Down with the D

Vitamin D that is 🙂 Vitamin D is another fat soluble vitamin, and unlike Vitamin A, it can be pretty common for folks to become a little “D-deficient”, and quite difficult to reach toxic levels.  In fact I had a professor in college who once said: “One would have to try to reach toxic levels with Vitamin D”.

Vitamin D is actually something I am pretty comfortable using- due to the fact it doesn’t interact with a lot thing, and because it is so common for people to be mildly deficient.  This is common due to the fact that an excellent source of Vitamin D is the sun- and living in North America…well winters do not tend to be sunny and bright.

This is a depiction of how Vitamin D is used in the body.  Starting both from dietary sources, and from the sunlight.

This is a depiction of how Vitamin D is used in the body. Starting both from dietary sources, and from the sunlight.

For people who are 19-70 years old, pregnant & lactating 600 IU is the recommended intake, and 800 IU for those over 71

Vitamin D is super awesome and important because it plays a mayyyy-jor role in bone function, muscle health, and immune health.  Vitamin D is essential for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium… which we all know is very important for bones- calcium and vitamin D go together like cookies and chocolate chips- they belong together.

It is possible for some people to become deficient.  Those who become D-Deficient are at risk for problems with their bone integrity, children are likely to develop Rickets, and adults Osteomalacia- I mean these are your bones- don’t screw with them.

Those who are more likely to develop deficiency are:

-Breastfed infants (human milk is a poor source of Vitamin D, many breastfed infants are given a 400 IU supplements each day

-Older adults

-People with dark skin and hair (their skin has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun

-People with disorders involving fat malabsorption (i.e. Crohns, and Celiac disease)… because this Vitamin is fat soluble- so it needs fat

-People with certain thyroid conditions

-Individuals who are obese- this is an issue because the vitamin will bind with fat which prevents from getting into circulation

In addition to the sweet sunlight providing Vitamin D, this cannot be our sole source for several obvious reasons- naturally to avoid the burden of skin cancer to don’t necessarily want to roast in the sun for hours and hours.  Also depending on where you reside on this big beautiful plant- you may not have 365 access to the sunlight…. shout out to my fav Eskimo Princess… 

In terms of foods the best sources of vitamin D include: fatty fishies such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.  Other “decent” sources include: beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks, mushrooms provide a small amount, milk, and fortified cereals.

Be mindful of meds that Vitamin D supplements can interact with and even affect Vitamin D levels:

-Prednisone & other corticosteroids (these are used commonly for chronic inflammatory diseases, pain, inflammation etc).  These can meds while reducing inflammation screw with how our beautiful bods handle vitamin D- which can lead to lower Calcium absorption and bone problems.   

-Orlistat (Xenical & Alli) and the cholesterol lowering Cholestyramine (Questran, LoCholest, and Prevalite) can reduce absorption of all fat soluble vitamins

-Phenobarbital, and Phenytoin (Dilantin) which are used for seizures- increase the breakdown for Vitamin D and therefore reduce the Calcium absorption.   

Sources:

-The Natural Standard

-The Office of Dietary Supplements (NIH)

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