Vitamin D

Things we eat aren’t the only source of this nutrient. Did you ever think of yourself as a plant? Our skin can synthesize this vitamin by being in the sun. But don’t worry, over exposure to sunlight will not overdose you on Vitamin D. In fact your body will only make what it needs. Just be careful of other dangers such as skin cancer. The amount of time in the sun is all dependent on your skin. Vitamin D is important in that it helps to regulate blood calcium and phosphorus levels and there by maintain bone integrity.

• Class of Vitamin: Fat Soluble (what that means is how the vitamin is absorbed and carried through the blood stream)

• What it does: mineralization of bones and teeth

• Good Sources: fortified milk, salmon, shrimp, and sunlight (vitamin D synthesized by the skin in sunlight will not produce too much of this vitamin no matter how much time you spend in the sun)

• What happens if you consume too much of it: elevated blood calcium, calcification of soft tissues, excessive thirst, headache, nausea, weakness

• How much is too much? Adults, over 50ug/day

• What happens if you don’t consume enough: abnormal bone growth resulting in rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, malformed teeth, and muscle spasms

• Daily Requirement Intake: Adults 5ug/day (19-50 year olds)

10ug/day (51-70 year olds)

15ug/day (>70 years old)

Sunlight: Fair skin= 15 minutes

Darker skin= up to 3 hours (depending on climate)

**ug = micrograms

This information can be found in any nutrition text book or on the National Institute of Health Website. This is only a basic description of vitamins and the amounts needed for an average adult diet of 2,000 calories. Some vitamins and foods may react with your body when on certain medications. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplements or diet. For further information consult with your Physician or a Registered Dietitian. Your way to excellent health starts with you.