Vitamin D - Sources and Benefits
Okay, so you’ve decided to live healthy, eat a healthy diet, and follow a meal plan. Congratulations, these are great steps to live fit and healthy. You did some research, checked with your doctor, and maybe checked out a few healthy living blogs. Fantastic! You are on your way to a healthier you.
Now that you are more health conscience, you’ve started to notice articles, blogs, and advertisements on different vitamins and supplements. Like most people, you may be confused on who and what to believe. I understand. Half the time, the medical profession and scientist can’t agree. When this happens, my approach is to follow the leaders. What I mean is there are a few “experts” that I follow based on their approach to science and research. They aren’t quick to jump on the band wagon or the fad of the day. They use different approaches to research and don’t rely on just one study, but use multiple studies. I suggest you take that approach as well.
Over the next several weeks I’m going to explore and uncover different vitamins and their benefits. I’ll even give you links for more information, when possible. Today, let’s review vitamin D.
According to Mayo Clinic, your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies. Recent studies show that people with higher levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of these diseases. Not all of the scientific community agrees on this. One of my “experts” I follow is Harvard Public School of Health supports this research so I tend to agree with them. Like I said earlier, if the experts don’t agree, you need to go with the experts you’ve chosen to follow and trust them (otherwise why choose them).
What are the best food sources for vitamin D?
|Pure Cod liver oil, 1 Tablespoon (Note: most refined cod liver oils today have the vitamin D removed! Check your label to be certain.)||1,360||340|
|Salmon, cooked, 3½ ounces||360||90|
|Mackerel, cooked, 3½ ounces||345||90|
|Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces||200||50|
|Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1¾ ounces250||250||70|
|Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D fortified, 1 cup||98||25|
|Margarine, fortified, 1 Tablespoon||60||15|
|Pudding, prepared from mix and made with vitamin D fortified milk, ½ cup||50||10|
|Ready-to-eat cereals fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, ¾ cup to 1 cup servings (servings vary according to the brand)||40||10|
For a more complete list of foods highest in vitamin D, checkout Self Magazine
The body also manufactures vitamin D from cholesterol, through a process triggered by the action of sunlight on skin, hence its nickname, “the sunshine vitamin.” If you are dark skinned, overweight, or use a good sunscreen, your body may not make enough vitamin D on it’s on.
What is the Recommended Intake for Vitamin D?
The jury is still out! There just isn’t enough scientific data out yet on the exact amount needed in our daily diets. The new recommended daily allowance (RDA), as set in 2010, is based on age, as follows: for those 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; for those 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; and for pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily.
For more information on vitamin D check out: