Scientists Confirm Institute of Medicine Recommendation for Vitamin D Intake Was Miscalculated and Is Far Too Low. The current Vitamin D recommendations are 600 IU for adults and 800 IU for seniors according to the Institute of Medicine’s Food & Nutrition Board. However, the Vitamin D Council recommends a daily intake of 5000 IU, which may be more in line with what we should be getting…
What is Vitamin D?
A fat-soluble vitamin that helps to build healthy bones. Fat-soluble means that vitamin D is absorbed with the presence of fat and is stored in your fat cells. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and regulates phosphorus levels, which in turn helps to keep our bones healthy. Vitamin D also plays a role in keeping our immune systems healthy, reducing inflammation, cell growth and gene expression. There are several forms of vitamin D and the most important to remember are vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is the plant form and D3 is the sunlight form. People who are mainly at risk for deficiency are older adults, obese adults, people who do not have any sun exposure, and certain illnesses. Children who have a deficiency get rickets (classic sign is bowed legs) and older adults who have a deficiency can develop osteomalacia, or softening of the bones.
How Can You Get Vitamin D?
Food, sunshine and/or supplements. Good food sources of vitamin D include fortified orange juice & dairy products, fatty fish and eggs. Also, the only vegetable source of vitamin D is mushrooms! Below are good sources of vitamin D:
Vitamin D is unique in that your body can convert a form of vitamin D in your body with exposure to sunlight. Depending on where you live, the color of your skin and the length of exposure will determine how much sunlight you need. Typically, getting about 20 minutes of daily sunlight without covering up and no sunscreen on will give you enough. However, our ability to convert vitamin D decreases as we age. Sometimes sunlight alone is not enough and making sure we are eating foods high in vitamin D becomes essential.
The Upper Limit Intake or the maximum amount you should take before the possibility of having harmful effects is 10,000 IU.
The Vitamin D Council has some great information and of course let me know if you have any questions. It will be interesting to see how this new research plays out.