How Much Vitamin D Do I Need
From about late March/early April to the end of September, the majority of people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin.
Children from the age of 1 year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Babies up to the age of 1 year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.
A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol followed by the letter g .
Sometimes the amount of vitamin D is expressed as International Units . 1 microgram of vitamin D is equal to 40 IU. So 10 micrograms of vitamin D is equal to 400 IU.
Health Effects Of Low Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain, and softening of the bones such as rickets and osteomalacia .
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, including:
- people with naturally very dark skin this is because the pigment in dark skin doesnt absorb as much UV radiation
- people who avoid the sun due to previous skin cancers, immune suppression or sensitive skin and those people who have limited sun exposure, such as nightshift workers
- people who wear covering clothing or concealing clothing
- people who spend a long time indoors such as those who are housebound or institutionalised
- people who are obese
- people who have a disability or a disease that affects vitamin D metabolism, such as end stage liver disease, renal disease and fat malabsorption syndromes such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- people who take medication that affects vitamin D metabolism
- breast-fed babies of vitamin D deficient mothers
If you think you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, talk to your GP for advice. Your GP may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement.
Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
Fortified Sources Of Vitamin D
Several common foods are fortified by vitamin D because, it only occurs naturally in a few foods. Its better to get your vitamin D from natural sources whenever you can since theyre lower in sugar and preservatives. If youre not a big fan of fish or youre still struggling to get enough dietary vitamin D, the following foods are often fortified with this essential vitamin
- Milk- a single cup can contain between 115 and 124 IU of vitamin D
- Orange juice- a cup of fortified orange juice can contain 137 IU f vitamin D
- Yogurt- if your yogurt has been fortified with 20% of your DRI of vitamin D then you can expect roughly 80 IU per 6 oz serving
- Cereals-different cereals contain different levels of vitamin D but in a single cup serving of cereal thats been fortified with 10% of your DRI of vitamin D you can expect roughly 40IU of the vitamin
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Reduce The Risk For Type 2 Diabetes
Observational studies in cell models suggest that vitamin D may help increase insulin sensitivity, boost beta cell function, and lessen inflammation all potential benefits for reducing the risk of and helping manage type 2 diabetes, notes an article published in March 2014 in Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America.
But vitamin D supplementation was not found to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a randomized, controlled clinical trial involving more than 3,600 participants that was published in June 2019 in the New England Journal of Medicine, despite prior observational studies suggesting that it could. A dose of 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day did not result in a significantly lower risk of diabetes compared with a placebo.
New Government Advice From Public Health England Recommends Taking Vitamin D Supplements
Due to our Nations current lifestyle during lockdown, our UK Government has recently advised that people could be depriving their body of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D. With 80% of our Vitamin D coming from sunlight, our body’s may not be producing enough Vitamin D due to current isolation measures. Therefore, Public Health England has advised daily supplementation to help support healthy bones, teeth and muscles.As it is difficult for most people to get the recommended amount of Vitamin D from food alone, supplementing this essential nutrient is advised. At Nourished, we recommend a healthy balanced diet combined with our Vegan Vita-algae D3 as one of the layers in your stack, in order to meet the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D.All of our ingredients at Nourished are consumed in a gummy stack, meaning they have a much higher absorption rate than standard isolated tablets, so you can have confidence in ensuring you get your recommended daily intake.
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Why Is There A New Focus On Vitamin D Today
Recent research has stressed the importance of Vitamin D not just for good bone health, but also for possibly preventing chronic disease when we are older. Yet, many children today are not getting enough Vitamin D.
There are several reasons children today do not get enough Vitamin D. An important one is that very few foods contain substantial levels of the vitamin. Even the healthiest of diets will probably not provide a child with adequate Vitamin D.
Changes in lifestyle have also played a part. Several aspects of modern-day childhood impact Vitamin D intake:
- Children today spend hours in front of a computer or a television, rather than playing outdoors.
- Few children walk to school on a regular basis.
