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5 Things: Vitamin D

Making health headlines almost daily, vitamin D seems to be the nutritional celebrity. Even with all the press it has been getting, Americans don't seem to be getting enough vitamin D in their diets. Here are five things about vitamin D to help you get to know it a little bit better.

  1. Vitamin D, not vitamin C, is known as the sunshine vitamin since your body produces vitamin D after exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
  2. Ten to 15 minutes of daily sun, at nonpeak hours, is enough to satisfy the recommended daily dose of D. The recommend daily intake for vitamin D is 200–400 International Units (IU).
  3. Current levels of vitamin D are lower in Americans than they were two decades ago. Health researchers believe this decline is due to: increasing weight, declining milk consumption, and increasing use of sun protection.
  4. You can find vitamin D in a handful of food sources: fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, and foods fortified with the vitamin. Much milk in the US is fortified with vitamin D.
  5. Adequate vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes. It may even help prevent breast cancer.


Join The Conversation
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 8 years
WOO! I get 10,000 IUs a day!!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
For the guys, Vitamin D (however you get it into your body) can decrease your risk of prostate cancer.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I take vitamins and supplements daily so I am sure that I get my recommended dose.
wambalus wambalus 8 years
I live in Scotland and there have been a lot of articles recently suggesting that the lack of Vitamin D in the Scottish population (because we hardly ever see the sun) contributes to a whole host of other diseases - including abnormally high levels of Multiple Sclerosis - in Scotland. I've been popping my Vitamin D ever since.
LemonOut LemonOut 8 years
I wear sunscreen and as a resident physician work a job with extremely long hours. When I was having other medical problems, my vitamin D level was checked and found to be severely deficient (worse than most people with chronic medical problems, like Krohns disease). I never would have guessed, but now am on the high dose vitamin D supplements for deficiency.
Anne26 Anne26 8 years
When I take Vitamin D and have less stress than usual. I heard it is also good for the mind too.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 8 years
wow, this article is great, my mom was just telling my brother to put his new born to get some sun, so he could get vitamin D
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Yeah, I was reading that if you live north of 42 degrees latitude, you don't get enough sunlight during the winter to make hardly any vitamin D, so you definitely need a supplement that contains at least 1,000 units of vitamin D (check, because most of them contain only 400). I realized that I DEFINITELY need more vitamin D in my diet.
otaku otaku 8 years
it seems like i don't get any vitamin D... i don't eat any of those things and i stay out of the sun... oh my.
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
I always make sure that the Calcium supplements I get have Vitamin D in them. I take one after breakfast and one after dinner. So I get at least 400 IU of D and 1000 mg of Calcium for the day.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
As far as getting Vitamin D from the sun - the thing you forgot to mention is that you need to NOT be wearing sunscreen or sunblock to get the Vitamin D in that amount of time from the sun. I believe my RD and Dr. said that if sunblock or screen is worn then double the exposure time at least. And for anyone who's not fair skinned - triple or quadruple the time as our melanin slows the absorption. Personally, I am allergic to the sun (have photoallergic dermatis - break out in huge boils/welts then get seriously physically ill with slightest exposure w/o sunblock and protective clothing) so everyday I take a Vitamin D capsule and make sure my soymilk has D etc. Cause I'm never going to get my D from the sun.
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