Vitamin D - Key Component to Being Health

Since I wrote my tips to being healthier about a week ago, I have seen several short stories on the news on the importance of vitamin D throughout the winter season.  Although I briefly mentioned this in my list, it seems like a bit of elaboration could convince many of you that it is a worthwhile supplement since so many health professionals are recommending it to the public.

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article that recognizes the important role of vitamin D has in a wide range of health conditions.  This article was written by Dr.Michael Holick who highlights even the value V-D plays in utero – with a deficiency “retardation, skeletal deformities and increase risk of hip fractures…osteoporosis later life in may occur.” 

According to Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, it has been estimated that 1 billion people world-wide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient.”  Dr. Holick would like to see the recommended intake of V-D increased to 800-1000IU – which is not obtainable through a normal diet.  As much as we can try to consume a perfect amount of fish which would help with V-D absrobtion, you also need to balance out the mercury content these days found in seafood -so this leaves us needing a supplement.

Even celebrity Docs like Dr. Lemole and Dr. Oz have been preaching how important V-D is for overall bone health and even seasonal disorders like depression. “Dr. Lemole says many older people lose their balance not because of their age, but because they have low levels of vitamin D, which helps regulate muscle and balance.”

Sun is actually the best way to absorb V-D, but because of skin cancer prevention, people are getting even less V-D during summer months.  So diet and with a supplement is the ideal combination to keeping your levels optimum.  There are several supplements – I personally take it in a drop form by a company called  Pure Encapsulations (liquid vitamin D), which allows me to have one supplement for my entire family.

Only a few common foods are good vitamin D sources:
International Units (IU) per serving
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360
Salmon, cooked, 3½ ounces 360
Mackerel, cooked, 3½ ounces 345
Tuna fish, canned in oil, 3 ounces 200
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 1¾ ounces 250
Milk (non-fat, reduced-fat or whole), vitamin D fortified, 1 cup 98
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in egg yolk) 20
Liver, beef, cooked, 3½ ounces 15
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 12
Current daily recommendation: 200 to 600 IU 
Proposed by some: 1,000 IU

Source: Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institute of Health

from USA Today 1/29/2006 


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