Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important in helping the body absorb and use calcium from food and supplements. It aids in bone and tooth formation and supports muscle and nerve function, and studies have shown that vitamin D helps to prevent osteoporosis.

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to six months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Some people take mega-doses of fat-soluble vitamins, which can lead to toxicity. Eating a normal diet of foods rich in these vitamins won't cause a problem. Remember, you only need small amounts of any vitamin.

Some health problems can make it hard for a person's body to absorb these vitamins. If you have a chronic health condition, ask your doctor about whether your vitamin absorption will be affected.

How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?
The National Institutes of Health recommend that men and women ages 19 to 50 consume a minimum of 200 IU (or 5 mcg) of vitamin D each day. People ages 51 and over should consume at least 400 IU (or 10 mcg) of vitamin D daily. The need for vitamin D increases with age because your body’s ability to convert sunlight to vitamin D decreases.

You should always eat foods or supplements rich in vitamin D with foods rich in calcium for better absorption. When you are exposed to the sun’s rays, your body converts a cholesterol compound in the skin to vitamin D, so aim for three 15-minute sessions of sun exposure a week.

Sources of Vitamin D
* Fortified milk
* Fortified cereals
* Eggs
* Tuna
* Fish-liver oils
* Sun exposure

Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?
Too little vitamin D in the diet can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.

Overconsuming vitamin D can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss. Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in soft tissues like the kidney, can be caused by vitamin D toxicity.

Antacids, some cholesterol lowering drugs, mineral oil, some anti-seizure medications, and steroids interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.

Vitamin Storage
If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce, and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that's free of moisture.

source : lifeclinic


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