamins for both children and adults supply a day’s worth of vitamin D. If you don’t take a daily multivitamin, you can buy vitamin D separately. The latest recommendations for intake of vitamin D set in 2010 are 600 IU per day for ages 1-70 and 800 IU per day for ages 71 and up. Infants 0-12 months should have 1,000 IU per day. These recommendations are for healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet. If severe vitamin D deficiency is suspected, see your doctor for guidelines.
Fortified Soy, Rice or Almond Milk
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Fortified Orange Juice
Cold Water Fish
Highest Amount Of Vitamin D Per Serving
Please remember that the above gives an accurate value in 100g for high vitamin d foods in your diet. You should also take into account portion sizes when you are considering the vitamin d nutritional content.
The food with the highest vitamin d content per typical serving is Chocolate-flavored drink, whey and milk based which contains 122 IU in 1 cup . For this serving the Calories content is 119.56 kcal , the Protein content is 1.56 g , the Fat content is 0.98 g and the Carbohydrate content is 26.06 g .
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Pour And Drink To Your Health
Go ahead and pour your smoothies into glass jars. This recipe will make enough to serve a family of 4 two cups of smoothie or 2 really generous servings. I make this vitamin C Bomb Smoothie once a day- usually in the afternoon- and serve it to my family.
Its not only healthy and preventive, but it gives us an energy boost so we can finish our school and work day. Its best to drink it just after blending, but I have been known to make it the evening before a busy day and store it in the fridge. I dont recommend storing it for more than 12 hours, though. The vitamins wont be as potent as when freshly blended.
Some really smart dude said, Let food be thy medicine, and- even though its a drink- this smoothie surely fits the bill. In this time of caution, give your family a boost of Vitamin C. Share this with your friends and be sure to pin the recipe for your smoothie.