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January 15, 2018 2 min read

Vitamin D- Why It’s So Important

Through the summer months when we are outside in the sunlight your skin
should be absorbing enough Vitamin D for you to be healthy. Now that
summer is over and the days are getting shorter and shorter people will start
to spend more time inside. As fall and winter set in, I think it’s very important
to consider what Vitamin D does for your body and why it’s important to
supplement during the months you’re unable to be outside with your skin
exposed to the sun.

What does it do? 

Vitamin D manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut and helps cells all
over your body to communicate properly. Once your body absorbs the vitamin
D, it then goes through a number of chemical processes to change it so that
your body can use it.

The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D,
one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin
D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are
regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal
immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is
important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as
well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone
abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones

If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you should also supplement your baby
with Vitamin D.

Research has also shown that vitamin D might play an important role in
regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found
that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an
improvement in their symptoms.

What does a vitamin D deficiency in adults look like?

  • tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
  • severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause you to walk with a waddling gait
  • stress fractures, especially in your legs, pelvis, and hips

Where can I get it, other than the sun?

Some foods that provide vitamin D include:

  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Egg yolks

You can also buy Vitamin D3 Drops, this is what I use during the fall, winter
and sometimes the spring months.

How much do I need?

The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:

  • children and teens: 600 IU
  • adults up to age 70: 600 IU
  • adults over age 70: 800 IU
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU
  • exclusively breastfed babes: 400IU

Live longer, healthier, and happier,

Author: Alicia Phillips