- Many popular sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics, are indoor sports.
- Milk intake by children has steadily decreased in favor of soda or juice.
Spending too much time indoors can affect the amount of Vitamin D children’s bodies make. Parents should apply sunscreen to their children when they play outside.
Children today spend a lot of time being indoors and inactive. It is well-documented that fitness levels among children are on the decline and obesity levels are rising. Children should have at least 35 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Without it, they cannot build healthy bodies .
If a healthy diet and playing outside will not provide children with enough Vitamin D, then how do we make sure they get it?
Who Is Most At Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency
You are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency if you:
- have dark skin or a condition that prevents you getting sun exposure
- wear clothing that covers your skin most of the time for cultural or religious reasons
- have a condition that impairs absorption of vitamin D through your gut, such as Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease
- are of Mori, Pacific, African or Indian ethnicity
- live in southern regions of New Zealand, which means you may experience short-lived vitamin D deficiency between the winter months of May and August
- are confined indoors due to disability, age or illness .
Babies, children, teenagers, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers are also at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, as the need for vitamin D is higher in these groups.
How much sun you need depends on:
- your skin colour
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Unlike Most Sources Of Vitamin D Our’s Is Vegan
Most Vitamin D supplements come from a type of grease called wool yolk, which is made by wool-bearing animals. This essential nutrient can also be found organically in a few foods like fatty fish and egg yolks.
For those following a Vegan diet, finding a reliable source of Vitamin D can therefore prove rather difficult. At Nourished, our Vegan Vita-algae D3 offers a reliable Vegan source of this essential nutrient. We source ours from a mixture of algae and lichen fungus species which grow in the northern most parts of Canada. You can take a look at our Vita-algae D3 here.
Improve Symptoms Of Seasonal Affective Disorder
While vitamin Ds potential role in helping prevent or manage clinical depression is still unclear because of limited research, researchers believe that a person’s vitamin D level may indeed play a role in the risk of seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. People with seasonal affective disorder appear to produce less vitamin D, which may affect the activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Serotonin is the same chemical that your brain pumps out when you go on a long run, eat a piece of chocolate, or hold the hand of the person you love. Its a feel-good hormone. So when the serotonin level is thrown off you may feel blue or be at a greater risk for mood disorders, notes an article published in June 2015 in World Psychiatry.
Foroutan points out that healthcare providers may prescribe vitamin D supplements to help treat seasonal affective disorder.
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How Much Vitamin D Do I Need Every Day
The population reference intake is 15 micrograms per day for adults. For other population groups, PRIs are currently being assessed and will be published in 2021.
It should be noted that the PRI for vitamin D was defined considering only the vitamin D intake from food and not the contribution from exposure to the sun.
According to data from the INCA 3 study, the average vitamin D intake in the French population through food is:
- 5.2 micrograms/day for children between the ages of 1 and 3 years
- 2.6 micrograms/day for children between the ages of 4 and 10 years
- 2.9 micrograms/day for children between the ages of 11 and 17 years
- 3.1 micrograms/day for adults between the ages of 18-79 years.
These intakes are higher for men than for women.
What Roles Do Calcium And Vitamin D Play In The Body
Calcium is an essential nutrient needed by all living creatures, including humans. Vitamin D is a prohormone that helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health.
Bones and teeth contain 99% of the bodys calcium.
This article looks at the roles of calcium and vitamin D and their benefits. It also looks at the effects of too much or too little calcium or vitamin D. Finally, it identifies dietary sources of calcium and vitamin D and supplementation options.
Calcium is crucial for bone development and growth in children. It is also responsible for the maintenance of strong bones in adults.
As well as its role in bone health, calcium aids in muscle contraction. When a signal arrives at the muscle, calcium is released, helping the muscle to contract. As calcium leaves the muscle, the muscle relaxes.
Calcium also plays a role in effective blood clotting.
