Vitamin D, the “Sunshine Vitamin”, is especially important for good mental and bone health. The importance of vitamin D role in not well understood. Several misconceptions about vitamin D may have contributed to the obscurity and should be addressed. On the other hand, vitamin D is not really a vitamin because vitamins are essential nutrients that the human body is incapable of producing. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is produced in mammalian skin upon exposure to UV rays from the sun.
Vitamin D protects against different types of cancers:
Early-stage epidemiologic research suggests that the incidence of, and death rates for, certain cancers are lower among individuals living in southern latitudes, where levels of sunlight exposure are higher. Researchers think that the variation in vitamin D levels might explain the inconsistency.
There is quite a lot of evidence showing that women with breast cancer often have low levels of vitamin D, although this does not necessarily indicate a causal link. More interesting, perhaps, is the limited evidence which suggests that taking high strength vitamin D supplements could offer an element of protection against breast cancer and other cancers.
Studies show a connection between vitamin D status and colorectal cancer. One meta-analysis showed an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and risk of colorectal cancer. They also found that patients who had colorectal cancer experienced improved survival rates if they had a higher vitamin D status. Supplementing with 5,000-10,000 IU vitamin D3 per day to help reduce one’s risk of colorectal cancer.
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Diseases:
Autoimmune diseases like MS are becoming more prevalent throughout the U.S. Some evidence points to Vitamin D, decreasing the chance of autoimmune diseases like MS. One study found that those with the highest blood levels had a 62 percent lower risk of developing MS than those with the lowest levels.
Vitamin D: D for Depression:
The sun and the resultant vitamin D have legitimated feel-good superpowers. So much so that adequate levels of vitamin D are linked to warding off depression and regulating mood. In a Journal of Internal Medicine study, research showed that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements experienced an improvement in their symptoms.
Vitamin D may help with weight loss and lower risk of diabetes:
Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D has been linked to the ability to lose more weight. In a Journal of Women’s Health Study, women with insufficient vitamin D levels were more susceptible to weight gain than those with adequate amounts. Vitamin D may help to reduce the risk of insulin resistance by improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin (the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels).
How much Vitamin D people need?
|AGE GROUP||RDA (IU)||TOLERABLE UPPER INTAKE (IU)|
|Infants (0-6 Months)||400*||1,000|
|Infants (7-12 Months)||400*||1,500|
|Children (1-3 Years)||600||2,500|
|Children (4-8 Years)||600||3,000|
|Children and Adults (9-70 Years)||600||4,000|
|Adults > 70 Years||800||4,000|
|Pregnancy & Lactation||600||4,000|
Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D:
|FOOD||IUS PER SERVING||PERCENT DV**|
|Cod Liver Oil, 1 tablespoon||1,360||340|
|Swordfish, Cooked, 3 ounces||566||142|
|Salmon, Cooked, 3 ounces||447||112|
|Tuna Fish, 3 ounces||154||39|
|Orange Juice fortified with Vitamin D, 1 cup||137||34|
|Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, 1-cup||115-124||29-31|
|Yoghurt, 6 ounces||80||20|
|Margarine, 1 tablespoon||60||15|
|Sardines, canned in oil||46||12|
|Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces||42||11|
|Egg, 1 large||41||10|
|Ready-to-eat cereal, 0.75-1 cup||40||10|
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||6||2|