The Vitamin Guide Series: A-Z – Volume 11
Vitamin D is essential for optimum health & growth. It is also essential for optimal performance. You have a vitamin D receptor within every cell of your body. Which means that if you have any level of deficiency of Vit D then you will be underperforming.
Without optimal amounts it is impossible to be at your personal best.
Vitamin D is necessary for the growth & development of bones & teeth, since it is required for the proper absorption & utilisation of calcium & phosphorus in your body – both also essential to the health of the skeleton.
The body makes Vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun, & most people meet at least some of their Vitamin D needs this way.
Cloudy days (lots in England!) & having dark-coloured skin (the darker your skin the more sunlight you require to keep your vit D at optimum) also cuts down on the amount of Vitamin D the skin makes.
A Vitamin with Benefits….
Without adequate levels of vitamin D in childhood, bone deformities can develop – a condition known as rickets.
In adults, lack of adequate vitamin D can reduce bone density, leading to osteoporosis & an increased risk of bone fracture.
The latest research suggests that vitamin D may have a protective role against multiple sclerosis & other autoimmune conditions.
In addition, higher intake of vitamin D has been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in women.
The Optimal Amount of Vitamin D…
- Teens 14–18 years 600 IU
- Adults 19–70 years 600 IU
- Adults 71 years & older 800 IU
- Pregnant & breastfeeding women 600 IU
Again the RDA just may not do the trick. The way to be sure is to have your vitamin D3 levels tested from a blood test. Then supplement, eat & get some sun appropriately.
I use supplementation to keep my D levels at optimum throughout the year, as I live in England & we suffer from a deficiency of Summer!
Foods that Contain Vitamin D….
There are not many natural foods that contain vitamin D, but the National Institute of Health recommends eating:
- Fatty fish, fish liver oil, beef liver, egg yolks & cheese for vitamin D. (But you’d have to eat a truck load of these foods to get enough to keep your levels near optimum)
- Vitamin D can also be found in fortified foods, such as milk, orange juice, breakfast cereal & yogurt. (The same applies, you’d have to consume 83 pints of milk a day to meet your requirements, who the hell wants to do that?!)
The Bottom Line…
Experts recommend that people in northern climates & those who do not receive direct sunlight for at least 30 to 45 minutes per week should make sure they are getting enough vitamin D through diet or supplementation, especially during winter time when less ultraviolet light (UVB) is available for vitamin D synthesis in the body.
Furthermore, dark skinned people & the elderly have diminished capacity to produce vitamin D by sunlight radiation. So keep a close eye on your levels through blood tests. I offer them to my clients, a vit D test is not that expensive, under £100.
It is also important to remember that sunlight can still provide harmful & damaging ultraviolet rays to the skin so the amount of time in the sun should be monitored. It may be necessary to avoid the sun during peak hours.
Until we talk again…
To Your Best Health
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