According to the , the recommended daily amount of calcium by age group is:
- 06 months: 200 milligrams
- 712 months: 260 mg
- 13 years: 700 mg
- 48 years: 1,000 mg
- 918 years: 1,300 mg
- 1970 years: 1,000 mg
- over 70 years: 1,200 mg
Research suggests that vitamin D also plays a vital role in bone health, as it regulates calcium in the blood. Without vitamin D, the kidneys would excrete too much calcium.
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Why Do I Need It
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium so it can build strong bones. But research shows that there may be more to this tiny, but mighty vitamin.
One study found that vitamin D may prevent a type of vertigo called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. Having normal vitamin D levels might protect against some cancers, reports another study. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that elderly patients with normal levels of vitamin D were better able to walk after a hip fracture. Vitamin D may even prevent infection from COVID-19, reports this study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Breaking The Old Rules
Vitamin D is one of the 13 vitamins discovered in the early 20th century by doctors studying nutritional deficiency diseases. Ever since, scientists have defined vitamins as organic chemicals that must be obtained from dietary sources because they are not produced by the body’s tissues. Vitamins play a crucial role in our body’s metabolism, but only tiny amounts are needed to fill that role.
Although vitamin D is firmly enshrined as one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, it is not technically a vitamin. True, it’s essential for health, and only minuscule amounts are required. But it breaks the other rules for vitamins because it’s produced in the human body, it’s absent from all natural foods except fish and egg yolks, and even when it’s obtained from foods, it must be transformed by the body before it can do any good.
As our habits change, most of us cannot rely on our bodies to produce vitamin D the old-fashioned way. Instead, we increasingly depend on artificially fortified foods and pills to provide this vital nutrient. Coming full circle in the modern world, this substance may actually come to fit the technical definition of a vitamin.
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Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:
- Keeping bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. You need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
- Absorbing calcium: Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure is then converted to an active form of the vitamin. It is that active form that promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.
- Working with parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut and skeleton. When there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If calcium intake is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will borrow calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.
Uv Levels In Victoria
As shown in the table below, from mid-August to April, average UV levels in Victoria are three and above for much of the day. This level of UV increases the risk of overexposure and skin damage, and sun protection is recommended. Using good sun protection should not put people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.From May to mid-August, average UV levels in Victoria are low . During this time, sun protection is not recommended, unless you work outdoors, are near highly reflective surfaces , or are outside for extended periods.
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Vitamin D Is Important Because It
- Helps prevent bone fracture
- Supports immune, brain, and nervous system
- Supports lung functioning and cardiovascular health.
- Improves mood as well!
These were the benefits of Vitamin D to our body. Nowlets see the problems due to the deficiency of Vitamin D-
- Weaker bones, prone to breaking
- Rickets can be developed in children, which prevent their bones to grow properly and delay their growth. It may also result in causing the problem to their immune system
- Adults, on the other hand, are prone to osteomalacia and osteoporosis, which are the key culprits for low bone density and make them weaker and brittle
- Increased chances of cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune problems
- Chances of neurological diseases
Help Prevent Bone Diseases Such As Osteoporosis
Its clear that vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. Without enough vitamin D in the body, there will not be enough of calcium’s active form, the hormone calcitriol, according to the National Institutes of Health . Calcium absorption allows the body to maintain a sufficient level of that element as well as phosphate, both of which promote the growth and maintenance of healthy, strong bones.
Thats why getting enough vitamin D is critical for warding off bone diseases, such as rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, and osteoporosis in the elderly.
Rickets is a rare disease in the United States. It is marked by soft and weak bones in children and is typically associated with developing countries, but an inadequate vitamin D level from lack of sun exposure or diet can affect children anywhere in the world, research shows. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of rickets include pain in the spine, pelvis, and legs, as well as delayed growth and muscle weakness.
Meanwhile, osteomalacia refers to softening of the bones due to vitamin D deficiency. Its signs include dull, aching pain in the legs, hips, pelvis, ribs, and back, though the condition often doesnt present symptoms in its early stages, the Mayo Clinic notes.
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