What Is The Use Of Vitamin D?
D vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin (though technically speaking, it is more a hormone, a secosteroid) which occurs in a diversity of forms in the human body. There are two primary so-called pre-vitamins known as calciferol – D2 and D3. The first one originates from plant sources, and vitamin D3 can be found in animal sources. However, it can be said that these composites function more as hormones rather than usual vitamins. Their use is to regulate the absorbing of the minerals of calcium and phosphorus from the small intestine, as well as regulating the balance between zinc, vitamin A, and other nutrients. Also, fresh research of this vitamin has shown that it is likely that it inhibits the growth of tumors, as well as reducing the risk of dementia. Furthermore, it might even aid in preventing the common cold. Thus, this vitamin has become more interesting to scientists, as its classical function to prevent rickets as well as osteoporosis has been expanded to reducing the risk of a diversity of immune and respiratory ailments.
This Is The Sunlight Vitamin!
It is common knowledge that sunlight boosts the production of this vitamin in the body, and that is why this nutrient is called the sunlight vitamin. It is also well known that from 10 to 20 uninterrupted minutes of sunlight exposure on a daily basis is sufficient to manufacture the necessary amounts of this vitamin. The fact that it is becoming increasingly harder to reach that minimum threshold, and combined with lifestyle changes (for instance, using sunblock lotions) and certain environmental conditions (such as smog) it is becoming progressively harder to make sufficient amounts of this nutrient.
What Is An Optimal Level Of Vitamin D?
A person with fair skin can manufacture some 15,000 International Units (or IU) of a daily amount of this vitamin with no more than half an hour of optimal UV-B exposure. However, the suggested adequate intake of this nutrient for all younger than 50 is at present fixed at 200 IU (which is only 5 mcg) a day. For those aged from 51 to 70, some 10 mcg is recommended, as well as 15 mcg for ages 71 and over.
What Are The Other Sources Of Vitamin D?
The best sources of this vitamin are oysters and cold water fish, the exceptions being catfish. Another source is soy milk. For children, the top is cod liver oil (at 1350 IU per tablespoon). Other sources of this vitamin are the following:
• Salmon – 360 IU
• An egg yolk – 20 IU
• Sardines (canned and drained) – 250 IU
• Catfish – 425 IU
• Tuna (canned in oil) – 200 IU
It is not, however, easy to reach the recommended amount from food sources, and thence, supplements are relevant. In fact, most multivitamin supplements comprise 400 IU of pre-vitamin D2, which experts consider to be the form which is less active. Also available are single supplements of vitamin D or vitamin drops with this nutrient for children.
However, caution should be taken if consuming these supplements. An excess amount should not be ingested – 25 mcg or even less per day of these is considered to be an amount which can do no harm.
Ingesting an excessive amount of this vitamin over a longer time, however, may trigger more calcium to be taken in than can possibly be excreted. This surplus calcium can be accumulated in the kidneys and may even damage them. Also, disproportionate intakes of this vitamin can strip away calcium from the bones, which in turn can make them soft and weak.