Vitamin D is essential for the proper formation of the skeleton and for mineral homeostasis. It is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body. Vitamin D also support the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? A recent study by Dr. Jacquelin Chan, professor in the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, found that many vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and meat-eaters had low serum vitamin D levels. The Canadian government has also become concerned about low vitamin D levels in that country, and encouraging Vitamin D supplementation of many more foods.
Although Vitamin D would ideally come from sunshine, in the northern and southern climate extremes the sunshine is not intense enough for some four to five months each year.
People used to take Vitamin D to avoid rickets. However, the health concerns related to this important vitamin now go far beyond that. Researchers now believe that vitamin D plays a role in osteoporosis, as many as 16 different types of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Sun screens, lotions, creams, and sprays may also cut the body’s production of vitamin D.
For these reasons, we need to pay attention to our vitamin D intake. Specialists used to recommend 400 IU (international units) or 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily. However, many are now suggesting as much as 1,000-2,000 IU per day. If your vitamin D levels have been checked and are low, Dr. Nedley recommends taking at least 2,000UI daily until your levels have come back into the normal range.
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