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The Importance of Vitamin D For Women and Children
Posted on 03.31.2010 : Authored by Grace Onyango
Vitamin D is receiving a lot of buzz in the recent times. Women and children are being advised to take in more and more vitamin D. Vitamin D is the cheapest and easily way to prevent some chronic conditions like rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis. This is because the lack of this vitamin leads to brittle bones.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which gets stored in the body fat during summer months for use then and the excess is to be used in the winter in the northern latitudes when the sun is rare.
So what are some of the health benefits of vitamin D.
Healthy bones. Vitamin D like calcium is essential for bone formation and bone growth. It also aids in the transportation of calcium from the small intestines into the blood stream.
Immunity. Vitamin D is shown to help boos the immune system and help fight common infections like colds and flu that are common in the winter months. It also helps prevent periodontal disease.
Heart health. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with high blood pressure and heart failure.
What are the Vitamin D recommendations.
Adults birth-50 years 400IU/day ( recommended by American academy of pediatrics). 51-71 years- 400IU per day and 71+ years should take 600 IU per day. In adults if you are obese, dark skinned, live in the far northern latitude or in a smoggy area then you should take 2000IU/day.
Sources of Vitamin D
Sunlight. A 10-15 minute exposure to sunlight, two times a week without sunscreen can provide adequate amounts of vitamin D. In the winter is is hard to get a good amount of the vitamin with sun exposure.
Tanning beds. UV rays for this beds can provide vitamin D, however the exposure to a higher risk of cancer makes them a choice that women should not consider
Natural foods Many foods have very little amounts of vitamin D, except fish oil. A good fish oil is cod liver oil which has ample supply of vitamin D. This oil is very excellent to control colds in children during the winter months. It also has vitamin A and thus it is important to stick with correct dosage to avoid high levels of vitamin A in the body
Fortified foods Most milks juices and cereals are fortified with Vitamin D since it was found out that it can easily prevent rickets. However the vitamin D in these foods is still fairly very small in amount.
Supplements Due to inadequate amounts of this vitamin in food many people are resorting to Vitamin D supplement in the form of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. The latter is considered more effective.
All the above sources provide an inert form of Vitamin D that is then transported to the liver and then to the kidney where it is transformed into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D which is the active form of Vitamin D in the body.
So many women and children are deficient in Vitamin D. You can confirm this through your doctor by checking proposed interpretation of blood levels of 25(OH).
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