D is for Vitamin D

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NUTRITION TIP THURSDAY

D | Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. For this reason, it is added to food and available in supplement form. It is also produced by our body when UV rays from sunlight strike the skin. The Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically unavailable and must undergo changes before it can be used. Consuming Vitamin D promotes the absorption of Calcium in the body- this is why we see vitamin D fortified milk.

Americans are notoriously low in vitamin D- especially those with lactose intolerance. However, once they hear this, they make the common mistake of taking too much past the upper tolerable limit of 4,000 IU. The research suggests that taking too much vitamin D for extended periods of time can cause adverse health effects. Before you take a supplement- talk to your doctor! They will be more than willing to help you reach optimal health.

Role in the Body:

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the digestive tract and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to maintain normal mineralization of bone. It is also needed for the remodeling and growth of our bones. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin or weak. When paired with calcium, vitamin D can prevent bone problems like Rickets and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a role in immune function and the reduction of inflammation.

How Much We Need:

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy people.

-RDA is 600 IU

Food Sources:

Food | IUs per serving

  • Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon | 1,360
  • Swordfish, cooked, 3 ounces | 566
  • Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces | 447
  • Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces | 154
  • Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies) | 137
  • Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup | 115-124
  • Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces | 80
  • Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon | 60
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines | 46
  • Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces | 42
  • Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk) | 41
  • Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup | 40
  • Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce | 6

For more Information: National Institute of Health


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